- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
- Department of Fish and Game
- Division of Marine Fisheries
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $175K in Seafood Marketing Grants
Troy Wall, Communications Director
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $175,169 in grants for eight projects that will benefit the Commonwealth’s seafood sector through the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Division of Marine Fisheries’ (DMF) Seafood Marketing Program, which was launched in 2016 to increase awareness and demand for Massachusetts seafood products. This year, Woods Hole Sea Grant (WHSG) contributed $100,000 to the Seafood Marketing Grant Program budget. Additionally, the remainder of the grant program is funded through a portion of commercial fishing permit fees at no extra cost to the permit holder. The goal of the grant program is to enhance the viability and stabilize the economic environment for the state’s local commercial fishing and seafood industries and communities.
“This year’s Seafood Marketing Grant Program funded more projects than ever, thanks to a new partnership with the Woods Hole Sea Grant,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Importantly, these projects will educate and steer consumers towards the Commonwealth’s healthy and sustainable seafood, directly benefiting our economy and historic fishing communities.”
“Our historic Massachusetts commercial fishing and seafood industries provide thousands of jobs and are an enduring and important component of the culture in our coastal communities,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Ron Amidon. “The Seafood Marketing Grant Program projects provide further support the for the livelihoods of the many families who rely on commercial fishing, processing, and related business."
The eight awardees projects will support the commercial seafood and fishing industries and their communities by increasing awareness and the preference for seafood from Massachusetts through education, promotion, research, marketing, and other initiatives. Priority was given to proposals that will serve the greatest benefit to the Commonwealth’s seafood industry as a whole and that will address the continued impacts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic on the seafood industry in Massachusetts.
“Woods Hole Sea Grant has expanded the reach of DMF’s Seafood Marketing Grant Program which, in turn, expands the messaging across the Commonwealth,” said Division of Marine Fisheries Director Dan McKiernan. “The seafood industry is still recovering from Covid-19 and the extra assistance is very much appreciated.”
“Woods Hole Sea Grant is proud to partner with the DMF Seafood Marketing Program to assist the seafood industry, which has been so negatively affected by COVID-19,” said Matt Charette, Director of Woods Hole Sea Grant. “These projects propose innovative and multi-faceted approaches to benefitting the entire seafood industry and help increase awareness and consumption of Massachusetts-harvested and -grown seafood.”
The following projects received Seafood Marketing Program grants:
- Eating with the Ecosystem - Influencing the Influencers: Utilizing Food Influencers to Promote Massachusetts Seafood - $47,841
- Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group - Martha’s Vineyard Seafood Outreach Program - $14,278
- New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center - A School of Fish: Infusing Sustainable Seafood into Culinary Arts Programs & the Public Palate - $25,000
- University of Massachusetts/Gloucester Marine Station - Enabling Tools to Build a Sustainable, Equitable, and Inclusive Seafood Marketing Program - $25,000
- Ryan Curley - Community Seafood HACCP Facility Serving the Outer Cape Feasibility Study - $17,500
- Lobster Foundation of MA - Crustacean Nation Education Dissemination - $10,000
- Red's Best - Highlighting Local Species Through Video - $17,000
- Williams Agency - Marketing Campaign to Promote Underutilized Seafood within Ethnic Markets - $18,550
DMF’s Seafood Marketing Program works to educate people on seafood availability, preparation, health benefits, economic contribution, and environmental sustainability through printed material, events, partnerships, and more. Legislators, agency heads, and industry members comprise the program’s steering committee.
“The commercial fishing and seafood industries are essential to the overall community and economy of Martha’s Vineyard,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “I am thrilled The Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group is a recipient of this year’s Seafood Marketing Grant. The funds will be used to amplify our local commercial fishing and seafood industries and ensure the viability and stability of this vital sector.”
“Massachusetts fisheries produce some of the most nutritious, sustainable food in the world, thanks to innovation, hard work, sacrifice and a steadfast commitment to ocean stewardship,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “That story needs to be told at every opportunity. The University of Massachusetts Marine Station is well-positioned for that task, because it is a catalyst for concepts that come from the people working on the ocean every day to come to fruition with the support of scientists and researchers geared toward helping the commercial fishing industry survive and grow stronger.”
“Martha’s Vineyard’s historic shell fishing industry is an economic, environmental and cultural staple on island,” said State Representative Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth). “These funds will promote and enhance the critical work of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group and contribute to the long-term viability of commercial shell fishing in support of our local communities.”
“Congratulations to the UMass Gloucester Marine Station on being a recipient of the Seafood Marketing Grant Program,” said State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester). “Seafood is an important part of the America Diet. Our fisheries and seafood workers on Cape Ann have worked tirelessly for generations to feed people all over the world. Thank you for recognizing their efforts and investing in this important workforce and industry.”
The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is responsible for promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the Commonwealth's natural resources. DFG, with its divisions including the Division of Marine Fisheries, carries out this mission through land protection and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and marine fish and wildlife species, and ecological restoration of fresh water, salt water, and terrestrial habitats. DFG promotes enjoyment of the Massachusetts environment through outdoor skills workshops, fishing festivals and other educational programs, and by enhancing access to the Commonwealth's rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.