Our Story

Since 1892, Bon Secour Fisheries has provided the right product, at the right time and at the right price to wholesale and retail customers along the Gulf Coast and across the United States.

Our story began in the early 1890s when Danish immigrant Frank Nelson established a small, family-run oyster harvesting and packing operation. He specialized in sourcing and delivering fresh oysters to Mobile from his, and other, oyster-growing operations in the Bon Secour area. Exceptional customer service and attention to detail made his endeavor successful.

Frank’s son, John A. Nelson, worked alongside him, and in the 1920s, the two began to catch shrimp to add to their seafood offerings. Like Frank, John A. supported his family with his dedication to the growing business. His son, John Ray Nelson, took control of the operation after World War II. As shrimp began to be produced from offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, the business expanded rapidly with growing demand for that premium quality product. By the early 1960s, Nelson’s Brand oysters and Bon Secour brand shrimp had found their way to markets across the nation.

Today, the family tradition of unmatched customer service, steadfast integrity, and commitment to innovation in delivering the highest quality products continue. This foundation has propelled what began as a small, family operation to become a major supplier of fresh and frozen seafood throughout the Southeastern U.S.

A fourth generation is now operating the business—John Ray’s three sons. The eldest son, John Andrew, served as President of the corporation for over fifteen years until his retirement in June of 2022. Two Nelson brothers remain, David and Chris. With Chris as President of Bon Secour Fisheries and David as Executive Vice President, Bon Secour Fisheries will stay the course of an innovative seafood supplier while grounded in the fundamental values on which they’ve built for more than a century.



Bon Secour Fisheries - The Nelsons
Mary Etta - Bon Secour Fisheries
John Ray Nelson - Bon Secour
Bon Secour Oysters - John Ray
John Ray - Bon Secour Fisheries