KODIAK — Protein Noodles by Trident Seafoods took top honors at the 26th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood, winning first place in the retail category and the Seattle People’s Choice award.
The winners were announced last week at Pacific Marine Expo.
The refrigerated noodles are made from pollock surimi and touted as a high protein, gluten free alternative to traditional pastas.
“All pastas are wheat based and they don’t contain any protein and there’s not a lot of nutritional value,” said John Salle, Trident’s senior vice president of marketing, innovation and corporate accounts when accepting the awards. “Lots of carbs, lots of sugars. We think these pollock noodles will fill a void in the market. Just heat them up and add sauce!”
Salle said the Protein Noodles will debut at Costco stores early in 2019.
Trident also won first place in the Beyond the Plate category for its Alaska Natural Pet pollock oil, an omega-3 enriched additive for dog foods.
In the food service category, Alaska Cod Dumplings from Tai Foong USA was named the winner.
The Symphony moves to Juneau on Feb. 19 when second and third place winners will be announced along with a grand prize winner. The winning products are entered into Seafood Expo North America’s new product competition in Boston in March.
“That’s a really big deal,” said Keith Singleton, president of the value added division of Alaskan Leader Seafoods, which won the grand prize last year for its Alaska Cod with Lemon Herb Butter. The company also took a first place for its Cod Crunchies pet treats.
“The exposure we got from the Symphony of Seafood, we used that in all of our marketing. We’re fishermen and for us as a company that’s pretty new at this, it was pretty impressive that we won. And, we definitely have picked up a lot of new accounts,” Singleton said. “Anybody that’s out there who wants to compete in the Symphony, I strongly encourage them. It’s a lot of fun, and it really gets your name out there. It’s really helped us as an industry for sure.”
The annual contest is aimed at encouraging new products to increase the value of Alaska’s fishery resources to fishermen and communities.
“It starts at the boat,” said Julie Decker, executive director of the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, which hosted the event. “The quality level that fishermen are producing has gone up tremendously over the past 25 years and it is directly related to the quality you can manufacture into new products. You can do more things and they turn out much better. We are doing better as an industry across the board and that’s why we want to keep fishermen involved. They are important to the process because when they do better, everybody does better.”
SEAFOOD FACES AND PLACES
A Seafood, Sea Jobs video campaign is taking its message on trade to the people who make policy decisions. The project was launched by the National Fisheries Institute to show the trickle down effects of the steep tariffs on U.S. seafood in Donald Trump’s trade war with China.
“It’s meant to showcase the faces and places of seafood jobs around America,” said Lynsee Fowler, NFI communications manager. “Whether it’s a fisherman or a processor, cold storage, sales and procurement, a restaurant server or a trucker, the seafood community has diverse impacts that not everyone knows about.”
Fowler has traveled the country capturing people at work from coffee shops in coastal towns to truck stops and food making factories in the Midwest.
“It’s a lot further down the supply chain where you see the impacts and a lot of those jobs are in the heartland,” she said during a podcast on SeafoodNews.com.
The project has produced 34 videos so far, which are delivered to policy makers and key opinion leaders on trade in Washington, D.C.
“We want to make sure they are talking about seafood when they talk about industries that are hurt by tariffs,” Fowler said.
A 25 percent tariff on U.S. seafood exported to China began in September; another 25 percent on seafood coming from China to the U.S. is set to hit in January. Fowler said NFI’s hundreds of member companies already are paying that rate.
“It takes our members anywhere from 8 to 15 weeks to put in an order to China and get it here,” she said. “So, they are operating under that 25 percent tariff and it has a big impact.”
NFI is the nation’s largest industry trade group representing member companies from fishing vessel operators to seafood restaurants for nearly 75 years.
CAPTAIN’S CRAB RECOLLECTIONS
Trying to outwit killer whales … fights aboard 300 foot factory trawlers … falling overboard … waves in the wheelhouse – lots of fish stories stem from a life at sea. A new book titled “Chronicles of a Bering Sea Captain” captures five decades of fishing in the Bering Sea.
The motivation for the book came from a health scare 20 years ago at sea, said author Jake Jacobsen.
“The thought struck me that I have six kids and they know very little about what I have done out at sea, and I wanted to leave some stories for them,” he said in a phone interview.
Jacobsen began jotting down stories in fits and starts, put them down for about a decade, and became inspired again when he came upon old notebooks and photos.
One of Jacobsen’s favorite stories describes trying to outwit killer whales, what he calls “the most organized and intelligent adversaries,” from robbing fish from longline hooks.
“You try and develop strategies,” he said. “You cut your line, anchor it off, run away for a while and stop the engines and then come back. The whales leave sentries around at your strings, and then they call each other. So you can’t get very far hauling gear again because here come the whales.”
Jacobsen said in writing the book he also wanted to correct misconceptions people might have about fishing the Bering Sea.
“It’s hard and dangerous work and we are very competitive, but I want people to understand about sustainable fisheries,” he said. “When I tell these stories about staying up for three days in a row without sleep, we are not talking about decimating the resource. We are talking about a fishery that takes a small percentage of the available biomass, and it is all controlled by the best science available. In Alaska we are very proud of the sustainable seafood program we have.”
Find Chronicles of a Bering Sea Captain at Amazon, and more information at www.beringseacaptain.com/
American Seafoods has issued a call for grant applications targeting community programs in Kodiak, the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, Western Alaska Peninsula, Bristol Bay, Lower Kuskokwim, Lower Yukon, Norton Sound and regions north.
A total of $90,000 will be allocated in grants that range from $2,000 to $15,000 each for projects that focus on hunger, housing, safety, education, research, natural resources and cultural activities.
Since 1997 American Seafoods has given over $1.5 million to Alaska organizations and programs through its grant program.