U.S. seafood trade steps up to help Japan
U.S. seafood vendors and restaurants are quickly stepping up to help raise money for the victims and fishing communities damaged in the Japan earthquake and tsunami.
One of the biggest efforts is coming from the Alaska Fishing Industry Relief Mission (AFIRM), in Juneau, which was formed to aid the fishing communities in the Gulf of Mexico impacted by the BP oil spill.
“We know several of the Japanese companies that operate over there, and they have all initiated internal fundraising programs as well. We are hoping that people who participate in this industry are going to be interested in contributing to AFIRM,” said Larry Cotter, chairman of AFIRM.
AFIRM, an all-volunteer organization that sends 100 percent of its donations to the fishing communities in Japan, has already contributed USD 20,000 to the cause. AFIRM officials are asking other companies and individual who would like to donate, to visit www.AKJapanHelp.org or call 907-586-2820.
Meanwhile, global seafood companies have initiated fundraising campaigns to aid fishermen and their families in Japan. Redmond, Wash.-based UniSea, owned by Nippon Suisan Kaisha in Japan – one of the largest global seafood companies — and Trident Seafoods of Seattle have both implemented employee fundraising matching programs, according to Cotter.
Meanwhile, restaurants that serve seafood are also getting involved with fund-raising. Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay, Calif., is donating 20 percent of its sales on 1 April to the American National Red Cross relief fund. In addition, 50 percent of any additional funds that guests contribute at Sam’s to the relief efforts during that day will be matched in gift certificates to Sam’s Chowder House.
Hooters of America LLC is raising funds for tsunami relief and Hooters Community Endowment Fund at its 435 restaurants worldwide. Hooters of America LLC will match the funds raised and Longwood, Fla.-based regional sushi chain Bayridge Sushi donated 100 percent of the profits from its restaurants to the American Red Cross on 29 March.