Extensive research conducted by international business students at The University of Southern found that questions still linger about the shrimp industry along the Mississippi Gulf Coast one year after the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Students in Dr. John Lambert’s MBA International Business class on the Gulf Park campus interviewed 30 businesses, including shrimpers, seafood wholesalers, seafood retailers, shrimp processors and restaurants. The 18 MBA students also surveyed more than 400 consumers, gaining their perspectives not only on loyalty to Gulf Coast shrimp, but also their acceptance of imported shrimp.
“These students did an excellent job reaching out into the business community,” said Lambert. “These students went on the front lines of the Gulf shrimp supply chain. “During the interview process, they came face-to-face with perspectives ranging from satisfaction to frustration.”
Lambert noted that three significant issues surfaced during the research project that took place in June and July.
MBA candidate Mark Lemaire of Lafayette, La., said discovering first-hand how the oil spill affected the Gulf Coast shrimp industry was both “eye-opening and sobering.”
“The depth and breadth of this study, one year after one of the worst manmade disasters in history, brought back all the importance that was emphasized during the height of last year’s disaster,” said Lemaire, who added that he will continue to eat seafood from the Gulf.