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Editor's Note: Taking care of our own

Fiona Robinson
Fiona Robinson
October 01, 2005

In times of crisis, the seafood industry takes care of its own. Within a few days of Hurricane Katrina’s making landfall in the Gulf, organizations across the country had established relief efforts to help fishermen and processors.

SeaShare started coordinating industry-relief efforts in the form of product, freight, cold storage, packaging and monetary donations. The Fishermen’s Relief Fund, organized by the Fish for the Future Foundation, was established to provide aid directly to fishing, processing and related industries in the affected areas. These are just a couple of the relief efforts supporting fishermen and processors in the Gulf (for more information on Katrina assistance, see the Top Story sidebar on page 28).

SeaFood Business, in partnership with the National Fisheries Institute, established the Gulf Coast Message Board at www.seafoodbusiness.com/gulfcoast. Early posts on the bulletin board were by people looking for commercial fishermen and processors who were still missing. A few weeks later, posts turned to information-swapping about Gulf Coast companies that were back in business. Some offered processors technical assistance with onsite housing for workers who had no homes to return to. Information is still being posted to the board to support fishermen and processors in the region.

The devastation and trauma created by weather-related events such as Katrina and the Southeast Asia tsunami or man-made events like 9/11 are overwhelming. Those not directly affected by catastrophe forget the pain and suffering the survivors endure. But many Katrina survivors are still living day-to-day, their homes and livelihoods destroyed. It will be a long time until the infrastructure is reestablished to support fishermen and seafood processors.

The relief efforts in the coming months may not be limited to helping the folks in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. As this issue went to the printer, Hurricane Rita had whipped by Key West, Fla., and upgraded to a Category-5 storm headed for Texas. If your company hasn’t already donated money or goods to the relief effort, now is the time to help your friends in the industry. There may come a time when that favor will be returned.

October 2005 - SeaFood Business 

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