CEI Awarded MTI Funding to Pilot a Maine Seafood Marketing Initiative

Study to Examine Potential Formation of Promoting Maine’s Seafood Products

December 17, 2019 (Brunswick, ME) — Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) has received a $25,000 grant from Maine Technology Institute (MTI) for a research project to study the viability of a Maine Seafood Marketing Initiative.  

Maine is one of the nation’s top three seafood producing states, with over $637 million of product landed in 2018. Unlike other coastal New England states, Maine has no single formal marketing entity to promote all of its seafood species domestically. “Although lobster dominates in terms of value, Maine is increasingly diversifying and scaling up its production of other species such as oysters, mussels, scallops and salmon,” explains CEI’s Nick Branchina, principal for the project. “Many value-added wild seafood producers and sellers are looking to expand their national sales networks and are seeking markets beyond the Portland to New York City corridor. Having one Maine brand for the universe of seafood will help them succeed.”

CEI will survey Maines’ seafood producers, conduct national market research relevant to Maine’s landed and value-added species, and work with partners to design a national market development plan that includes key trade shows and business to business (B2B) activities for Maine companies. “CEI has a long history of working with Maine’s seafood and aquaculture industries,” comments Keith Bisson, CEI’s President. “We have watched the successful market development activities of groups such as the Alaskan Seafood Marketing Institute and Norwegian Seafood Council and are excited to pilot the Maine Seafood Marketing Initiative.”

The Initiative aims to stimulate market development by shaping a brand identity. CEI will work with experts to explore target markets with the intent of introducing buyers to Maine products while expanding awareness in untapped domestic markets that can support existing fisheries, help stabilize working waterfronts and stimulate fisheries diversity.Designed to support expansion of all Maine’s varied seafood species and items– wild-catch, farm-raised, or value-added – to domestic markets outside of the New England region, this project intends to grow national interest in “seafood from Maine.”

Janine Bisaillon-Cary, President of the Montserrat Group based in Portland, will serve as consultant to the project. For more information, contact Nick Branchina at nick.branchina@ceimaine.org