Home » NEWS » DMR launches ‘Get Hooked on Mississippi Seafood’ campaign
Those in industry hope to see success like that enjoyed by catfish industry

DMR launches ‘Get Hooked on Mississippi Seafood’ campaign

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — The quality of Gulf Coast seafood is certainly no secret with people

who live on the Coast.

And now the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR) is launching a national and

international marketing campaign to promote the visibility of Mississippi seafood products.

Brian Gollott, president of C.F. Gollott & Son Seafood, D’Iberville, said that he’d like to see the DMR

marketing campaign follow the kind of success seen in Mississippi’s catfish industry.

“The promotion board from the catfish industry helped it grow tremendously,” Gollott said. “Catfish

are now sold all over the U.S. The same thing can happen for Mississippi Coast seafood. I just see it as

a big plus for the Mississippi Gulf Coast for our Department of Marine Resources to aggressively

promote the quality, fresh seafood that comes out of our area. It is great for our local businesses that

employ a lot of people in this industry that has a long tradition along the Gulf Coast.”

Gollott, the fourth generation member of his family to participate in the seafood business, said that the

program will promote all different types of seafood businesses along the Coast, regardless of their

product, with an overall positive impact on the area’s economy.

“We sell products all over the U.S., Hawaii and Canada,” Gollott said. “So when they promote

Mississippi seafood throughout the U.S., they aren’t just promoting our Mississippi products. It also

helps the local economy by creating more payroll.”

Recipe book now available

The DMR’s marketing campaign slogan, “Get Hooked on Mississippi Seafood,” will appear on all

publications and promotional materials associated with the program. Another major component of the

program is developing a directory of Mississippi’s seafood and seafood-related businesses, including

processors, wholesalers, distributors and seafood market suppliers. The directory will be distributed to

interested buyers and others at major seafood industry trade shows and other events.

The DMR has mailed out letters to 140 Coast seafood businesses informing them about the new

seafood marketing program and requesting information about their businesses to be included free of

charge in the directory. The agency is also in the process of developing additional pamphlets and

promotional items to support and market Mississippi seafood businesses. DMR recently published a

recipe book, “Seafood: South Mississippi Style,” as part of the marketing effort.

“Many coastal states such as Florida, Louisiana and Texas currently have substantial seafood

marketing programs,” said Irvin Jackson director of the seafood marketing program. “We feel this will

at least put us on the map and help support an important Mississippi resource. We also want to work

with our seafood businesses to determine marketing strategies that will best support them and enhance

the industry in Mississippi as a whole.”

Irvin said that the effort will support marketing of commercial fisheries products including shrimp,

oysters, crabs, red snapper, speckled trout, drums and others. He said the marketing effort is particularly

important considering the fact that the seafood industry is experiencing dramatic changes including

increased competition, changes in fishery quotas and new seafood quality standards.

The marketing plan is designed to help the small business, commercial seafood industries develop a

higher visibility to support marketing efforts. The DMR initiative will work towards developing a

collective identity to strengthen competitiveness for the state’s fishing industries.

Currently DMR is researching possibilities for obtaining federal grants to further the marketing effort,

and is considering membership in the National Fisheries Institute, a non-profit trade association.

Trade show also important

Another key component of the promotional effort will be the DMR’s exhibit at the International Boston

Seafood Show (IBSS) in March 2001, where it will distribute the Mississippi seafood suppliers’

directory and promote Mississippi seafood products. IBSS is the largest trade-only seafood show in

North America, and drew 14,000 participants at last year’s event. According to Diversified Business

Communications, the event’s organizer, 85% of those attending last year’s event found new products or

companies.

This is DMR’s first attempt to promote and support the commercial fishing-related industries. The

overall goals of the marketing initiative are:

• Improve the visibility of “Mississippi Commercial Fisheries Products” as a widely known symbol of

quality with prospective national and international customers.

• To collect data and produce information to support improved marketing.

• Coordinate and team with other agencies to enhance marketing.

• Coordinate and enhance opportunities for Mississippi commercial fishing industries to participate in

marketing events.

Contact MBJ staff writer Becky Gillette at mullein@datasync.com or (228) 872-3457.

About Becky Gillette

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