Aquaculture and Fisheries Technologies for Food and Health Educators, Seafood Professionals, and Communicators



An in-service seafood training program offered in three regional locations (East, West and Gulf Coasts) during 2014 and 2015

A successful U.S. seafood industry depends on economically sound fisheries and aquaculture operations that can supply the consumer with safe, wholesome and sustainable seafood products. There is concern that academic and government institutions have decreased the funding opportunities in research, education and outreach in seafood science and technology. There has been a gradual disinvestment over the past decade at several levels that will affect outreach activities in the U.S. and have an impact on U.S. competitiveness in both the domestic and international marketplace. While there were outstanding successes in the 1990s such as the development and implementation of seafood HACCP, which is now a model program for other food systems, there have been only disjointed attempts to develop training and education programs that can assist the industry, train a new generation of seafood professionals and help deliver a uniform message to the consumer. The need for seafood research, education and outreach is as great as ever, especially since fisheries and aquaculture represent more than $5 billion in economic benefits to the country. This project, supported by the National Sea Grant Program, will allow a core group of seafood educators from the University of Delaware, Oregon State University and Louisiana State University to develop materials that can be integrated into existing aquaculture and fisheries curriculum as well as related food science and professional programs. This information and course materials will serve as a basis for workshops that can be run by educators in different fields (food science, health, food systems, etc.) as well as seafood companies to maintain professional certification. This is especially critical today when students and professionals are showing renewed interest in food systems and related disciplines. A solid foundation for the development of these programs is best achieved by providing science-based information developed through a team effort and workshops that will allow us to test and refine materials. These materials can then be utilized as a solid foundation for a variety of educational programs at the consumer, professional and academic level.



* Gulf Coast Workshop (New Orleans, Louisiana April 20-23, 2015)


* Gulf Workshop Flyer * Workshop Program * Workshop Registration * Travel and Lodging * Project Team * Links * Online Resources *

* West Coast Workshop (Astoria, Oregon October 8-10, 2014) * East Coast Workshop (Lewes, Delaware April 7-10, 2014)

East Coast Workshop Video


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Gulf Coast Workshop (New Orleans) April 20-23, 2015


Location: Hotel Indigo New Orleans Garden District, 2203 St Charles Avenue New Orleans, Louisiana 70130


The Gulf Coast workshop in New Orleans, Louisiana is the third of three regional programs: East Coast: Lewes, Delaware April, 7-10, 2014; West Coast: Astoria Oregon October 8-10, 2014. Core topics and trainers for all three workshops are the same. Additional invited speakers are included in regional programs for their industry and technical expertise and to address local and regional issues. Tours highlight different types of seafood industry facilities in each region. Click here for the Gulf Coast workshop program.

Workshop goals: Workshop attendees receiving seafood quality and safety training will increase their technical knowledge and understanding of important global, national, regional and local issues and developments related to seafood safety and human health.


Who should attend: Food technologists, dieticians, nutritionists, extension agents (home economics, fisheries, aquaculture, seafood technology, food safety, etc.) and seafood industry professionals (seafood buyers, distributors, retail personnel, etc.) are the primary audience for this technical training program. However, journalists and anyone else with interest or involvement in the seafood industry is welcome to participate. Because of tour limitations and seafood handling and preparation logistics, registration will be limited to 35 attendees.


What you will learn: The workshops provide information on current issues, developments and trends for fishery and aquaculture industries and products. Program content covers technical aspects of seafood health and safety from water to table. Seafood products from wild caught and aquaculture sources are discussed from the following perspectives: nutrition, benefits and risks, food safety, quality and handling, harvest and production methods, processing, HACCP, sourcing, distribution and marketing. In addition to national issues, each program is also designed to address topics of regional and local interest. Formats include classroom lectures/seminars, local tours of facilities in support of aquaculture and fisheries industries.


Where: Hotel Indigo New Orleans Garden District, 2203 St Charles Avenue New Orleans Louisiana 70130. Note: The special workshop hotel rate expires on Tuesday March 24, 2015 and afterwards regular room rates will apply. See Travel and Lodging for additional details.

Registration Fee: $150 includes partial meals (3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, session breaks, welcome reception and seafood demonstration/dinner), tour transportation, and resource materials. Online registration is available at


Trainers: Doris Hicks and John Ewart, University of Delaware; Christina DeWitt and Michael Morrissey, Oregon State University; and Rusty Gaude, Louisiana State University.


