Alaska Symphony of Seafood rescheduled to 2021
The Alaska Symphony of Seafood, scheduled to be held this November, has been postponed until spring 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release from the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF), which organizes the event.
The program has been hosted since 1994 and allows Alaskan value-added seafood products to compete against each other, which “encourages companies to invest in product development, helps them promote those new products and competitively positions Alaska Seafood in national and global markets.” A call for products will be reissued early next year.
According to the AFDF, “there are still far too many uncertainties about the impact that COVID-19 will have on travel and mass gatherings this November in Seattle.”
“After AFDF polled industry partners and participants, it became evident that COVID-19 has and will continue to hinder much of industry’s ability to produce new value-added products or participate in the Symphony within such close proximity to the peak of the pandemic, whether in-person or virtual. Without healthy participation by industry, the benefits of an in-person or virtual event are limiting,” the AFDF added.
However, the group made it clear that there will be alternative ways to support the industry.
“AFDF will explore exciting opportunities to hold virtual events throughout the year, celebrating past Symphony winners along with new value-added products made from Alaska Seafood,” the organization wrote, noting that it would continue to monitor the pandemic and issue monthly updates.
The next season will see the program expanded to include salmon and whitefish product categories for the first time, awards will be extended to more participants, and the symphony will be newly sponsored by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA). The BBRSDA has agreed to a three-year partnership with the program. Additional sponsors include the Marine Stewardship Council, Alaska Airlines, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, and Trident Seafoods.