Top Two Seafood Harvesting States Joining Forces in Partnership and Future Support
BATON ROUGE, La (press release) – Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser will travel to Juneau, Alaska, to solidify a partnership between the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. The partnership is an opportunity for each to share the challenges faced by our respective fishing and tourism communities and act as a meeting point for the two seafood marketing programs to work together and help each other moving into the future. The meeting will be part of a promotional event called Tour de Chef, featuring 2015 King of Louisiana Seafood Chef Mike Brewer cooking along with 2017 King of American Seafood Chef Lionel Uppida to showcase the best of Louisiana seafood and Alaska seafood on one plate. Louisiana and Alaska, the top two seafood-harvesting states, are responsible for producing approximately 6.5 million pounds of seafood annually.
“Buying Louisiana seafood, Alaska seafood, and domestic seafood in general is not only safer but it is also better quality than imported seafood. To purchase and use domestic seafood from Louisiana and Alaska only helps to support economies, jobs, and families in the United States that have been fishing the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska for generations. Louisiana’s seafood industry is one of the state’s largest employers and also plays a major role in tourism by connecting food-lovers with the delicious product that comes straight from the gulf,” said Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “Louisiana has a cuisine unlike anywhere else and we are excited for the opportunity to showcase that in Alaska. The wide variety of cultures that make up the people of Louisiana have resulted in flavorful food that will Feed Your Soul – especially when served with a side of our welcoming, friendly people.”
“2020 saw the devastation of tourism in both Alaska and Louisiana – two great regions known for their seafood. Alaskan chefs have enjoyed competing in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans and have really enjoyed winning a few of them,” said Alaska Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer. “Destinations that offer wild, natural, and sustainable seafood, such as Alaska and Louisiana, provide visitors with that special experience that accompanies the beauty and grandeur of the state. One of the key draws for tourists to both states is the high quality of their seafood and special events such as this, which exemplify the importance of natural resource. Alaska is a COVID-safe destination and we look forward to welcoming travelers to the Last Frontier.”
While both Louisiana and Alaska have extremely productive fishing industries, the seafood produced by each state is comprised of a completely different array of species. Louisiana fishers aim to take in blue crab, shrimp, oysters, alligator, and more Louisiana-specific species such as crawfish. These quality catches boost Louisiana’s tourism experience because many local restaurants benefit from the fresh seafood. In Alaska, fishers haul in catches such as salmon, scallop, cod, king crabs, and halibut, among others. The seafood industry in Alaska makes up a significant portion of the state’s economy and workforce.
On Tuesday, June 8, Chefs Brewer and Uppida will prepare a four-course dinner combining Louisiana seafood and Alaska seafood. The dinner, hosted by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, is being held at the Red Spruce & Forbidden Peak Brewery in Juneau, Alaska, owned by Chef Lionel Uppida. The dinner will mark the formal partnership agreement between the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. On Wednesday, June 9, following a boat tour with Alaska Seafood, media events will be held at Deckhand Dave’s – a local and visitor favorite – to host tourism journalists, food writers, and social media influencers to promote the importance of not only Louisiana and Alaska Seafood but also domestic seafood as a whole.
Proceeds from Tuesday night’s dinner will be donated to the Southeast Alaska Food Bank in Juneau. Later this year, Louisiana Seafood will host Alaska Seafood for a similar event in Louisiana with proceeds from that dinner going to a regional Louisiana food bank.