Release Date: 05/01/2007

WHO:  Pete and Clara Gerica, longtime Louisiana residents and a commercial fishing family, lost both home and business to Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Bill Hogarth, director of the National Marine Fisheries Service, will lead a group of fishery scientists from coast to coast in a volunteer effort to restore seafood processing capability.

WHAT: The group will construct a new crab-shedding system for the Gerica family, replacing the one lost in the storm. This effort is part of a larger Crab Shed project directed by LSU Sea Grant.

WHY: Crab-shedding systems are key to producing soft-shell crabs, but every system east of the Mississippi River was destroyed by hurricane Katrina.

Experienced fishermen know when crabs are ready to shed. They harvest the crabs and place them in shedding tanks until molting occurs. The crabs are then refrigerated and sold as soft-shells.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Pete Gerica's property in New Orleans East
19761 Chef Menteur Highway
New Orleans, LA

For more information, contact Sara Ann Harris at 504-283-8292.