Over 45 international seafood buyers, mainly from Europe and Asia, participating in the 2007 International Boston Seafood Show, toured New Bedford to meet with some of the area’s leading seafood companies. With the group were members of the European seafood press and foreign trade representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The International Boston Seafood Show attracts top-tier buyers and sellers of the seafood industry from around the world with 88% of the visitors having purchasing authority, 85% of the visitors planning to return, and 76% of the visitors planning to make purchases as a result of attending IBSS.
The touring group visited the Whaling City Seafood Auction and four New Bedford seafood companies before attending a luncheon at the New Bedford Whaling Museum featuring New Bedford Mayor Scott W. Lang. The luncheon was organized and sponsored by the International Trade Assistance Center and the New Bedford Economic Development Council.
The third annual visit was sponsored by Food Export USA, a non-profit export promotion organization, specifically to promote northeastern U.S. seafood exports and organized by the Massachusetts Export Center, part of the state’s Small Business Development Center Network and the New Bedford Harbor Development Commission. The Export Center provides a broad range of services to Massachusetts exporters and operates a New Bedford office.
“We look forward to our seafood industry doing more business with your companies, whether it be selling or processing. We will do everything to make doing business with New Bedford attractive and lucrative.” Mayor Lang told the group.
The New Bedford seafood industry which supports scores of working families has a tremendous impact on the city’s economy. The fishing industry, under severe restrictions, has an impact of $1.6 billion.
“I was very surprised that countries from all over the world and states like Florida, Maine, and Washington had a presence, but there was nothing to represent Massachusetts. We are missing out on an important opportunity. Meeting with the delegation here in New Bedford is one step, but we need to do more.”
Mr. Morrissey said the city of New Bedford is just beginning to work with partners like the Massachusetts Department of agriculture, Massachusetts Export Center, Massachusetts Office of Business Development, Food Export USA, Seafood Council, and the International Trade Association Center to build a greater presence for New Bedford in the international markets.
Other organizations supporting the visit include the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, and the Bristol County Convention & Visitors Bureau.