Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to receive millions in CARES Act funding
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) will receive USD 3 million (EUR 2.5 million) in CARES Act funding to help cover additional costs precipitated by COVID-19, money that should help the organization rework pandemic-era marketing strategies.
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy recently announced the allocation to ASMI, Alaska’s largest marketing association for seafood.
“Alaska’s seafood industry is a strong pillar of our economy and my administration is committed to supporting ASMI’s urgent and substantial need following unplanned industry-wide COVID-19 costs,” Dunleavy said.
A partnership between public and private enterprises, ASMI was established to maximize the economic value of Alaska’s seafood industry. Through partnerships in the retail and foodservice sectors, among others, ASMI advocates for Alaska seafood from harvest to consumer. The pandemic food service shutdown, however, forced ASMI to restructure its marketing efforts on the fly.
“The CARES funding to ASMI is critical to cover the additional expenses incurred when the marketing focus had to shift, literally overnight, due to the effects and response to COVID-19 in order to retain the value of Alaska’s global brand. This grant will help preserve Alaska seafood’s strong and highly sought-after position in the world marketplace,” ASMI Executive Director Jeremy Woodrow said.
Congress and Alaska Legislature previously authorized CARES Act funding for the Alaska seafood industry late last year, but that money was set to run out at the end of June. A news release from Dunleavy’s office said more CARES Act distributions will be announced soon.
“No one does seafood like the Last Frontier, with its world-class stocks of fresh, nutritious, and wild protein. Our fleets have weathered the storm of COVID, now it’s time to keep delivering a piece of Alaska on a dish around the globe,” Dunleavy added.
According to recent statistics provided by ASMI, Alaska produces between five and six billion pounds of wild caught seafood annually, with an average first wholesale value of around USD 4.7 billion (EUR 4 billion). The industry directly employees over 60,000 people while exporting some 2.2 billion pounds of fish a year.