By Cliff White
Representatives of 14 companies from the municipality of Gloucester, Massachusetts met with the state’s governor, Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, U.S. Representative Seth Moulton, State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, and Gloucester Mayor on Monday, 18 March at Seafood Expo North America.
The elected officials each took turns praising Gloucester and the quality of its seafood, and proclaimed their support for an industry that is estimated to employ about 100,000 workers and have an economic impact of around USD 2 billion (EUR 1.8 billion).
“As somebody who has spent time in New Bedford, in Gloucester, and in a whole bunch of places in between, I am more than aware of the fact that this particular industry doesn’t just feed families by having them purchase the product that’s associated with what they deliver…it also feeds families who bring it to shore and ultimately get it to market,” Baker said.
At the reception, Baker announced more than USD 116,000 (EUR 102,000) in grants for research projects intended to benefit the seafood industry in Massachusetts. The grants will study Massachusetts’ port infrastructure, consumer preferences for local seafood, and fishermen’s approach to traceability technology.
“The Commonwealth’s commercial fishing industry and fishing ports contribute greatly to the Massachusetts economy,” Baker said. “By supporting these research projects, our administration is proud to provide the fishing industry the most thorough and up-to-date information possible to better promote sustainably-harvested local seafood.”
The grants were awarded through the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Seafood Marketing Grant Program, which was created three years ago in order to enhance the viability and stabilize the economic environment for local commercial fishing and seafood industries and communities.
Gloucester seafood companies exhibiting at the 2019 Seafood Expo North America include Atlantic Banks Fisheries; Cape Ann Seafood Exchange, Cape Seafoods; Captain Joe and Sons Lobster Company; Catch Direct; Fisherman’s Wharf Gloucester; Gorton’s of Gloucester; Intershell Seafood Corporation; Mortillaro’s Lobster Company; National Fish and Seafood; North Atlantic Pacific Seafood; Ocean Crest Seafoods; Steve Connolly Seafood; and The Fresh Lobster Company.
More than 40 other Massachusetts businesses are promoting and selling seafood products at the 2019 Seafood Expo North America.