State develops new seafood certification program

BATON ROUGE (AP) — In a new effort to brand Louisiana seafood, the state has started a new certification program.

State officials say the Louisiana Certified Seafood Program is meant to make consumers think of Louisiana seafood in a "geographically-based" way, similar to the way consumers now think of Maine's lobsters and Idaho's potatoes.

The program seeks to certify that seafood is caught, landed and processed in Louisiana.

State officials say licensed commercial fishermen automatically qualify under the program and that dock owners, processors, grocers, dealers, restaurants and others selling seafood can participate in the program and get a certified permit.

"People are demanding transparency in the seafood industry, so we're giving it to them," Randy Pausina, of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said Thursday.