Today I'm talking with Jeremy Woodrow, the executive director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, about the challenges and bright spots of marketing and selling seafood when consumers are buying and cooking more fish but not necessarily in the usual ways.

"About 70 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is consumed at foodservice," Woodrow said. "So when you have a huge sector that's just taken out overnight, that impacts everyone."

"We've all had to pivot," Woodrow said of the seafood marketing and sales sectors. "We've seen online sales grow across the globe.

Those changes in traditional habits are presenting some challenges for suppliers. But they're also highlighting some significant opportunities for domestic sales.

"We have seen some bright spots. We're seeing Americans purchase seafood more than they ever have," Woodrow said. "The assumption is they're also eating that at home more than they ever have. So we're introducing more people to seafood than we ever have before. We hope that continues post-pandemic and these new habits that are being formed can actually stick with our newfound consumers."

Woodrow also touched on the effects of tariffs, the forthcoming Seafood Trade Task Force and the best fishing sector success stories to come from the covid confinement period.

"Those tariffs are incredibly high for Alaska Seafood products. We are seeing some positive movement in the Chinese market where there is a process in place for Chinese importers to provide for exclusions on those tariffs. However, we've heard that those aren't necessarily a blanket process... so it's not perfect."

"The Alaska seafood industry spent over 20 years to build that market up, and we don't want to lose it," Woodrow said. "But because of this we've had to look at other areas."

Watch the full video below for this and more market analysis and insights from ASMI.

Sponsored by John Deere Power Systems

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 14 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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