Russell Miget, Ph.D.
Seafood Business SpecialistNueces County
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
NRC 2800 –Unit 5840
6300 Ocean Drive
Corpus Christi, Texas, 78412-5840
Organization: Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Dr. Russ Miget focuses on marine and coastal environments, seafood safety, nonpoint source pollution, fisheries management and algal blooms.
He makes presentations on the health aspects of seafood, typically paired with cooking demonstrations, and educates seafood department managers at several major grocery chains, covering a variety of topics including the health benefits, preparation and cooking of seafood. With more consumers concerned about whether they are buying something that was caught in an environmentally friendly manner, he often provides answers to questions about sustainability.
Safe handling is a major aspect of Miget’s program as well. “Seafood is handled differently from beef and chicken. It is often not prepackaged and more handling is involved.” He and several colleagues literally wrote the book on the subject, Improving the Performance of Full-Service Retail Seafood Departments (in English). He also has worked with other Texas Sea Grant personnel to determine the best handling procedures during shrimp harvesting to ensure the highest quality product and help fishermen better compete in the marketplace, published a review of research about the unique flavors in wild-caught shrimp, and was part of the team that received a Superior Service Award from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in 2012 for their work to help the Gulf shrimp industry become eligible for and complete the training necessary to receive Trade Adjustment Assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Miget also provides training on a seafood safety program called Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, or HACCP. Unlike earlier food inspection programs, which pulled a certain number of products off the end of a production line and tested them in the lab, HACCP evaluates the process to identify where problems might occur. For example, if a company cooks shrimp, the HACCP process determines the specific cooking temperature and period of time needed to kill potential pathogens. Then processors simply monitor that time and temperature and pull a few samples to verify everything is working properly. In addition to providing training, Miget helps processors revise HACCP plans whenever they alter processing operations.
To promote seafood sustainability, Miget tries to sort out the facts and pass on accurate information. “Probably 99 percent of what we’re selling in Texas is sustainable. Years of data show that we are not overfishing shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico,” he notes. “There are some concerns about imported products, though, where you might not have same regulations.”
Miget holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from Florida State University.