NYSG Provides Seafood Processing and Marketing Guides, Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond
COVID-19: New York Sea Grant's Rapid Response Support for its Coastal Stakeholders - News

From Harvest to Sale - New York Fishermen and Aquaculturists can turn to New York Sea Grant for Helpful Guides and Resources on Seafood Processing and Marketing During the Pandemic and Beyond 

New York Sea Grant initiated the Seafood Processing and Marketing Taskforce to help NY seafood producers expand their businesses and access new markets as economies change. 


Michael Ciaramella, Seafood Specialist, NYSG, E: mc2544@cornell.edu, P: (631) 632-8730

Stony Brook, NY, July 19, 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic put some pressure on NY seafood producers to quickly understand the requirements for processing and marketing seafood in New York as the need for accessing new markets became increasingly vital for business success. As part of New York Sea Grant’s Rapid Response Support, the Seafood Processing and Marketing Taskforce was developed to equip New York fishermen and aquaculturists with interactive guides that shed light on the regulatory requirements of seafood processing and how best to market their products to expand their business.  

The taskforce, which consisted of Federal and State agencies as well as seafood related industry and academic partners, developed three regulatory guides that focus on the production, processing, and sales of wild harvest fisheries, aquaculture, and bivalve molluscan shellfish. Eight supplementary guides were also developed to expand on some of the requirements outlined, including food labeling, seafood safety and marketability, seafood HACCP, manufacturing, allergens and cross-contact, sanitation, seafood delivery and mailing, and marketing. These materials were designed to help NY seafood producers get their seafood products to market effectively and efficiently. 

“The complexities surrounding the regulations of seafood processing and marketing in NY can be daunting for those unfamiliar with seafood safety regulations…Ultimately, these resources were developed to help seafood producers understand the alternative markets that exist for their seafood in NY and provide information that will help producers adjust their practices to access new markets,” says Mike Ciaramella, the Seafood Specialist with New York Sea Grant.  

One of the supplementary resources, Seafood Guide 7: Marketing Seafood, dives into different marketing strategies and tools to help NY seafood producers sell their seafood products to alternative markets. The guide begins with an outline on the variety of markets that NY seafood producers can use to access new buyers for their products. Alternative markets include examples like direct sales to consumers, retailers, and other supply chain buyers. As a next step, the guide then reveals ways of marketing and promoting seafood products to the desired market. As with any business, to effectively promote a product, one also must promote themself and their brand to develop credible recognition and awareness in the industry. Although word of mouth can be effective at marketing a business, taking your business online with online sales platforms, online marketing, and social media enhances the ability to reach a wider footprint. The guide also mentions how NY seafood producers have the opportunity to benefit from Sustainability Certifications that can increase the marketability of their seafood. As fishermen and growers explore new markets, they can feel more confident navigating the waters with the marketing tips, resources, and strategies provided in this guide that will help their seafood make a splash. 

The full series of resource guides can be found on New York Sea Grant’s website at www.nyseagrant.org/seafoodguides and will be updated regularly to ensure the information aligns with any regulatory changes or industry needs. Recorded webinars are posted on New York Sea Grant’s website to help users navigate the content within the interactive guides. 

Not only were these guides created to help existing fishermen and growers expand to new markets, but they were also created to help those interested in starting a seafood business in New York State. John Ng, the President of Hudson Valley Fish Farm, gives perspective on how these guides will help people get started in the industry and why that is important. 

“The pandemic really showed how fragile our food security is and how valuable it is to have seafood production close to home. Here, at Hudson Valley Fish Farm, we conduct sustainable aquaculture and raise healthy fish without chemicals as a model to encourage the start-ups of other local aquaculture farms. These seafood guides will help other facilities get established by providing the knowledge of what to do and how to do it properly. There needed to be a place to go to find out all the requirements, and now there is. This resource will help grow the local industry,” says John Ng, President of Hudson Valley Fish Farms.  

With educated and equipped seafood producers at the helm, the NY seafood industry can remain sustainable and resilient, especially in times that ask for change.  

Project Partners: 

• Blue Moon Fish  
• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County 
• Empire State Development
• Hudson Valley Fish Farms 
• Long Island Commercial Fishing Association
• Nassau County Department of Health
• NYC Department of Planning
• NYC Department of Transportation 
• New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets 
• New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 
• Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning 
• Suffolk County Department of Health Services
• Suffolk County Weights and Measures
• Upward Farms 
• U.S. Food and Drug Administration 
• Funding: National Sea Grant Office COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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