|More than 160 people participated in the Fisheries Fun Run, a special event hosted by Louisiana’s Office of the Lt. Governor to benefit OBI’s crab fisherman project.
BATON ROUGE, La. – Some ran, some walked, some cheered from the sidelines. But all had gathered with one purpose in mind—to help the fishing families of Louisiana.
Donate now to help crab fisherman!
On a Sunday afternoon in downtown Baton Rouge, nearly 200 people came together for a Fisheries Fun Run, a 2 mile run/walk fundraiser sponsored by Louisiana’s Office of the Lt. Governor to benefit Operation Blessing’s crab fisherman project.
In the aftermath of this year’s Gulf Coast oil spill, the U.S. government declared a "fishery disaster" in Louisiana, whose $2.4 billion seafood industry supplies roughly 40 percent of the domestic seafood supply.
The oil spill was just the latest in a string of disasters for Louisiana’s fishing families, many of whom are still struggling to recover from the impact of Hurricane Katrina.
|OBI is providing crab fishermen with tanks like these to reserve certain hard-shell crabs just before they shed so they can then be sold as soft-shell crabs.
“We wondered what we might be able to do to help these fishing families, so I called my friend who is with the LSU AgCenter and he told me about a program they implemented after Katrina where they put crabbing families into the soft-shell shedding business,” said OBI President Bill Horan.
To date, Operation Blessing has sponsored 25 crab shedding systems for fishing families in Louisiana. The systems, developed by Louisiana Sea Grant and implemented by LSU AgCenter, enable crab fishermen to reserve certain hard-shell crabs just before they shed and keep them in holding tanks until they shed and can be sold as soft-shell crabs.
Because soft-shell crabs sell for more than twice as much as hard-shell crabs, each set is expected to increase a family’s income by approximately $14,000 annually.
In an effort to help Operation Blessing sponsor more families in need, Louisiana’s Office of the Lt. Governor stepped in to host a special one-day event to raise funds for more shedding systems.
“We want to make sure that these families will have what they need to overcome the mental challenges and the economic challenges they face to get our seafood business back running at full speed,” said Lt. Governor Scott Angelle.
“In spite of 150 days of news stories, in spite of all the negative pictures on the news…our seafood remains a quality brand in the nation. We’ve got a story to tell and today is one way that we can help ourselves by joining around the campfire and helping the families of Louisiana,” Angelle added.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
This microenterprise venture is one of many Operation Blessing projects touching lives around the world. You can be a part of improving the quality of life for impoverished communities by supporting these and other life-changing programs.
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