It's been a long voyage to recovery for Alabama's seafood industry, which was battered by Hurricane Katrina and then stunted by the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Now that the industry is back on course, there could be new opportunities on the horizon.
State seafood workers predict a strong shrimp season as the problems of recent years ebb, and Alabama agriculture officials want to make sure they take advantage of every market.
"The seafood industry took a big hit with Katrina," said Brett Hall of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. "Now they've come back stronger than ever, and foreign markets - especially Europe - can offer them a great opportunity to sell product."
Those are untested waters for most state seafood businesses.
Bon Secour Fisheries in Baldwin County has been around since the 1800s and handles oysters, fish and shrimp. But it doesn't export any of its products.
"When someone asks me for a delivered price in China, I'm pretty much at a loss," said vice president Chris Nelson. "It's an area of keen interest to us, but we haven't developed the expertise. It's a tricky business."
A conference that kicks off today in Birmingham could help.
More than 100 business officials signed up to learn more about how to make headway overseas at the "Trading With the World" event. Hall said it will "take people by the hand" and teach them how to establish a presence for their product outside of the United States, while also getting them in touch with people who can help with connections or even funding.