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Delcambre Direct Program helps revitalize the Iberia Parish Seafood industry

Delcambre Shrimping boats.PNG
Posted at 6:35 AM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 14:28:25-04

There are few places as synonymous with fresh seafood as Delcambre.

And while there's still plenty of seafood to be found there, the numbers are lower then what they were just a generation ago.

"We had a few fisherman here who said this might be a last year because my catch doesn't pay for my fuel and ice," says Port Director of the Twin Parish Port Commission Wendell Verret.

As a result of that downturn, the Delcambre Direct Program started up in 2010 as a simple way to get fisherman more money for their catches.

"We came up with this idea for a seafood market where they could come and sell right off the boat," says Verret.

By cutting out the wholesalers, the fisherman were able to get better pricing for their catch, and a revitalization of the Delcambre seafood industry began.

"Our primary goal was to make sure these fishermen sell out their catch," Verret says. "And that's never been a problem."

Over the last nine years, the Delcambre Direct Program has grown.

The addition of social media postings has gained shrimpers more exposure, and now there's even a fresh seafood market held the first Saturday of the month during the season.

According to Verret, the port sees thousands of cars and around sixty vendors a month with the market's help.

"It brings a lot of people to town, a lot of traffic," he says.

That traffic, going beyond helping local shrimpers and fisherman, is helping to boost up the economy of the Greater Delcambre area

"The grocery store, the convenience store, all get a boost in traffic during the market, and not just the market when the shrimp are selling well," Verret adds.

The Delcambre Direct Program has even gone on to be used as a model across the state.

Other fishing towns like Cameron, Lafourche-Terrebonne and the Southshore of New Orleans have used the program to prop themselves up as the industry continues to struggle

And shrimpers told us that if it wasn't for the Delcambre Direct Program, they aren't sure they would have made it.