This summer the Port of New Bedford unveiled its newly-created New Bedford Seafood logo and newbedfordseafood.org website as first steps toward a long-term plan to further highlight New Bedford’s commercial fishing industry at the local, national, and international level. The campaign has three goals:
Firstly, to work with restaurants and retailers to increase education and awareness around locally-landed seafood using the New Bedford Seafood logo.
Secondly, to provide international buyers a centralized location at newbedfordseafood.org to learn about the Port of New Bedford’s commercial fishing industry and find contact information for the numerous processors and wholesalers in the city.
Thirdly, to make New Bedford seafood products known nationally and internationally at the same level with Alaskan salmon and Maine lobster.
The importance of supporting the local fishing industry may seem obvious to Southcoast residents; however, 90% of the seafood consumed by Americans is foreign landed, and almost half of that farm raised. There is a need for further education and identification of locally-landed seafood.
Over the next year, it is the Port’s goal to work one-on-one with local retailers and restaurants to use the logo on their menus, advertisements, or other materials. Eventually, the Port would like to work with processors and wholesalers to ensure the logo is seen across the world on seafood landed and processed by the Port of New Bedford.
While many local residents know the fishing industry plays an important role in the region’s economy and culture, many may not realize to what extent. An Economic Impact Study prepared by Martin Associates last year found that the Port of New Bedford – and primarily the fishing industry – generates $9.8 billion in annual economic value, representing 2% of the Commonwealth’s GDP. The commercial fishing and processing industry directly supports nearly 6,000 jobs and hundreds of other indirect jobs and industries (ice, fuel, shipyards).
Residents can play a role by specifically asking for New Bedford seafood at their favorite restaurants and retailers, and letting them know about the new logo and campaign created by the Port of New Bedford! Learn more at the New Bedford Seafood website.