For additional information about the upcoming workshop in New Orleans, contact Doris Hicks, Seafood Technology Specialist, University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service. Phone: (302) 645-4297; Fax: (302) 645-4213; E-Mail:




The New Orleans workshop registration fee of $150 includes partial meals (lunch, session breaks, and reception), tour transportation, and resource materials. Online registration for the workshop is available at




Project Team


Doris T. Hicks is the Seafood Technology Specialist with the Delaware Sea Grant Program. Hicks received her bachelor's degree in food science from Cook College, Rutgers University and her master's degree in food science and human nutrition from the University of Delaware. As seafood specialist since 1981 (32 years), for the University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service, Hicks works with both the seafood industry and consumers to develop educational programs about the proper way to handle, store, and prepare finfish and shellfish. Hicks has developed a variety of publications to help teach consumers about seafood nutrition and handling. Recently, she revised a brochure on seafood nutrition Seafood is Good for You. Hicks wrote Nutrition and Preparation, a chapter in The Seafood Industry: Species, Products, Processing, and Safety, 2012. Edited by L.A. Granata, G. J. Flick, and R. E. Martin, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


John W. Ewart is the Aquaculture & Fisheries extension specialist with the Delaware Sea Grant Program. Ewart received his bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Rhode Island and a master's degree in Marine Studies from the University of Delaware. His background includes work as a commercial fisherman, oceanographic technician, field biologist, research associate, laboratory technical coordinator, and international consultant. His professional interests include shellfish and finfish aquaculture; aquatic production systems/live transport; commercial and recreational fisheries; shellfish restoration and stock enhancement; water quality management; invasive species; technology transfer and training; aquaculture policy; and Information Technologies. As an aquaculture and fisheries specialist  with the University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service since 1992, Ewart works with Delaware private and public sector groups, and state extension programs in the northeast region to support and improve commercial and recreational fisheries and aquaculture industry development. He is an active member of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS), US Aquaculture Society (USAS), the National Shellfisheries Association (NSA), and currently serves as Treasurer for the East Coast Shellfish Research Institute (ECSRI).


Albert ‘Rusty’ Gaudé is an area fishery agent for the Louisiana Sea Grant Program and the Louisiana State University [LSU] AgCenter, domiciled in the New Orleans area. A native Orleanian, Rusty has three degrees from the University of Louisiana/Lafayette [ULL], serving as Assistant Professor and ULL Director of Crawfish Research during the 1980’s. Following a decade in commercial private aquaculture production and processing on three continents, he returned to the USA as two-term president of the Louisiana Catfish Farmers Association and Board member of Catfish Farmers of America. Rusty rejoined academia at LSU as manager of the Ben Hur Aquaculture Research Station and in 2001, engaged with Louisiana Sea Grant focusing on coastal fishery resources. With the sequence of climatic and anthropogenic events that have plummeted down on the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico, Rusty has been heavily involved with response and recovery work to restore normality to the marine fishery sector, receiving the National Sea Grant Outreach Award in 2006 for his work following Hurricane Katrina. Present activities are centered on enhancing profitability and quality in the seafood sector by interactions between harvest constituents and consumers. He is involved with marketing and value-added efforts in traditional and alternative fishery species in a program to supply local fishery products to local demand, thus curbing outsourcing America’s seafood.


Christina A. Mireles DeWitt graduated from Texas A&M University in 1989 with a B.S. in Food Science.  She spent two years as an undergraduate technician at Texas A&M’s Seafood Laboratory.  She completed her M.S. thesis “Complex mechanisms of chitosan and naturally occurring polyanions” and her doctoral thesis “Recovery and utilization of catheptic proteases from surimi wash water” at Oregon State University.  She spent 7 years working for commercial food testing laboratories, American Microbiological Services Incorporated and Silliker Laboratories.  Her last position at Silliker Laboratories was as Chemistry Operations Manager at the Dallas, Texas location.  She spent 11 years as a Food Chemist at Oklahoma State University in the department of Animal Sciences and was housed from 2008-2010 in the Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center.  She joined the faculty at Oregon State University in 2011 and currently serves as the Director of Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station in Astoria, Oregon and as an associate professor in the department of Food Science & Technology.  In this capacity, Dr. DeWitt’s current research is focused on improving seafood quality, safety and utilization. 


