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Feb 19, 2013 10:38 AM by MELISSA CANONE

2nd Annual Louisiana Direct Seafood Academy

The Louisiana Direct Seafood Academy will be taking place for the second year in a row this March, at the Shrimp Festival Building in Delcambre, Louisiana. Classes are scheduled for Tuesday, March 5 and Wednesday, March 6, as well as Dock Day on Tuesday, March 19.

This series of training programs focuses on marketing techniques, improving product quality, safety and garnering new business, all with a focus on creating opportunities for business success for local fishermen. With training presented on the most up to date methods for quality product handling, safety standards and best business practices, these classes offer true-to-life instructions in order for these small businesses to thrive.

For each of the topics covered, there will be a 10-20 minute presentation with an additional follow up time with the presenters, who encourage audience interaction. In addition to the two days of classes, there is a "Dock Day" scheduled to take place on the Delcambre Waterfront, with opportunities for hands-on learning that include the U.S. Coast Guard who will conduct a simulated water rescue, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, and specialized presentations by industry leaders and local providers.

These classes and the presentations that take place on Dock Day are free to registrants who provide a Valid Louisiana Commercial Fishing License and Photo ID. The participants are also provided with hot and cold beverages throughout the day, as well as lunch catered by a local favorite, Chef Bobby & Dot Catering, Le Bon Manger. This is all possible through a grant awarded to United Way of Acadiana through the Community Foundation of Acadiana. Ms. Brandy Young, of the United Way of Acadiana said, "We have been working with area fishermen since the devastating hurricanes and the oil spill. We are pleased to help fund a program that provides our fishermen with access to information they need to be stronger and more resilient".

The Louisiana Direct Seafood Academy is presented by Louisiana Sea Grant/LSU AgCenter. Its partner program, Delcambre Direct Seafood is a marketing program found online at http://delcambredirectseafood.com.

This marketing initiative connects area fishermen with consumers for dockside sales in Delcambre and the surrounding area. The local brand "Vermilion Bay Sweet" was also created as part of the initiative for marketing of area shrimp and other local caught seafood on a year round basis. Iberia Industrial Development Foundation (IDF) has implemented the academy's classes and dock day in Delcambre last year and again this year. IDF President & CEO, Mike Tarantino, gives his thoughts on the process and classes by saying, "IDF is proud to be a part of this program. Our area fisheries are an important part of the economy as each individual fisherman is a locally owned small business". Mr. Thomas Hymel, who is the Louisiana Direct Seafood Project Director, said, " We are so happy to partner with IDF, United Way of Acadiana and all of our partner agencies to offer these needed and informative programs".

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