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The American Shrimp Processors Association Joined Chef Scott Varnedoe at Mystick Krewe Louisiana Seafood Celebration in Washington, DC

BILOXI, Miss., Jan. 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Members of the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) recently joined award-winning Chef Scott Varnedoe of Restaurant IPO in Baton Rouge, La. at the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians seafood celebration in Washington, D.C.

This event is known for bringing Mardi Gras to the United States capital with an annual Carnival Ball and celebration. "We are thankful to have been a part of this one-of-a-kind event and for the opportunity to gain exposure for Wild American shrimp," said David Veal, Ph.D., executive director of ASPA.

Involved in the planning for this Mardi Gras celebration, Chef Varnedoe said, "It just made sense to work with ASPA to prepare some great Wild American shrimp for the event," said Varnedoe. "The shrimping industry is a vital component of our economic makeup, and this is a great opportunity for them to promote what they do on a national level." Chef Varnedoe also serves as a chef advocate for the organization and the use of Wild American shrimp.

ASPA, whose membership accounts for the vast majority of domestic, U.S. production of warm-water shrimp from Gulf and South Atlantic waters, serves as the collective voice for the American shrimp industry. The primary focus of ASPA is to promote the interests of the shrimp processors, other segments of the U.S. domestic wild-caught warm water shrimp industry and the general public.

While in D.C., Veal; ASPA leaders; Alan Gibson, chairman for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board who is also an ASPA member processor; and Karen Profita, executive director for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board met with key lawmakers to discuss the current state of the wild-caught shrimping industry.

Lawmakers included: Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee; Sen. David Vitter (R-LA); Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS); Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA); Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA); Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA); Rep. Stephen Palazzo (R-MS); Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA); Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.); and Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX).

Currently, an estimated 90% of the shrimp consumed in the U.S. are imported, farm-raised shrimp. The premium shrimp harvested by ASPA members are only about 10% of the total. Veal stated, "More and more consumers seem to prefer domestic U.S. shrimp product; however, most people who walk into a restaurant or grocery store to buy shrimp simply believe they are getting a domestic product. That is not always the case."

About the American Shrimp Processors Association: The American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA), based in Biloxi, Mississippi, was formed in 1964 to represent and promote the interests of the domestic, U.S. wild-caught, warm water shrimp processing industry along the Gulf and South Atlantic with members from Texas to North Carolina. We are the collective voice of the industry, and our focus is to promote the interests of shrimp processors, other segments of the U.S. domestic wild-caught warm water shrimp industry and the general public. More information is available at http://www.americanshrimp.com.

CONTACT: Media Contact: David Veal, Executive Director director@americanshrimp.com (228) 806-9600

Source:American Shrimp Processors Association