Harlon Pearce: La. Seafood is More Than a Business

As a young man, Harlon Pearce made a purposeful decision – he dropped out of law school to embrace his passion, Louisiana’s seafood industry.

Pearce has been in the seafood distribution business in New Orleans for more than four decades years, and likes to say that fishermen, chefs, restaurateurs and everyone else in his business are “attached at the hip, they just don’t know it” … because seafood is so important to the U.S. food supply and way of life.

Harlon Pearce, Chairman of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, at the Lake Pontchartrain Bucktown commercial marina.

As Chairman of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, he is the ambassador for Louisiana seafood around the globe.

Ever since the disastrous oil spill hit sections of Louisiana’s famed fishing, shrimp and oyster areas, Pearce has worked tirelessly to coordinate between the fishing industry and marine/environmental experts to make certain that seafood brought to shore continues to be safe. It’s an around-the-clock job because, Pearce says, Louisiana seafood is not only a vital business, it’s a way of life.

Pearce points out that, today, Louisiana seafood is more inspected than ever before, and the safest it has ever been as a result of concern that supplies remain fresh and abundant for consumers.

As the industry’s point person during the current situation in the Gulf, he says southern Louisiana’s fishermen have never been more dedicated to their business, heritage and culture.