Small Alaska businesses took home top honors at the Alaska Symphony of Seafood competition held last week at Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle.

The contest, hosted by the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation since 1994, levels the playing field between large and small companies, and helps showcase new consumer-ready  seafood products.

Julie Decker is AFDF director.

“Well, it’s for it’s really does several things. It encourages value added seafood productions. And then it promotes high quality products made of Alaska seafood. So through the contest, you know, we get to evaluate new products that are coming into the marketplace. And you know, determine which ones are the best in certain categories. So and then we help promote those across the country in the world. So, you know, we’re hoping to help Alaska seafood stand out on store shelves, and really show what some of the high quality products are coming out of Alaska.” 

All market-ready entries are judged by an expert panel and first place winners were announced last week in six categories.

Top winner at retail was Echo Falls Wild Alaskan Smoked Salmon/Tapas Sliced Mediterranean by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, which also won in the Salmon category.

On the small business side, Alaska Grown Ribbon Kelp by Seagrove Kelp Company of Craig won top foodservice honors.

Wild Alaska Pollock Jerky by Neptune Snacks took top honors in the Whitefish category.

 Deep Blue Sea Bath Soak by Waterbody of Wrangell won first place in the Beyond the Plate category.

The inaugural winner of the first Bristol Bay Choice award went to Wild Caught Bristol Bay Sockeye by Alaskan Leader Seafoods. That company’s Wild Caught Alaska Black Cod also was selected as the Seattle People’s Choice.

Second and third place winners and the overall Grand Prize winner are kept under wraps until a second Symphony event at Juneau in February. Juneau also will pick its People’s Choice award.

All top winners receive booth space at the Seafood Expo North America event at Boston in March and entry into its national new products contest.