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Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition Will Provide Cohesive Vision For Gulf Seafood

Posted: June 02, 2011

TAMPA, FLORIDA – The Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition, working to showcase Gulf seafood on behalf of all segments of the industry, held its first meeting in New Orleans, LA on May 24 and 25, 2011. The Coalition represents fishermen, charter boat captains, seafood processors and wholesalers, retailers, chefs, restaurants and tourism marketers from the Gulf States. The Coalition aims to provide a cohesive vision and develop strategies that expand the market share for wild seafood products from the Gulf of Mexico.

"There was excitement as all of the Coalition members discussed plans for the future of the Gulf of Mexico and pledged, on behalf of their states, to work together to promote Gulf seafood,” said Mike Voisin, Chairman of the Coalition, deeming the inaugural meeting a success. He added, "Consumers will know that the Gulf of Mexico has beautiful, clean beaches and delicious seafood to enjoy – whether fishing from a charter boat or enjoying it at home or at a restaurant."

Seafood harvested from the Gulf of Mexico is the safest seafood in the world. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have continually proven Gulf seafood is passing tests with flying colors. For each of the 12 hydrocarbons of concern picked up in the chemical test, the seafood is routinely testing 100 to 1000 times lower than FDA's pass-fail level of concern threshold.

Coalition members and alternates are: Mike Voisin, Motivatit Seafoods, LA; Chris Nelson, Bon Secour Fisheries, AL; Bob Jones, Southeastern Fisheries Association, FL; Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne, LA; Corky Perret, MS; David Veal, MS; Patrick Riley, Western Seafood, TX; Harlon Pearce, Harlon's LA Fish, LA; Chef Brian Landry, LA; Chef Randy Evans, TX; Kyle Stevens, H-E-B Supermarkets; Tim Acosta, Rouses Supermarkets; Robert Novotny, Bonefish Grill; Chuck Adams, Sea Grant; Mike Haby, Sea Grant; Ben Fairey, Charter Boat Necessity, AL; John Greene, Intimidator Sportsfishing, AL; Susan Estler, Panama City Beach Convention Visitor Bureau, FL; Chris Blankenship, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; David Heil, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; Irvin Jackson and Jason Rider, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources; Ewell Smith and Rene

LeBreton, Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board; Martin May, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; Susannah Costello, VISIT FLORIDA; Lee Sentell and Brian Jones, Alabama Tourism Department; Alyssa Harold, Texas Department of Agriculture.

The Coalition's first meeting provided the framework for coordinating seafood marketing efforts among the Gulf States with emphasis on working with tourism boards, restaurants, retailers and chefs. The Coalition is managed by the Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation through a $4.4 million grant from the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission's Oil Disaster Recovery Program (NOAA Award #NAI0NMF4770481). The Foundation is a private, regional nonprofit research organization with a general membership and Board of Trustees representing a wide spectrum of the commercial fishing industry throughout the southeast U.S.

CONTACT: Judy Jamison, Executive Director, (813) 286-8390, judy.jamison@att.net