New Orleans, La. – GNO President Michael Hecht says the third and final segment of the report done over the past year looks at how the public in the region and across the country perceives Gulf seafood. It also gauges the climate for doing business in the New Orleans region since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hecht says there are concerns nationally about the safety of Gulf seafood, but the region itself scores well for business in general.
GNO will be promoting the region's reputation it found scores highly for having a steely resolve in the face of catastrophe.
"That's how we're trying to, as we say, make lemonade out of oily water."
He says the Gulf region could promote what it's learned about handling natural and man-made disasters.
"What we're looking to do from a business development standpoint is take our brand, which is now inextricably linked to big events, take our experience - one would argue that we're getting to be one of the best in the world at dealing with them - then look at global trends and begin to develop the products, technologies, intellectual property and export it around the rest of the world."
Hecht says it may take years to see the environmental damage done by the oil spill to marine life. And it's also too soon to tally the economic consequences. He says GNO will continue to press for a faster resumption of oil and gas drilling, while also promoting the region's rich cultural heritage.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming.