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
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
Contact MBJ staff writer Becky Gillette at firstname.lastname@example.org or (228) 872-3457.