The COVID-19 pandemic put pressure on New York seafood producers to quickly understand the requirements for processing and marketing seafood as the need for accessing new markets became increasingly vital for business success. As part of New York Sea Grant’s Rapid Response Support, the Seafood Processing and Marketing Taskforce was developed to equip New York fishermen and aquaculturists with interactive guides that shed light on the regulatory requirements of seafood processing and how best to market their products to expand their business.
The taskforce, which consisted of federal and state agencies as well as seafood-related industry and academic partners, developed three regulatory guides that focus on the production, processing, and sales of wild harvest fisheries, aquaculture, and bivalve molluscan shellfish. Eight supplementary guides were also developed to expand on some of the requirements outlined. These materials were designed to help New York seafood producers get their seafood products to market effectively and efficiently.
“The complexities surrounding the regulations of seafood processing and marketing in New York can be daunting for those unfamiliar with seafood safety regulations…Ultimately, these resources were developed to help seafood producers understand the alternative markets that exist for their seafood in New York and provide information that will help producers adjust their practices to access new markets,” said Ciaramella.
One of the supplementary resources, Seafood Guide 7: Marketing Seafood, dives into different marketing strategies and tools to help New York seafood producers sell their seafood products to alternative markets. The full series of resource guides can be found on New York Sea Grant’s website at nyseagrant.org/seafoodguides and will be updated regularly to ensure the information aligns with any regulatory changes or industry needs. Recorded webinars are also posted on the website to help users navigate the content within the interactive guides.
Not only were these guides created to help existing fishermen and growers expand to new markets, but they were also created to help those interested in starting a seafood business in New York State. With educated and equipped seafood producers at the helm, the New York seafood industry can remain sustainable and resilient, especially in times that ask for change.
New York Sea Grant, a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program and has offices at Stony Brook University.