The annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood celebrates value-added innovation of new seafood products by pitting them against each other in a deathmatch divided into four categories: Retail, Foodservice, Beyond the Plate and Beyond the Egg.

(So maybe it's less of a deathmatch and more of a delight of the senses for those of us lucky enough to have participated in judging the contest.)

Within each category, judges will award first-, second- and third-place winners. Only one product can take the Grand Prize. However, all entries are also eligible for People's Choice awards in Seattle and Juneau, and the top products from each category will also be entered into the Seafood Excellence Awards — a new products contest held at Seafood Expo North America in Boston — and granted free booth space the show in March 2020. Airfare for one company representative to attend the show will be provided courtesy of Alaska Air Cargo.

The first judging for the 2020 contest will take place in Seattle on Nov. 20, 2019, with the Seattle People's Choice award announced at the open house and tasting event that evening.

The first place awards for each category will be announced at Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle on Friday, Nov. 22. Check out the Pacific Marine Expo education program for details.

The Grand Prize winner and Juneau People's Choice awards will be announced in Juneau on Feb. 24.

The 2020 call for products closed on Oct. 15, 2019.

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Jessica Hathaway is the former editor in chief of National Fisherman.

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