Albany celebrates Festival of the Sea: Survey shows appetite for better seafood labelling in restaurants, fish and chips stores
WAFIC Seafood Ambassador Peter Manifis recently wowed the crowd with a cooking demonstration of freshly-caught Australian Salmon during the 2017 Albany Festival of the Sea.
Over the course of Easter Saturday, an estimated 3000 people attended the event which was sponsored by WAFIC and held in the Duyfken Boatshed on the Albany harbour foreshore.
WAFIC staff at the event took the opportunity to carry out a short community survey on attitudes towards labelling of seafood products in the food service sector.
Preliminary results showed almost 87 per cent of those surveyed placed great importance on labelling which clearly identified where their seafood came from when dining out at restaurants or buying food from fish and chips shops.
More than 91 per cent of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay more at food outlets for locally produced seafood rather than imported seafood – with 77 of the respondents willing to pay between 25 per cent and 100 per cent more for local seafood.
Festival organiser Jenny Rickerby said the festival was a great success and said there was great interest in the cooking demonstrations carried out by Peter Manifis in the kitchen purpose built for the occasion.
Local MP Peter Watson also applauded the festival’s success.
” I’m no good at catching seafood, but I’m very good at eating it,” he said.
Mr Watson said the Albany Festival of the Sea, which is sponsored by WAFIC each year, was a wonderful celebration of WA’s fishing and seafood industry and an important part of Albany’s community calendar.
“It (the festival) gives local people an opportunity to show their wares and we always get a large crowd down here,” he said.
Ms Rickerby said the festival’s obvious benefits to industry included providing an entertaining forum for local seafood (and other) businesses to promote their products to new clients, increasing public awareness of lesser known and underutilised fish species, celebrating and acknowledging local professional fishers and advertising local seafood businesses.
“There’s also benefits to the community such as increased awareness about the commercial fishing industry and the part it plays in the social and economic fabric of WA’s community and in promoting the health benefits of seafood,” she said.