A comprehensive seafood supply chain study of Louisiana’s St. Mary, Iberia, and Vermilion Parishes highlights obstacles and opportunities for an area battered by an array of environmental disasters, economic losses and competition from imports. The study, funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant, confirmed what the seafood industry in those parishes, as well as all along the entire Gulf coast, have speculated for years; without a unified voice and aligned economic development at all government levels, Gulf seafood is in trouble, big trouble.
With an economic impact more than $2.4 billion annually, Gulf seafood accounts for one out of every 70 jobs in the state. It is the foundation of the culture and economy of Louisiana, and drives economic development in those rural coastal parishes.
“Gulf seafood lies at the heart of the rich Acadiana culture,” said a study participant. “Natural and manmade disasters continue to threaten this unique region, which for more than three centuries has tied its fate to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The people bringing seafood onto the tables of homes and restaurants around the world lay at the heart of this rich culture.”
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