Michael T. Morrissey is a Professor of Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University and is currently the Director of the OSU Food Innovation Center in Portland, Oregon.  He was previously Director of the OSU Seafood Laboratory.  The Food Innovation Center is part of the College of Agriculture Experiment Stations and is unique in its urban location and its mission to promote agri-businesses and start-up food companies.  He has published more than ninety-five articles in food safety, health risk-benefits, quality, product development, fish species identification and by-product utilization.  He has been invited as a scientific lecturer by organizations in Mexico, Chile, Peru, Japan, Norway and others.  He served as a member of the external Advisory Board for SEAFOODplus, a multi-disciplinary project involving 17 European countries.  Dr. Morrissey has received the OSU Oldfield-Jackman Team Award (1996) for Pacific whiting research, the Earl P. McPhee Award (1999) for his contributions to seafood science and the Briskey Award for Faculty Excellence from the College of Agricultural Sciences at OSU (2004).  He was elected an IFT Fellow in (2003).


Invited Speakers

Jon Bell is the Division Chief at the National Seafood Inspection Laboratory (NSIL) in Pascagoula, Mississippi. His areas of expertise are Seafood Technology, and Seafood Safety & Quality. Jon received his Ph.D. in Food Science from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was formerly and Extension Professor at the LSU AgCenter Department of Food Science in New Orleans, Louisiana and extension faculty with the Louisiana Sea Grant Program

Steve Otwell is a Seafood Specialist Emeritus with the Florida Sea Grant Seafood HACCP program. National Coordinator for Seafood HACCP Alliance training and basic sanitation courses; Executive Director for Seafood Science and Technology Society of the Americas; Coordinate Annual Shrimp Schools for Processors and Agencies; extensive work with processing aids to prolong product shelf-life, yield and safety; member of National Academy of Sciences’ Seafood Safety Committee, EPA’s Committee on Mercury in Seafood, and the Association of Food & Drug Officials’ Seafood Technology Committee.

Joanne McNeely Zaritsky is the Seafood Marketing Coordinator for the Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc. Joanne received a Master of Business Administration degree from Florida State University. She was on the Florida State University MBA Alumni Advisory Committee, a member of the National Fisheries Institute and Florida Public Relations Association. Under her direction, the Bureau won the Advertising Federation gold and silver Addy Awards and Image Awards from the Public Relations Association. Joanne received the Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation's Distinguished Service Award, Southeastern Fisheries Association's Aylesworth Award and Organized Fishermen of Florida Certification of Appreciation Award. The Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc. is a private, non-profit Foundation that works with business, academia, and state and federal governments to enable the commercial fishing industry to better serve consumers.

Thomas Hymel is a Fisheries, and Seafood Direct Marketing Specialist with the Louisiana Sea Grant Program. His work is currently focused on developing direct market opportunities for Louisiana seafood industry participants. His LSU AgCenter/Sea Grant team has created the Louisiana Direct Seafood Marketing program with regional projects in the New Orleans area, Lafourche/Terrebonne parishes, Delcambre and Cameron.

Julie A. Lively is the Fisheries Extension Specialist and an Assistant Professor of Fisheries with Louisiana Sea Grant and LSU AgCenter.  Lively received her bachelor’s degree from Truman State University and a doctorate from the University of Delaware.  She started with Sea Grant and LSU in 2010 as an extension and research professor.  Lively’s research focuses on blue crab and other invertebrate fishery species.  As an extension specialist, Lively works with the commercial fishing sector and management groups to improve fisheries.  She is a science advisor to the Louisiana Crab Task Force and the vice chairman of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission Sea Grant panel. 

Ewell Smith is a former Interim Executive Director of the Gulf Seafood Institute and a former Executive Director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. During his 13 year tenure with the Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, Smith led market development, promotional activities and educational outreach for all of Louisiana’s seafood products. He was instrumental in establishing marketing events giving Louisiana seafood worldwide exposure. Such events as the Great American Seafood Cook Off seen on PBS and Food Network, the Louisiana Seafood Cook Off, the Oyster Eating Challenge, the Louisiana Seafood Festival and signature po-boy builds at the Super Bowl to the White House have garnered billions of media impressions during his tenure.

Poppy Tooker is a native New Orleanian who has spent her life immersed in the vibrant colors and flavors of her hometown. She is an acclaimed food journalist, author, producer and host of Louisiana eats!, a weekly program on National Public Radio. Poppy also contributes colorful food commentary on WYES, the New Orleans PBS affiliate's weekly arts and entertainment show, Steppin' Out. Poppy’s latest literary achievement is Tujague's Cookbook: Creole Recipes and Lore in the New Orleans Grand Tradition. Tujague’s is the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans continues today its tradition of serving excellent, fresh Creole cuisine in the heart of the French Quarter. This mouthwatering cookbook offers a history of the beloved establishment, food and beverage recipes from the 1850s to today, and historical and food photographs.

