For 25 years Alaska’s newest value-added seafood products have been showcased at the state’s biggest seafood celebration, the Alaska Symphony of Seafood. Hosted by the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, they have highlighted innovative products from major seafood companies to local mom and pop shops. Tomorrow night in Juneau AFDF will co-host the event with the United Fishermen of Alaska.
 “We have merged two events. The Legislative Reception, and the award ceremony for the Symphony of Seafood.”   
Julie Decker is the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundations Executive Director. She says this will be the fourth year the two groups have joined forces.
“The nice thing about co-hosting with UFA is that we bring together the entire seafood industry; from fishing to processing and even the sport sector businesses all the way to these value-added products; which are the end of the supply chain. It is really cool to have a united front for the entire seafood industry and look at the really positive progress that has been made toward these seafood products.”
In honor of their 25th year, a Hall of Fame has been added.
“It is a walk through history. It displays all the different products that have been entered over the years. One of the takeaways for us as a staff was to see the dramatic change over 25 years and the level of quality in these products. So it is very cool to be able to look back and see.”
The first place winners from all four categories were announced back in November after products were tested and judged in Seattle, along with the Seattle’s People’s Choice award.   Decker says there are many more surprises to come at the Symphony event tomorrow night in Juneau.
“Five of the seven top winners have been announced so far.  But the Grand Prize winner has not been announced or the Juneau People’s Choice winner. We will also be announcing the second and third place winners of each category, and there will be special guests that will be presenting the awards. So we look forward to more news as far as winners go.”
Decker says that something new this year is that all the top winners will go on to compete for the Seafood Excellence Award and display their products at Seafood Expo North America in next month in Boston.
“For 25 years the Symphony  has done a really good job of driving international recognition of Alaska’s best of the best when it comes to product development.”
The Symphony of Seafood event is Tuesday, February 27th in Juneau. For more information about the Symphony go to www.afdf.org

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