02.20.2013

Alabama Seafood Community Gathers for Inaugural Alabama Gulf Seafood Summit

The Alabama Gulf Seafood Summit, taking place March 4-5 at the Mobile Convention Center, is a first-time event bringing together representatives from all segments of the Alabama seafood community to examine conditions in the business and discuss issues affecting the industry. Event sponsors are the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission (ASMC) and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry.

Attendees include Governor Robert Bentley, Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries John McMillan, Marine Resources Director and ASMC Program Administrator Chris Blankenship, as well as local elected officials, distributors, restaurateurs, wholesalers, small producers and grocers.

“I established the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission with this in mind; I want the world to know that Alabama seafood is high-quality; it’s available and it’s delicious,” Governor Bentley said. “Seafood has a tremendous impact on our economy. At this summit, we’ll discuss various issues affecting the seafood industry, and we’ll work together in ways that will benefit the Alabama Gulf Coast.”

Commissioner McMillan urges people in Alabama’s seafood industry to attend the conference and learn the potential of tapping into the national and international markets. “Louisiana’s seafood industry generates 2.4 billion a year and employs 26,000 people, due in large part to incredible marketing and branding,” McMillan said. “There is no reason why Alabama’s seafood industry cannot replicate that model.”

Participants, including buyers from Sysco, Inland Seafood, Whole Foods Market and others, will engage in numerous sessions and panel discussions with this singular goal in mind – to forge new business opportunities for Alabama Gulf Seafood.

“Thanks to the high-quality seafood product sourced from Alabama Gulf waters, and the fervent support of restaurateurs like Buffy Donlon with Wintzell’s Oyster House, Chris Hastings with Hot and Hot Fish Club, and Bob Baumhower with The Compleat Angler and Baumhower’s, we are fortunate to be at a point where there is heightened national interest in our local cuisine,” said Blankenship. “Gathering around the table with the key players in this business is mission-critical if our state is to capitalize on this increased demand.”

For more information about the Alabama Seafood Summit or to register, please visit http://www.alseafoodsummit.com