Boston Seafood Festival could draw 15,000 people on Sunday, organizer says

Boston Seafood Festival could draw 15,000 people on Sunday, organizer says

July 31, 2015
Matt Whittaker - Undercurrent News -

A seafood festival in Boston, Massachusetts this weekend may draw upwards of 15,000 people, said Richard Stavis, CEO of Boston-based Stavis Seafoods and board member of the Boston Fisheries Foundation, which is putting on the festival.

The fourth annual Boston Seafood Festival, is scheduled to be held Sunday from 11 a.m to 6 p.m. at the Boston Fish Pier.

Last year, the festival drew 10,000 people in “monsoon-like conditions,” Stavis told Undercurrent News.

As of Friday morning, the forecast for Boston on Sunday was for a high of 86 degrees Fahrenheit and mostly sunny skies, leading Stavis to anticipate perhaps a 50% jump in attendance this year.

Most of the festival goers will be attending the “party to end all parties” that will involve chef, oyster shucking and fish cutting competitions and an activity where kids can make prints from painted fish, Stavis said.

But the event isn’t just a party; it has also become a forum to discuss northeastern seafood industry issues.

There will be talks on sustainability and stock restoration, technology and the future of the seafood industry as well as seafood nutrition.

Educational seminars will include a discussion on how accurately fish stocks are assessed.

The backdrop for that talk is the debate between what survey data shows on northeastern ground fish stocks and what fishermen observe.

The panel for that discussion will include professors from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST) and a fish biologist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Another panel — which will include the the acting director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, a northeast fishery sector manager and another SMAST professor — will address the debate around monitoring New England fishery catch and discards, including electronic monitoring replacing at-sea observers.

The third panel — including representatives from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the Environmental Defense Fund and the New England Fishery Management Council — will discuss fishery management during climate change.

That panel will focus on the Gulf of Maine, where the average temperature has risen by more than four degrees fahrenheit in the last ten years.