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Seafood Expo North America ‘will go ahead safely’

A photo from a previous edition of SENA. The organiser has insisted the event will go ahead.
A photo from a previous edition of SENA. The organiser has insisted the event will go ahead.

The organiser of Seafood Expo North America (SENA) / Seafood Processing North America in Boston today reiterated that the event will take place as planned in March, despite Covid.

Diversified Communications said it continued to update the Expo’s health & safety measures following the recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), public health officials, federal, state and local authorities as well as the venue, to provide all participants with a safe and healthy environment.

Diversified’s statement follows news yesterday that Alaska caught fish buyer Peter Pan Seafoods had decided to pull out of the trade show due to health and safety concerns surrounding Covid.

Guest safety

Diversified pointed out that from this Saturday, January 15, the City of Boston will require proof of vaccination to enter certain indoor areas, which includes the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) where SENA is being held.

A face mask mandate in all indoor public settings in Boston is already in effect and all individuals (exhibitors, visitors, vendors and staff) will have to wear a mask at the Expo.

The BCEC also has procedures in place to maintain a clean environment, which includes a sophisticated ventilation system. Diane DiAntonio, general manager of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, said: “Effective air circulation at indoor venues is critical to ensuring guest safety. At the BCEC, there are over 25 dedicated “twin” air handler units that can move millions of cubic feet of air, exchanging the air up to six times per hour.”

Liz Plizga: Adjusting to changing regulations.
Liz Plizga: Adjusting to changing regulations.

Controlled environment

Diversified’s group vice president, Liz Plizga, said: “All of these measures contribute to a more controlled business environment to protect the health and safety of our community. The landscape is changing, guidelines are changing, and we are adjusting them in accordance with public health officials and local authorities’ regulations to keep our participants safe.”

To date, and taking into consideration recent cancellations, the event covers 210,900 square feet of exhibit space, said Diversified.

“To put it into perspective, this represents 82% of the event’s largest edition which nearly filled the entire exhibit floor,” said event director Wynter Courmont.

Valuable supplier base

“While we have received some cancellations, many from companies in countries facing long quarantine restrictions, our event is substantial and represents a very valuable supplier base.

“We continue to receive interest from the industry and new exhibitors are joining the event daily. As companies continue to submit their listing information, more exhibitors will be added to the website. The event will have a comprehensive representation of the industry supply chain.”

Companies still planning to attend include True North Seafood, part of Canadian salmon farmer Cooke Aquaculture.

Dialogue is vital

“The pace of change in today’s seafood landscape is faster than ever, and being part of education opportunities, networking, and dialogue with peers across the industry is vital,” said the company’s press spokesman, Joel Richardson.

“Exhibiting at Seafood Expo North America is a way for our team to build relationships and immerse ourselves in current industry trends, which revitalises our energy for strategic planning and maintaining business momentum for the year ahead.”