The Quality Improvement Project for the Louisiana Shrimp
Industry has a goal to provide technical assistance and
outreach programs to the shrimp industry in order to improve
shrimp quality and support industry efforts to sustain industry
economic viability and increase shrimp prices at all production
levels beginning with the fisherman.
project has two main objectives. One objective is to support
the domestic shrimp industry in Louisiana for development
of a regional quality certification program in the Gulf
of Mexico and Southeast Atlantic regions. The second objective
is to develop a practical and useful quality improvement
extension program for the Louisiana shrimp industry.
and Documents associated with this project:
are provided below about the content of the program utilizing
these Internet files.
1: Support of Shrimp Quality Certification in Louisiana
first objective is to collaborate with Sea Grant seafood
technologists in eight participating states to develop,
on a pilot program basis, a coordinated quality certification
program. The goal of this proposed certification program
is to support industry marketing efforts to distinguish
and promote domestic wild-caught shrimp over pond-raised
proposed certification program is based on developing measurable
product quality specifications, establishing a quality mark
or logo that documents compliance with the predetermined
standards, and designing and implementing training programs
for both producers and processors that will enable them
to meet predefined quality standards. The Mark of Quality
program was devised by a quality assurance subcommittee
of stakeholders including the Southern Shrimp Alliance.
aspect of this pilot program approach is that key industry
stakeholders volunteer to participate and are committed
to the success of the program. This commitment is critical
to the eventual adoption and expansion by industry of such
a certification program. Key participants in the pilot program
include buyers, processors and fishermen who agree and support
the fundamental objective of creating a premium product
from the domestic production base to generate a higher price.
the end of 2004, the proposed regional Mark of Quality certification
program development project had not been funded cooperatively
or in other individual states. However, national marketing
efforts for wild-caught domestic shrimp, subsequently developed,
are being implemented, including a certification program
known as Wild American Shrimp Initiative (WASI). The stated
goal of WASI is the same as the proposed Mark of Quality
pilot program, to create a premium product and generate
a higher price.
WASI program is based on utilizing these Mark of Quality
marketing efforts, and involves regional collaboration of
shrimp industry representatives from Louisiana and other
participating shrimp production states. Although quality
specifications and training programs were not developed
specifically for this certification program, interested
processors of domestic wild-caught shrimp can participate
by submitting quality specifications and an inspection program
to the WASI board for approval and certification.
fundamental objective of the shrimp quality improvement
project is to support domestic shrimp quality certification
efforts in Louisiana through technology transfer. For example,
the project is working with the canned shrimp industry in
Louisiana. It has submitted quality specifications to the
WASI board for approval based upon existing quality specifications
and measurements that are routinely evaluated during cannery
The quality improvement project and Seafood Technology Program
will continue activities to support certification programs
on a pilot program basis for other shrimp industries in
Louisiana in support of potential certification programs
that will create a premium product and generate a higher
price for all industry stakeholders, from fishermen to processors.
more information about WASI, contact Eddie Gordon by e-mail
or by phone at (843) 881-0585.
more information about improving the value of shrimp product
in Louisiana and marketing quality Louisiana shrimp products,
2: Developing a Practical Shrimp Quality Improvement Extension
second objective of the project is to provide technical
assistance to shrimp industry stakeholders in Louisiana
towards producing consistent, high quality shrimp products
and meeting quality grades that can generate higher prices.
Expected projects include practical training to shrimp associations
in the form of workshops, to individual stakeholders in
the form of hands-on interactions and studies, and to the
industry in general mass marketing through Web site materials,
videos and presentations.
activities have included interviews with individual fishermen
and processors, meetings with industry associations, visits
to processing plants and buying docks, and fishing trips
on board shrimp vessels. These activities have focused on
learning and education about shrimp markets and product
forms, critical quality attributes, and study of individual
a new extension associate is now dedicated exclusively to
shrimp quality certification and improvement efforts to
develop practical outreach projects. Current studies include
ice slush chilling procedures, shrimp chilling rates, effects
on moisture content, and determining recommendations for
best practices. The extension associate will also investigate
market quality criteria and specifications, such as short
weight, product color and pieces generation.
efforts to develop extension and training programs will
continue to focus on best handling and processing practices
for the shrimp industry in Louisiana. The project is also
researching and utilizing information and projects developed
in other states and programs. An excellent example is a
program developed by seafood and fisheries technologists
in Texas. Although Texas has not funded a regional quality
certification project, Sea Grant scientists there were instrumental
in developing the Mark of Quality certification proposal,
which supports quality improvement for the Texas shrimp
industry and involves the USDA Trade Adjustment Assistance
with this program, extension workshops for fishermen in
Texas have focused on informing fishermen of the current
market forces and effects, as well as best on-board-handling
practices and recommendations for improved shrimp quality
to meet higher product grades.
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Shrimp Program
site ( www.taaforfarmers.org/CommoditiesArchives/shrimp2004/
) provides the entire TAA for Shrimp program, including
information about the TAA program itself. In short, once
a state’s industry qualifies for this program, individual
fishermen are eligible for assistance funds if they attend
a technical assistance workshop. The Texas shrimp industry
qualified for the TAA program in 2004 while the Louisiana
shrimp industry did not.
independent efforts by Sea Grant programs and university
seafood technologists continue in other states to support
quality improvement and the domestic wild-caught shrimp
industry. Some of these efforts and projects are in response
to the USDA Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for shrimp
program. Seafood and fisheries extension technologists with
the Texas Sea Grant College Program have produced course
materials for the TAA shrimp program described below. Permission
to use these materials was provided by Michael Haby, Ph.D.,
Russ Miget, Ph.D., and the Texas Sea Grant College Program.
for these workshops are included on the TAA shrimp program
Web site. The following paragraphs and associated Web links
introduce sections of these TAA materials. Fishermen and
other interested industry personnel are encouraged to visit
the TAA shrimp program Web site for further details.
excellent overview of this information is a computer presentation
developed for the workshops. This information was developed
for shrimp fishermen in Texas. Background information on
the evolution of shrimp markets and financial viability
of the business is included with technical information about
vessel handling best practices designed to produce high
quality shrimp. Please click on the following link to view
the a PDF of the presentation. Download: TAAshrimp04.pdf
details were explained at the workshops and included in
the workshop curriculum booklet, Wild-Harvested Shrimp
Technical Assistance Curriculum.
first section of the TAA curriculum booklet, entitled
“Status of the World and U.S. Shrimp Markets,”
includes information on production, markets, tariffs,
food safety and other issues.
next section provides practical information and guidance
on determining the economic viability and other resources
of a shrimp business.
next section contains key practical information for shrimpers,
describing best vessel handling practices and background
information for producing top quality shrimp. Because
it was written for the Texas shrimp industry, this section
focuses on brine frozen shrimp, but also includes information
for ice vessels.
final section of the curriculum booklet includes practical
information and guidance on goal setting and the potential
of transitioning out of the business.
entire booklet can be downloaded below, or it can be found
together with the workshop presentation on the TAA shrimp
program Web site under the “Resources
for Educators” link.
Shrimp Technical Assistance Curriculum (entire
Web site for the entire USDA TAA for Shrimp Program and
materials can be found at: www.taaforfarmers.org/CommoditiesArchives/Shrimp2004/
of the information in this section of the Louisiana Sea
Grant Fisheries Web site is part of the LSU Agricultural
Center Seafood Technology Program, which is part of the
Department of Food Science and sponsored by the Louisiana
Sea Grant College Program, to develop a shrimp quality improvement
project for the Louisiana shrimp industry. This 2 ½
year project is funded by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife
& Fisheries using federally-appropriated disaster monies
and coordinated by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion &
Marketing Board. The Seafood Technology Program is directed
by Jon Bell, Ph.D. Permission to provide these materials
on this Web site was granted to Jon Bell, Ph.D., by Russ
Miget, Ph.D., and Michael Haby, Ph.D.,and the Texas Sea
Grant College Program.
of this portion of the Louisiana Sea Grant Fisheries Web
site was funded by the Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries
Foundation, Inc., under NOAA cooperative agreement #NA16FM2817.
The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations
are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect
the views of the Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation,
Inc., NOAA, or the Department of Commerce.