State Awards Grant Funding to Market Local Seafood

BOSTON – State officials announced more than $116,000 in grant funding for research projects that will enhance seafood marketing and fishing infrastructure.

The funding was awarded through the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Seafood Marketing Grant Program, which was created three years ago to enhance the viability and stabilize the economic environment for local commercial fishing and seafood industries and communities.

The following projects received grants:

$25,000 – Fishing Partnership Support Services: Involving Massachusetts Fishermen in Seafood Traceability Programs

The Fishing Partnership will research current seafood traceability programs and present the information to fishermen and stakeholders across the Commonwealth to inform them of opportunities and technologies. The Fishing Partnership will conduct roundtable discussions to gather feedback concerning the most effective ways to increase participation in traceability programs so that fishermen can receive a premium price for their catch thus improving the economic security of Massachusetts fishing families.  

 $41,034 – Urban Harbors Institute at University of Massachusetts Boston: Developing Port Profiles and a Commercial Fishing Infrastructure Assessment for Massachusetts Coastal Harbors

Urban Harbors Institute will gather information for each fishing harbor in Massachusetts by conducting a survey, interviews, an analysis of existing data, and research to develop unique port profiles to ensure that the space, infrastructure, and amenity needs of the commercial fishing communities are met, and that decision-makers are informed about existing inventory so that municipalities and communities can have a benchmark and improve upon current conditions.

 $50,000 – Michael T. Carroll and Josh Weirsma: Assessing Massachusetts Consumer Preferences to Purchase Local and Fully Traceable Seafood

The authors will create a survey tool to assess consumer preferences for local, fully traceable seafood to better understand the purchasing decisions and attitudes towards Massachusetts seafood products and attributes. The research will be administered to seafood shoppers at major supermarkets across different regions of the state to inform stakeholders about the New England ground fish market.

The research reports generated by the grant awardees will be spread statewide and beyond to inform the work of organizations, advocates, municipalities, and others about Massachusetts’ port infrastructure, consumer preferences for local seafood, and fishermen’s approach to traceability technology. The stakeholder engagement, literature reviews, and surveys done by the awardees will advance the efforts of those with similar goals as DMF.

“The Commonwealth’s commercial fishing industry and fishing ports contribute greatly to the Massachusetts economy,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “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.”

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