US seafood suppliers, organizations forge ahead with Boston plans

The Global Aquaculture Alliance and other companies and nonprofits involved in the seafood industry have rescheduled events originally planned for Seafood Expo North America to online meetings and webinars.

The GAA Stakeholder Update Meeting will take place as a webinar on 19 March at 11 a.m. EST. GAA board and committee meetings, which are closed to the public, will also be held online.

“Even though SENA has been postponed, we’re moving forward with these activities as scheduled because they’re critical to the success of our organization, and we owe it to our board members, committee members, and other stakeholders to keep them involved and informed of the good work that we’re doing in responsible aquaculture – even though travel has come to a halt in many parts of the world,” GAA Communications and Events Manager Steven Hedlund told SeafoodSource.

Still, trade shows and conferences “have been and will continue to be key to our communications and marketing strategy here at GAA,” Hedlund said.

Meanwhile, New Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.-based Blue Harvest, which was planning on launching a new line of Marine Stewardship Council-certified Atlantic sea scallops, Atlantic pollock (saithe), North Atlantic ocean perch (Acadian redfish), and haddock at the expo, is re-scheduling in-person meetings to virtual calls – among other efforts.

The company, which recently purchased 12 groundfish vessels formerly owned by Carlos Rafael, is “making every effort to be available to customers in whatever way is most convenient,” CEO Keith Decker told SeafoodSource. “We will conduct one-on-one virtual sales calls via telephone or video, one-on-one in-person sales calls at the customer location, or via meetings and plant tours at our SQF-certified,160,000-square-foot seafood processing facility on the New Bedford waterfront."

One of Blue Harvest’s goals for SENA was to let its customers know that its fleet “target some of the healthiest fish stocks in the country, from MSC-certified fisheries in Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine.”

“In targeting these fisheries, we are committing to be good stewards of our ocean resources while providing consumers with the sustainable, traceable seafood products that they are increasingly demanding,” Decker said.

Tavernier, Florida-based sales and consultant firm Candor Seafood rescheduled in-person meetings to virtual meetings. Candor is introducing customers to Stolt Sea Farm’s new frozen King Turbot fillets and portions, along with its new company: Candor Eco Packaging.

“For years, I’ve been complaining about styrofoam, plastic, and crappy expensive temp loggers. I felt like such a hypocrite: teaching companies how to be sustainable in their fishing, farming, and processing methods but turning a blind eye to the packaging and logistics methods. How can I say we care about the environment or that we are sustainable if I’m asking my partners to fly fish in styrofoam across the Atlantic and Pacific? No more!” Candor Founder Marcy Bemiller told SeafoodSource.

Prior to virtual meetings with customers, Candor is shipping them samples of the King Turbot as well as its new packaging. Candor is also participating in the “No Show Fish Show” marketing campaign, Bemiller said.

“This is the show where we plan our year, launch new products … and meet new people to expand our network,” Bemiller said. “After spending the fall and winter planning, we can’t just decide not to plant the seeds; otherwise, there will be no flowers in spring for us to pick in the summer." 

Photo courtesy of Blue Harvest


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