2011 National Seafood Month

A handful of restaurant chains — along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service — are aggressively promoting fish for October’s National Seafood Month.

Captain D’s, which operates more than 550 fast-casual seafood restaurants, mostly in the Southeast, invites guests to “Celebrate National Seafood Month with D’s,” with a coupon for USD 5.95 for its Deluxe Seafood Platter. The meal includes two batter-dipped fish fillets, four breaded shrimp, two seafood-stuffed crab shells, hush puppies and a choice of two sides.

Tampa, Fla.-based Bonefish Grill, a casual seafood outfit with more than 150 restaurants nationwide, is offering prix-fixe dinners for two for USD 20 per person through the end of October. Guests can choose from two appetizers, two salads and three signature entrées: Gulf shrimp, scallops and salmon.

NOAA is also getting in on the act, promoting seafood — particularly sustainable seafood — on its website and through social media throughout October. “Fishing, in all its forms, is a USD 72 billion per year business in the United States, and that business is vital to the economies and identities of our coastal communities. At the same time, U.S. fishermen and local economics are struggling in large part as a result of years of decline in fishing,” NOAA said on its website.

NOAA also features sustainable seafood success stories from restaurant Local Ocean Seafood in Newport, Ore.; Matunuck Oyster Farm in Matunuck, R.I.; and crabbers Mark and Penny Hopper from Smyrna, N.C.

Meanwhile, Icelandic USA, a Newport News, Va.-based seafood suppliers, is providing its restaurant partners with promotional materials featuring a new branded logo designed for National Seafood Month. The supplier is also running a special “Down by the Sea” campaign for its distributor partners, to earn special gift items.

“We know that consumers prefer to eat seafood in a restaurant rather than prepare at home, so National Seafood Month is an ideal time for operators to focus on seafood outside of the traditional Lenten season. Consumers are also looking for more healthy alternatives, and seafood is the smart choice,” said Jim Papadakis, director of marketing for Icelandic USA.

Some retailers are also running specials for National Seafood Month. For example, Certified Steak & Seafood in Jacksonville, Fla., is offering 50 percent off on all of its seafood in October. Giant Eagle supermarkets in Pittsburgh are also offering “extended price reductions” on seafood from Alaska and the Gulf of Maine throughout October.

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