International seafood technology conference to be held at Alaska resort

November 17, 2017

men and fish in seafood plant Alaska fish plant. Photo by D. Mercy.

The 69th annual Pacific Fisheries Technologists Conference, to be held at the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska, will draw West Coast professionals from universities and the seafood industry, as well as government officials. The purpose is to bring each other up to date on advances in seafood technology and research.

It’s scheduled for February 5-7, 2018. About 100 people are expected to attend.

Innovations in food technology occur practically every day. One of the ways researchers, professionals and officials share knowledge is by attending this annual event.

As president of Pacific Fisheries Technologists, Chris Sannito of the University of Alaska Fairbanks chairs the organizing committee.

main processing fish filletsChris Sannito

“The theme of the upcoming conference is ‘tools of the trade’,” said Sannito, Alaska Sea Grant seafood technology specialist. “It’s all about sharing the latest and greatest technology advances.”

“One of the outstanding advantages of the annual Pacific Fisheries Technologists Conference is that students can get their feet wet and not feel intimidated when they give a research presentation. Students feel welcome and the relaxed atmosphere makes them feel comfortable,” he said.

The organization is successful at recruiting younger members as the overall membership ages.

“Neat things happen at the meetings,” said Sannito.

Last year one of the industry sponsors demonstrated a new vacuum microwave dryer. Starbucks uses the technique to make moon cheese, a crunchy cube of dried cheese. Sannito believes it could have application in the seafood industry, perhaps for drying kelp.

Also at last year’s conference a speaker described new ways to move live fish to consumer markets.

Every five years the conference is held in Alaska, cycling up the coast from Mexico to British Columbia.

Registration is now open, and speakers are invited to submit presentation abstracts until January 5, 2018.

For more information contact Chris Sannito: csannito@alaska.edu.

— By Sue Keller

Alaska Sea Grant is a statewide marine research, education, and outreach program, and is a partnership between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agents provide assistance that helps Alaskans wisely use, conserve, and enjoy marine and coastal resources.