Eat Gulf Seafood



Feb 17, 2014

TAMPA, FLORIDA – February 17, 2014 – The Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition (Coalition) has helped increase Gulf Coast seafood sales by up to 63 percent within its first two years of funding through successful retail marketing initiatives. Dedicated to continuing this success, during what is currently slated to be its final full year of funding, the Coalition aims to expand on its retailer and restaurant programs by offering customizable resources to retailers and restaurants throughout 2014. Marking the Coalition’s third year in attendance at the Seafood Expo North America, the organization plans to meet with retailers and restaurants to discuss ways to help them sell more Gulf Coast seafood.

“The Coalition’s efforts and partnerships over the last two years have fostered tremendous measurable growth for the Gulf Coast seafood industry,” said Chris Nelson, Chairman of the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition and Vice President of Bon Secour Fisheries in Bon Secour, Ala. “With 30 percent of domestic landings in the United States coming from the Gulf of Mexico, the Coalition will continue to raise awareness through partners of the superior quality of Gulf Coast seafood during what will be, as of now, its final year of funding.”

Since the Coalition’s inception in 2011, Gulf Coast seafood sales have contributed $4.4 billion to the U.S. economy. Dedicated to continuing this success beyond its last year of funding, the Coalition aims to connect seafood retailers and operators with customizable partnerships and expertise to allow the partner to grow Gulf seafood sales.

Initiatives for 2014, which will be the highlight of discussions at the Seafood Expo North America, will expand on the past two years’ success to develop partnerships with retailers, suppliers, grocers, restaurant owners and industry personnel, highlighting the unique Gulf traceability program and building confidence in the marketplace.

To discuss the importance of traceability in the seafood market place, Alex Miller, State Economist for the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, will moderate the panel discussion Gulf Seafood TODAY: Marketing, Traceability and Sustainability on Sunday, March 16 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., discussing the convergence of sustainability and sales. Also providing insight at the panel discussion will be Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition Marketing Director Joanne McNeely Zaritsky who will serve as an expert panelist.

“We exist as a Coalition to support the Gulf Coast seafood industry and ensure market confidence in Gulf products,” said Joanne McNeely Zaritsky, Marketing Director for the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition. “Every coordinated partnership to date has increased sales of Gulf seafood. Our plan of action is to expand the program to retailers and foodservice operators who would like to work with local, wild caught seafood. We look forward to highlighting the great work of each of our Gulf states and helping them sell more seafood.”

Additional information about each state’s seafood initiatives will be available at the respective state booths, including Mississippi Seafood Marketing (Booth 2143), Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board (Booth 2233) and Florida Department of Agriculture (Booth 405).

The Coalition has developed an array of materials to assist retail and restaurant partners in conducting programs and initiatives. Those items include:

  • Counter Cards: Catch your customer’s eye with delicious Gulf Coast seafood counter cards. Just place it at your seafood counter and watch your sales grow.
  • Logo Cling: Our logo cling makes it easy to show your pride in Gulf Coast seafood. Simply place it in a window or on a freezer door to encourage your customers to purchase Gulf Coast seafood.
  • Recipe Cards: Boost your Gulf Coast seafood sales with our mouthwatering recipe cards that are simple to use and deliver undeniably delicious results.
  • Species Chart: Ever wonder what Gulf Coast seafood is available during which season? How about its flavor, texture, or the best way to cook it? Look no further than our comprehensive Species Seasonality Poster – the perfect tool to educate your staff and your customers on our superior quality seafood.
  • Ice Pick: Promote Gulf Coast seafood in your seafood case in a unique way with our easy-to-use Ice Pick.
  • Resource Training Guide: For easy-access information to help you select, store and sell delicious Gulf Coast seafood, use our Resource Training Guide. Your customers expect top-quality seafood, and that’s exactly what we strive to help you deliver.
  • Table Tent: To highlight the Gulf seafood community and value
  • Menu Labeling: For consumers to know that their restaurant serves local, wild caught seafood

Joanne McNeely Zaritsky will also serve as a panelist at the Sustainability of a Brand: Strategies for Developing and Maintaining a Seafood Brand discussion, also on March 16, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., providing an overview of the strategy development process and objectives, strategy selection and initial implementation of a marketing plan.

For more information about the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition or to schedule a meeting about partnering with the Coalition, please contact Joanne McNeely Zaritsky at, 850-224-1129 or 813-286-8390.

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About Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition
The Coalition provides a framework for the seafood community to coordinate marketing efforts among the Gulf States with emphasis on working with tourism boards, restaurants, retailers and chefs.  The Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc. is coordinating the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition through funding provided by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (NOAA Award #NA10NMF4770481).  For more information, please visit and follow the Coalition on Facebook at Gulf Coast Seafood and Twitter at @eatgulfseafood.

About Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc.
The Foundation is a private, regional nonprofit research organization with a general membership and Board of Trustees representing a wide spectrum of the commercial fishing industry throughout the southeast U.S.   Through the Foundation, the commercial seafood and fishing industry can collectively identify industry needs, and address those needs through appropriate research and other activities. Representing the nine-state region from Virginia to Texas, the Foundation has sponsored more than 600 fisheries related research projects.

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