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BOSTON -- The final damages are yet to be calculated, but at the 24th annual International Boston Seafood Show, the industry will try to shed light on the extent of the impact dealt by the multiple hurricanes of last season on the seafood industry.
Held March 12-14, 2006 at The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the show will feature "Hurricane Alley," uniting vendors to discuss the impact, and the challenges faced in recovery, for the seafood industries from the Gulf Coast.
"Hurricane Alley allows us the opportunity to highlight the devastation that our Gulf Coast fisheries have suffered, and provide a unique opportunity for networking and exchanging ideas with colleagues from across the United States," said Mary Larkin, v.p. of seafood expositions for the Boston Seafood Show. "It is imperative that we show our support for our colleagues as they work to rebuild their infrastructure and restore the fishing communities that generate nearly a fifth of the nation's overall seafood industry."
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast seafood industries in a wide swath from Mississippi Sound through the Louisiana Delta, including parts of the Florida Keys, western Louisiana and eastern Texas. The economic impact has yet to be fully realized, as entire fishing communities and ports have been vanished with the permanent loss of capital and infrastructure such as boats, fishing gear, docks, marinas and support facilities.
The man-made infrastructure losses are estimated to include $330 million in lost capital infrastructure throughout the Gulf, and hundreds of millions in natural capital losses, such as lost coastal wetlands and damage to reefs and oyster beds, according to Dr. William Hogarth, Assistant Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who testified before the Subcommittee on Fisheries and Oceans Committee on Resources, U.S. House of Representatives.
Seafood safety and compliance will also take center stage during many of the conference's seminars, with topics to include: Planning for Disaster: A Case Study in Listeria; When the Feds Come to Call: The Price of Non-Compliance; The Cost of Compliance: How Retailers Pay for Safe Seafood; and Challenges Facing Foodservice: Can You Guarantee Your Customers' Safety.
The Boston Seafood Show is a premier event where international buyers, suppliers, distributors/wholesalers, importers, exporters, brokers, and traders annually gather to launch and source new products, identify niche markets, connect with customers, evaluate industry trends, and learn about the latest in seafood technology and products.
For additional information, visit http://www.bostonseafood.com.