Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program

Summary

In 2012 LDWF launched the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program (LWSCP). The LWSCP enforces strict chain of custody procedures to ensure seafood bearing the programs logo is caught in our Gulf of Mexico or Louisiana waters then landed, processed and packed in Louisiana. Participating seafood dealers and processers receive annual training on the program guidelines, state and federal regulations, and the best quality handling and sanitation practices.  LWSCP Participants include docks, processors, retailers and restaurants.  If you see the LWSCP logo, you can bet you are receiving AUTHENTIC LOUISIANA SEAFOOD.

History

In 2009, when Louisiana shrimp fishermen were experiencing historically low dockside prices, Governor Jindal created a Shrimp Task Force by executive order. This collaboration of fishermen, processors, and state agencies, developed a strategy for Louisiana seafood industry to recover from multiple natural and man-made disasters, creating the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification (LWSCP).

State legislation (R.S. 56:578.15) gave LDWF the authority to develop LWSCP in 2010. LDWF launched the program in 2012, in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH) and Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF). The program establishes a unified brand that guarantees the origin of Louisiana wild-caught seafood. Products bearing the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification logo must have been harvested in Louisiana waters or the U.S. Gulf of Mexico by licensed Louisiana fishermen and landed, processed, and packaged in Louisiana. The program’s objective is to increase buyers’ confidence in the source of their seafood, help Louisiana commercial fishermen and processors receive a premium price for their product, and ensure Louisiana’s seafood industry remains competitive in the global marketplace.

Goals

The program’s framework enables LDWF and the seafood community to accomplish five goals

  1. To brand Louisiana origin seafood—seafood caught by Louisiana fishermen, landed at Louisiana docks and process and packaged by Louisiana processors.
  2. To fund seafood equipment upgrades that will increase the quality of our seafood through a 10% set-aside of the artificial reef trust fund, which is tied to this program.
  3. To communicate that seafood bearing this program’s logo is sustainable and responsibly managed.
  4. To provide a seafood traceability solution for seafood buyers who need to be guaranteed that the seafood they are sourcing is from Louisiana.
  5. To offer training for program participants through online videos on the program’s rules as well as the latest quality handling practices.

Licensed Louisiana fishermen are automatically eligible for the program, but licensed Louisiana Wholesale/Retail Seafood dealers must apply for and receive a permit to participate. They must also comply with all state and federal reporting requirements and have all legally required permits to operate their business.

LDWF, LDHH, and LDAF work together to verify applications and enforce the program’s requirements from dock to dish, ensuring the integrity and reputation of Louisiana seafood and the success of the program.

LWSCP benefits Louisiana fishermen, processors, and dock owners as well as grocers and restaurants around the country, to showcase, and more importantly, brand Louisiana seafood.

Marketing efforts for the program include point of sale materials, development of a program website (certified.louisianaseafood.com), multiple brochures, and an outreach team. The outreach team meets with fishermen, processors, dock owners, restaurants, and retailers to assist current participants and recruit new ones.   

For more information visit or to become a participant click here or contact Donovan Burke at 225-765-2458