John Supan – is a professor with Louisiana State University and extension faculty with the Louisiana Sea Grant Program. He is the Director of the Sea Grant Oyster Hatchery in Grand Isle, Louisiana and is a member of the Louisiana Oyster Dealers & Growers Association. His technical background includes oyster research, oyster culture & economics, polyploidy and selective breeding, clam culture, and hydroacoustic evaluation of oyster grounds & management

Harlon Pierce is Chairman of the Gulf Seafood Institute, and owner of Harlon's LA Fish LLC. Pearce has been involved in the seafood industry for over forty years. After attending Southeastern Louisiana College and Loyola Law School, he returned to his passion. And since then, he’s been an advocate of developing viable industries that correctly utilize the abundant natural resources of the State of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. To that end, Pearce has been a guest speaker at countless businesses and colleges across the state, served on numerous state and local committees, and maintains membership on many of the state’s most important environmental boards (including the Mariculture Task Force for the State of Louisiana, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, the Joint Natural Resources Seafood Task Force, and the Louisiana Seafood Industry Advisory Board). Pearce has worked tirelessly in his position as Co-chair of the Louisiana Fishing Community Recovery Coalition since Hurricane Katrina to secure aide and funding for restoration of the seafood industry, and its fishermen, in the state of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. And most recently, Pearce has been involved in all aspects of recovery after the 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill. He has worked tirelessly to preserve the wonderful natural resources of the State of Louisiana; the environment, the seafood, the destination and its people.

John Fallon is the Assistant Director of Outreach and Engagement for Audubon Nature Institute’s sustainable seafood program, Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.). John has been an employee of Audubon for the past six years, first working in the Aquarium’s Husbandry Department where he cultivated his knowledge of local aquatic species and gained an appreciation for the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico. His passion for conservation led him to become a founding member of the Aquarium Conservation Committee, the group that spearheaded the development of the Audubon G.U.L.F. program. In August 2012, John became the Coordinator for Audubon G.U.L.F., and this past year rose to the level of Assistant Director, focusing on spreading the message of Gulf seafood sustainability through engaging community partners, chefs and restaurants, and consumers throughout the Gulf Coast and beyond.

Gaye Sandoz is director of the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator. Sandoz spends her days helping budding entrepreneurs establish and develop their emerging food ventures, including bringing products to market. The incubator helps companies survive and grow during the startup period by providing business support, services and resources. In addition to having access to the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator's staff and shared-use processing area and kitchen, clients also have access to LSU's Food Science Department.

Rex Caffey is director of the LSU Center for Natural Resource Economics and Policy (CNREP) and a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness. Dr. Caffey is involved in research and extension on a variety of topics, including natural resource economics, fisheries and wetland policy coastal and wetland resource extension programming for the LSU AgCenter and the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program. His areas of expertise include wetlands and coastal resource economics; fisheries; coastal development; ecotourism; habitat loss; decision, risk and management science; and economics.



National Sea Grant Program

University of Delaware

            College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment      

            Delaware Sea Grant Program

            Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service

Oregon State University

            Seafood Research & Education Center

            OSU Food Innovation Center

            Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station

Louisiana State University 

                     Louisiana Sea Grant 

            LSU AgCenter Department of Food Science


Travel and Lodging


Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and Ground Transportation


Hotel Indigo Reservations

The Hotel Indigo has rooms available at a special workshop rate from April 20 to 24, 2015 (Use Group Code: AFT) for $139.00 per night (single or double occupancy) Tax: 14.75% per night and 1.00 USD. This special rate expires on Tuesday March 24, 2015 and afterwards regular room rates will apply. Note that the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival opens on April 24th and hotel rooms are in high demand. Please book early with the Indigo Hotel directly online or call 1-877-846-3446 for reservations.


New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival April 24 – May 3, 2015


Guides to Dining, Activities and Entertainment






* Gulf Workshop Flyer * Workshop Program * Workshop Registration * Travel and Lodging * Project Team * Links * Online Resources *

* West Coast Workshop (Astoria, Oregon October 8-10, 2014) * East Coast Workshop (Lewes, Delaware April 7-10, 2014) *


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