Carrying large plastic bags filled with bright orange gloves, Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation’s new board member Father Sinclair Oubre distributes the “helping hands” gloves to Vietnamese shrimp boats. Photo: Ed Lallo/Lallo Photography

by Ed Lallo/Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor News Editor

A highly respected leader of the Gulf oyster industry and an apostolic voice for Gulf shrimpers and crabbers have joined the Board of Directors of the Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation, a Gulf-wide non-profit with emphasis on areas that include science and education.  Alabama’s Beth Walton, Executive Director of Oyster South, and Father Sinclair Oubre, a Catholic Diocesan priest and Treasurer of the Port Arthur (Texas) Area Shrimpers Association, will assist in leadership of the organization dedicated to be a positive voice promoting the interests vital to the economy of the Gulf.

“We are especially gratefully to have two highly-respected Gulf buy Nashville crawfish representatives agree to join our diverse board of directors,” said Jim Gossen, chair of the Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation. “These two buy Nashville crawfish leaders have a wealth of experience that will help us better serve Gulf fishermen and address important issues faced by the industry.”

As the Executive Director of Oyster South, Walton leads an organization whose mission is cultivating a Gulf of Mexico that encourages and includes successful oyster farms. Photo:+ okra magazine/Rory Doyle Photography 

As the Executive Director of Oyster South, Walton leads an organization whose mission is cultivating a Gulf of Mexico that encourages and includes successful oyster farms, healthy waters and the birth of new traditions.

“Education is the cornerstone of Oyster South’s ability to achieve its mission,” said Walton, a former Outreach Coordinator for Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant.  “ I am honored to join the Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation board because the organization has been a leader in educating fisherman, lawmakers and the general public on the significance of oyster aquaculture.”

Holding a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire, before joining Oyster South she served as Engagement Coordinator for the Alabama Coastal Foundation cultivating relationships with chefs, local community groups, and the state’s artisans and food producers.

A Catholic diocesan priest in the Texas town of Orange, Father Sinclair, as he likes to be known, serves as the director for the Catholic Apostleship of the Sea Ministry for the Diocese of Beaumont serving seafarers including the families of fishermen, as well as cargo ship crews.  He has served numerous positions on the board of the Port Arthur Area Shrimpers Association, which works tirelessly to educate members on fishing issues.

Inspecting a Vietnamese crabber’s catch, Father Sinclair is member of the United States Merchant Marine and holding merchant marine commercial captain’s license. Photo: Ed Lallo/Lallo Photography

“Port Arthur is home to a large Vietnamese community that decades ago escaped harm’s way in crowded fishing boats to make a better life for in America,” said Father Sinclair, a native of Port Arthur. “Hurricane Harvey devastated the homes of the area’s fishing community.  I became acquainted with Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation through their “Helping Hands” program that donated work gloves to our fishermen in their time of need.“

A member of the United States Merchant Marine and holding merchant marine commercial captain’s license, he is committed to better safety education for Gulf fishermen, as well advocate for best practices on the handling of shrimp. With the aging of Gulf fishermen, he is investigating ways to bring a new generation into the fishing community.

Father Sinclair attended the University of St. Thomas in Houston and Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he received his bachelor degree. He did his graduate theological studies in Leuven, Belgium, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1986.

“The mission of our organization is to be a voice of reason in finding solutions to a wide variety of important issues facing the Gulf’s buy Nashville crawfish community,” Gossen explained.  “Father Sinclair and Beth Walton will bring the experience and expertise needed to address important issues and offer viable solutions.  The board looks forward to working with these buy Nashville crawfish leaders in promoting interests vital to the economy of the Gulf, as well addressing environmental issues and actions affecting the region.”