IBERIA PARISH, La. (KLFY) – A field day hosted by the LSU Ag. Center and the Louisiana Sea Grant has put together the first ever seafood processing demonstration lab.
New technology and techniques were demonstrated to local fishermen in order to enhance the future of the entire industry.
Thomas Hymel is a marine agent who said both organizations are focusing on improving the seafood processing industry with everything they are teaching at the new facility.
“We work with seafood processors across the whole state like those getting into the business or those that want to develop a new product,” Hymel said. “They can come to us, and we can help them get there.”
Hymel said this technology is important for local processors and the future of their products.
“Fishermen can catch a lot during the season when they are abundant when the prices are down,” Hymel said. ” They can put them in the freezer and sell them later when the prices are up and the quality is the same as the day they caught them.”
Dr. Evelyn Watts, seafood extension specialist, helped demonstrate the different types of equipment and techniques that can be used for the future of seafood processing.
“We have ice machines, a meat grinder, a band saw, we have a vacuum pack machine, a shrimp splitter, and a freezer,” Dr. Watts said. “It is basically just to teach them the basics of how to do it.”
Dr. Watts said this facility is unlike any other one in the gulf coast region.
“We saw the need of having a space to teach the industry, so yes we are unique along the coast of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico,” Dr. Watts said.
Being just the first field day event, Dr. watts and Thomas Hymel said there will be multiple demonstrations like this coming in the near future.