Thursday, September 3, 2020

Pandemic Drives Pacific Marine Expo, ComFish Alaska to Online Only

Two major Pacific Northwest commercial fisheries events will be a digital experience only in 2020. Organizers for both events have made the switch due to the ongoing health and safety issues presented by the global novel coronavirus pandemic.

The international media firm Diversified Communications, in Portland, Maine, organizer of Pacific Marine Expo, announced this week that it has become necessary to cancel its trade show and forums set for December in Seattle and launch Expo Online. The digital experience will be several days of free streaming educational content and special events, discussions and a comprehensive supplier guide in lieu of an exhibit floor.

More details regarding Expo Online are to be made available in coming weeks. Meanwhile direct questions to

Meanwhile in Kodiak, Alaska, the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce will mark the 40th year of ComFish Alaska with virtual forums and no trade show, an effort to keep all the usual participants safe from the COVID-19 virus. Chamber officials also said the state’s longest running commercial fisheries forum and trade show, now in its 40th year would go on without the trade show this year.

All forums are to be livestreamed on both ComFish and Kodiak Chamber of Commerce Facebook pages, YouTube accounts and All forums will also be recorded and available for viewing until ComFish Alaska 41, in the spring of 2021.

A complete schedule of forums, including a virtual debate between U.S. Senate candidates Dan Sullivan, the Republican incumbent, and challenger Dr. Al Gross, an independent, is to be announced in the coming week. The annual event normally attracts a number of seafood industry participants, from harvesters and processors to federal and state biologists, fishing gear and vessel manufacturers and elected officials there to speak about current and pending fisheries legislation.

Trade show vendor fees are to be applied to the 2021 trade show, but may also be refunded upon request. Those requests should be emailed to with the name of the organization, and the name and address the refund should be issued to.

Kodiak Chamber officials meanwhile are also planning ahead for the 2021 forums and trade show at the Kodiak Convention Center, Fishermen’s Hall and the Harbor Room of the Best Western Hotel in downtown Kodiak. The first ever fisheries-themed fashion show, hosted in conjunction with the Kodiak Arts Council has been added to the agenda, along with the annual rockfish taco feed, public receptions hosted by industry participants, processor recognition events and the Fishermen’s Showcase.

Information on the September event and plans for 2021 will be updated as it becomes available at

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