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Seafood Industry Research Fund 

A 501(c)3 organization established in 1964

Russ Mentzer
Dear Seafood Industry Professional,

Welcome to the Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF) newsletter! Here you can find quarterly updates on SIRF's activities, current research and funding information. Through your generous support, SIRF provides the seafood community with scientific studies that further business and improve the bottom line. Read in this newsletter how SIRF is linking industry and academia with articles on Postpartum Depression research, DNA Testing, SIRF's recent meeting and the Future Leader Alumni Event

We could not fund exciting research without your support. Thank you for your continued contributions. To view past SIRF sponsored research, please visit  and contact us with any questions you may have
Russ Mentzer, Chairman
Seafood Industry Research Fund
Current Research
SIRF supports research on Postpartum Depression and the benefits of Omega 3's
Research from the University of Connecticut is focusing on the benefits of Omega 3's in reducing the effects of postpartem depression (PPD). The research results conclude that the consumption of Omega 3's in addition to antidepressants is more effective than antidepressants alone. There are more than three million cases of PPD every year, an outcome in approximately 12% of all births, and can begin any time within the first year following childbirth.  Web based resources are being developed for the promotion of Mega-3 consumption by the obstetric (child bearing) population.

SIRF is pleased to have assisted in the support of this important research and its potential benefits to families.
DNA Testing Proposal
SIRF is reviewing a research proposal that would establish a method for seafood DNA verification. The project, submitted by Brandeis University, seeks to develop a rapid and cost-effective means of seafood species identification using Closed-Tube DNA. Compared to difficult and expensive FDA DNA testing, the Closed-DNA system represents a convenient alternative that can be used with both laboratory equipment and handheld devices. The project could benefit seafood companies by providing a tool for protecting product from mislabeling and species substitution.  

"Accusations of fraud hurt the seafood industry's reputation," said SIRF Chairman Russ Mentzer. "The SIRF Board is very interested in further discussing a project that would give companies a guard against the bad actors and practices who threaten the legitimate seafood business community."

The research would compile a reference database of DNA "barcodes" for species at high risk of mislabeling or substitution. Suppliers, distributors and retailers could use the method of authentication to maintain the quality of their brand and retain consumer trust.
SIRF Meeting
On September 12th, the SIRF Board met at the Loews Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C. As part of the National Fisheries Institutes' Political Event, the two hour meeting covered a robust agenda with items focusing on the organization's finances, activities and research.

At the meeting, Board Member Dan DiDonato of Preferred Freezer Services presented SIRF Chairman Russ Mentzer with a check from the Future Leader Alumni Committee.

NFI's Director of Scientific Affairs Margaret Malkoski provided a review of SIRF's ongoing research projects . These seven projects examine issues that have an economic impact on the seafood industry such as food allergies, shelf life, decomposition and antibiotics. During its current funding cycle, SIRF has approved $281,500 to go towards seafood research. In addition to reviewing the current roster of SIRF funded projects, the SIRF Board discussed the merits of proposed seafood projects in 2017. The SIRF Board will vote in November on which projects to fund in the year ahead.

SIRF Chairman Russ Mentzer detailed plans for the 2017 SIRF Benefit Soirée. The annual fundraising fete will be held during NFI's Global Seafood Market Conference on January 16th at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Now in its fourth year, the Benefit Soirée has become a marquee industry event and a fund-generator for SIRF. More details on program and speakers coming soon. 
Future Leader Alumni Networking Event Raises Money for SIRF
Participants of the NFI Future Leader program met in Boston for the NFI Future Leader Alumni Networking Event. Held during the Seafood Expo North America at the Westin Waterfront's City Bar, the gathering allowed Future Leader alums, both newly minted and veteran, to network and raise funds for SIRF.

Dan DiDonato, Preferred Freezer Services;Wally Stevens, Future Leader Program Founder; Mary Larkin, Diversified Communications 

With close to 100 attendees and fourteen sponsors, the alumni event brought in a tidy donation for the seafood research organization. SIRF and the Future Leaders have long shared supporting ties through research sponsorship, former Future Leaders serving as SIRF Board members and the establishment of SIRF's Wally Stevens Perpetual Fund.

Sponsors: Bonamar Corporation, Diversified Communications, Eastern Fish Company Foa & Son, Preferred Freezer Services, Maritime Products International, Mark Foods, Pacific Seafood, Sea Port Company, Seattle Fish Company, Tampa Bay, Trident Seafoods, Urner Barry, William Kastner

At SIRF's October meeting, Future Leader graduate and SIRF Board Member Daniel DiDonato of Preferred Freezer Services presented Russ Mentzer with a check for $7000 (pictured above), the proceeds of Boston's Future Leader Alumni Networking Event.

"SIRF and the Future Leaders are linked organizations," said Chairman Mentzer. "We share a common outlook towards new horizons and a willingness to innovate. A thriving partnership between SIRF and the Future Leader program instills a value for industry specific research in seafood's next generation of decision makers."

Issue Date


Quarter 3 2016

Quick Links

Marshall "Ken" Conrad Memorial Fund

In December 2015, the seafood community lost Marshall "Ken" Conrad. 

Ken  served as  Chairman  of the  National Fisheries Institute  in 2010 and also served on the  Board of Directors  of the  National Restaurant Association , where he was  Vice Chairman and Treasurer  before  ascending to the Chairman's position in 2014

SIRF has established the Marshall "Ken" Conrad Memorial Fund to honor his contributions to the seafood industry.

To donate to the Marshall "Ken" Conrad Memorial Fund, click here.
Wally Stevens Future Leader Perpetual Fund

Wally Stevens has guided the seafood industry as an NFI Chairman, GAA Executive Director and SIRF contributor. SIRF established the Wally Stevens Perpetual Fund to honor his long-serving commitment to the seafood community.

To donate to the Wally Stevens Perpetual Fund click here.
More About Donations

SIRF's research and operating funds come entirely from generous donations made by individuals and corporations who support our mission of sponsoring scientific research of immediate and practical use by the seafood industry. Visit our website for details about open funds and information about making donations.  




About SIRF


The Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF) was established in 1964 and was originally named the Fisheries Scholarship Fund. It is a tax exempt, philanthropic, educational organization.  


SIRF is supported entirely by voluntary contributions from individuals and companies in and related to the seafood industry.


Click here to learn more about how the fund supports research of interest to the seafood industry.   


We appreciate the opportunity to share information about SIRF, our research funds and projects and thank you for your support!

SIRF Board of Directors

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