New seafood products breathe life into the coastal economy
Locally processed seafood products are the cornerstone of Oregon's coastal economy. New products successfully introduced into the marketplace help establish new businesses, creating jobs, supporting tourism and more efficiently using precious natural resources.
Oregon Sea Grant has a long history of seafood product development, from our research and Extension aid to the coastal surimi industry to developing and promoting new methods to ensure a safe, sanitary seafood supply. Over the past four decades, we have been instrumental in:
- Helping seafood processors learn and put into practice federal standards for food sanitation and safety.
- Developing methods to decrease processing waste and water use.
- Working with the OSU Seafood Lab in Astoria, the Portland-based OSU Food Innovation Center and local producer coalitions to help seafood processors and small businesses develop new products that create jobs, support tourism, and more efficiently use precious natural resources.
Innovative packaging for seafood safety, increased value
Sea Grant Extension has worked for decades with other multiple OSU food labs on projects ranging from increasing the quality and value of surimi products and improving seafood safety procedures to developing new products, including high-end seafood meals delivered in flexible pouches. A pilot processing plant at the lab in Astoria offers hands-on training in these retort packaging techniques.
- In Coos Bay, a relatively new cannery, Sea Fare Pacific, invested in retort packaging equipment in consultation with Sea Grant Extension, developing a privately branded premium product now being sold through major grocery chains.
- With Sea Grant assistance, Skipanon Brand Oregon Ocean Seafoods in Warrenton opened an expanded retort line that helped them increase production and support new value-added products.
- We have worked with Native American tribal members and the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission to conduct food-safety workshops and training, and to develop new products.