The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, organizer of the Alaska Symphony of Seafood since 1994, has been forced to postpone the annual event planned for November 2020 because of ongoing health and safety issues caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. The Symphony’s rescheduling is planned for the Spring of 2021, with a “Call for Product” to be reissued early next year.
“Despite some re-opening measures nationally and locally, there are still far too many uncertainties about the impact that the Covid-19 respiratory disease will have on travel and mass gatherings this November in Seattle,” according to a statement issued by the organizer. “Accordingly, it is impossible to hold an in-person event that would provide an experience that the Alaska seafood industry finds so valuable within the Symphony.”
AFDF will continue to monitor the Covid-19 health crisis and provide monthly updates on the rescheduled event. Additionally, it will explore opportunities to hold virtual events throughout the year, celebrating past Symphony winners along with new value-added products made from seafood harvested from Alaskan waters.
The Symphony is designed to support and promote the Alaska seafood sector and is fully supported by members of the industry. After AFDF polled partners and participants, it became evident that Covid-19 has and will continue to hinder much of industry’s ability to produce new value-added products or participate in the competition within such close proximity to the peak of the pandemic, whether in-person or virtual. Without healthy participation by industry, the benefits of an in-person or virtual event are limiting.
“Given the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, we will let interested entrants know about the event format, product quantities, and delivery information when more information is available on the format of scheduled events. The safety of all communities is of the topmost importance,” said the organizer.