Visionary Fishermen to Attend Seafood Workshop
Bryan Mobley is a forward-looking fisherman. He was part of an early wave of harvesters to install plate freezers on their boats. His product earned Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification. He became involved with the Lafourche-Terrebonne Direct Seafood initiative. And in March, he and his wife opened their own retail store – Corina Corina Seafood, LLC – on Highway 3235 in Galliano.
So when a progressive fisherman like Mobley wants information about further expanding the reach of his wild-caught seafood, he can’t always rely on the customary sources. That is why he is turning to an educational value-added program hosted by Louisiana Direct Seafood. The July 14th Seafood Value-Added Micro Processor Workshop will be held at LSU’s Baton Rouge campus and is open to the public. Registration can be completed at http://tinyurl.com/valueaddedworkshop
“I want to learn things that my wife and I can do ourselves to add value to our products and to figure out what I can do to get the most out of processing without having to go the commercial level,” says Mobley of his enrollment in the workshop.
The Louisiana Direct Seafood program is an educational outreach initiative of the Louisiana Sea Grant Program and LSU AgCenter developed to increase economic opportunities for the Louisiana seafood industry. It targets multiple links along the food supply chain – from harvesting, processing, packaging and marketing – and is dedicated to connecting coastal fishermen directly with their consumers.
For the July 14 workshop, Louisiana Direct Seafood has also teamed up with the LSU School of Nutrition and Food Sciences to focus on freezing, packaging and marketing of raw product in a manner that requires minimal equipment. Fishermen will train with university experts and seafood industry insiders, in addition to learning how institutions like the LSU Food Sciences Incubator can work for producers like them.
Having already made some refrigeration upgrades on his boat, Mobley is more interested in learning about seafood storage and packaging techniques, particularly vacuum sealing. “If I can vacuum seal, it would make me feel more confident in not losing product,” he said. “I wouldn’t have to worry about putting up too much or being scared of losing it to freezer burn. I want to add extra life to my product.”
In addition to harvesting shrimp, Mobley also sells crawfish, crabs, fish, and frog and alligator meat. Learning different storage techniques will allow him to increase not just the quantity and quality of his product, but also the diversity of offerings.
The workshop will also talk about marketing strategies using examples from across the industry, which is good because Mobley is interested in creating a webpage and shipping out of state, as well as expanding cold storage on his boat. Mobley is a very forward-looking fisherman, and Louisiana Direct Seafood will be there to work with him as he continues to add value to his brand.