Pacific Marine Expo will top the half century mark when the trade show doors open next week in Seattle.

“Fifty-one years and still growing. We are looking at having 550 exhibitors this year, which is an increase of 30 more companies,” said Denielle Christensen, Expo Director for Diversified Communications, which produces marine events and publications around the world.

The Pacific Expo is her favorite, she said, because it has a “strong community feel.”

“A lot of folks only see each other once a year at this event. It’s just the happiest group of people,” Christensen added.

The trade show has broadened over the years to include all mariner needs and interests, but organizers have “never forgotten that commercial fishing is where we came from and that is the group that helped the show become what it is today,” Christensen said.

New this year is an expanded Alaska Hall that will house nearly 50 companies, Expo’s main stage, the Fishermen of the Year competition and daily happy hours.

Also debuting – the Alaska Symphony of Seafood will hold its annual new products competition and tasting, along with a hall of fame displaying 25 years of past Symphony winners.

Pacific Marine Expo runs Nov. 16-18 at the Century Link Center in Seattle. All events are free with pre-registration.

“Before the show opens on Thursday if you use the code FISH you will be guaranteed free registration,” Christensen said, “and that includes educational programs, the key note and everything happening on the floor.”

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Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She has also worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and Cape Cod. Click here to send her an email.

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