Communications banner image

Seafood Demonstration Lab Opens

Image: Seafood Demo Lab interior

A seafood processing demonstration facility is on the horizon for Louisiana’s commercial fishermen, courtesy Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) and the LSU AgCenter.

A building at the AgCenter’s Iberia Research Station, 603 LSU Bridge Road in Jeanerette, is being renovated for fishermen and small seafood processors to receive hands-on training with a variety of processing equipment. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for July 19.

“This will be the first of its kind for seafood along the entire Gulf coast,” said Thomas Hymel, LSG and AgCenter marine agent and director of the Louisiana Fisheries Forward program. “It’s going to be phenomenal. It will offer mom-and-pop operators the opportunity to learn about how to get into the seafood processing business.”

“We want to show people the equipment they can get, how their facility can look and what are the minimum federal and state requirements,” said Evelyn Watts, LSG and AgCenter seafood technology specialist. “Our goal is to introduce local fishermen to commercializing their product in a cost-effective and federally compliant manner, ultimately bringing them more revenue.”

Large vacuum packing machines, meat grinders, fish skinners, flake ice machines, nano ice machines and modified atmosphere packaging machines will be available for fishermen to learn to use. Additionally, safe seafood handling practices will be taught.

To learn more about the facility, Thomas can be reached at [email protected]. Watts can be reached at [email protected].