Gloucester's presence at seafood expo leading to fish sales far afield

The city of Gloucester announced its presence with authority Monday at the massive Seafood Expo North America by hosting an international reception that drew seafood executives from around the globe.

The Gloucester Fresh reception at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, hosted by Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and featuring state Assistant Secretary for Domestic and International Business Development Nam Pham, continued the city’s marketing drumbeat on the sustainability and culinary benefits of the region’s fresh seafood.

“If you are looking for fresh seafood, the quality that comes off our boats is 100 percent,” Romeo Theken told seafood processors and buyers from Malaysia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Iceland, Ireland and other seafood producing and consuming countries.

City organizers said the city’s presence at the gigantic show this year has provided more than 100 business leads and 20 meetings between Gloucester seafood companies and international seafood executives.

The Seafood Expo is one of the largest seafood trade shows in the world, drawing thousands of industry executives to the three-day event to buy, sell and network.

This marked the third appearance by the city at the show and the second year that Gloucester has ramped up its game to spread the word internationally on the Gloucester Fresh brand and the bounty of seafood still being harvested from the waters off Cape Ann.

The effort included Snapchef, a culinary partner in the city’s Gloucester Fresh marketing campaign, the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association and scores of volunteers from the fishing community.

Monday’s reception featured a cooking demonstration by Romeo Theken and GFWA President Angela Sanfilippo — this year, Gloucester Fresh rice balls replaced the red fish soup — as well as remarks from Pham and Steve Connolly from the Gloucester seafood company that bears his name.

The city also is repeating its digital billboard campaign to push the Gloucester Fresh brand, with billboards in and around South Station telling the Gloucester story.