Seafood industry insiders are in Anchorage this week for an update from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute on its progress in promoting wild Alaska seafood to international markets, food service and retail outlets.
ASMI board members will get reports today from operational committees working to increase sales in all three areas.
During presentations Oct. 29 at the Captain Cook Hotel in downtown Anchorage, several ASMI presenters emphasized the use of social media and high-tech websites and programs used to spread their message to millions of people worldwide.
ASMI”s Alexa Tonkovich presented a slide show on a broad range of efforts the agency is using to increase demand for wild Alaska seafood from Europe to Asia to South America. Tonkovich spoke of collaborating with cooking specialists and chefs to develop a fish burger appealing to Asian consumers, online promotions with leading retailers in China and a variety of promotional campaigns employed in cooperation with seafood businesses from Europe to Asia to Brazil.
Randy Rice, who is ASMI’s seafood technical director, noted that Europe is still the big battleground for discussions on sustainability certification issues.
“There is a need to put a lot of information up on the website,” Rice said. “One of the great issues in the sustainability debate is transparency, and the need to meet that transparency… head on, particularly with the chain of custody interest,” he said.
To that end, ASMI is posting news releases as each participating company complies at a new level in meeting ASMI’s regulations for responsible fisheries management, he said.
“Everyone wants certification to be simple and it’s not,” he said. “It’s challenging to communicate something very complex and technical in a simple format.”