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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 first Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF) newsletter in 2018! SIRF is committed to funding projects that have a major impact on our industry. We are excited to share with you in this newsletter the following stories:
  • New SIRF Fundraising Video

  • SIRF Fundraisers
  • SIRF Sponsors Crab Enhancement Study
  • SIRF Funds Environmental Impact Research 
We could not fund exciting research without your support. Thank you for your continued  contributions. To view  SIRF sponsored research, please visit  
and contact us with any questions you may have .
Russ Mentzer, Chairman
Seafood Industry Research Fund
SIRF Fundraising
New SIRF Fundraising Video
Its Stanley Cup Finals time and SIRF Chairman Russ Mentzer has come out with a new video calling attention to fellow hockey fan Mike Gorton and the Mike Gorton Living Tribute Fund

To learn more about the Gorton Cup and the forward-thinking research it is helping to fund, check out this new video

SIRF Fundraisers 
SIRF started off the fundraising year strong with a suite of benefit activities: the SIRF Soiree, the Future Leader Alumni Networking Event and the Mike Gorton Cup.

SIRF Soiree
This January, the fifth annual SIRF Soiree took place during the Global Seafood Market Conference at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami, FL. Industry professionals gathered for a seafood dinner to recognize SIRF's work and to support the newly established "Mike Gorton Living Tribute Fund."
The evening's keynote address profiled SIRF's project on combating child labor and trafficking in Ghana.

Lead researcher Kristine Beran, a PhD Candidate and Research Associate at the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography, discussed her SIRF-sponsored activities to correct labor-issues in Ghana's pelagic fishery, stressing community involvement as crucial to eliminating instances of human trafficking.

SIRF Chairman Russ Mentzer addresses attendees at the 2018 SIRF Soiree

Future Leader Alumni Networking Event
In March, The NFI Future Leader Alumni hosted their annual Networking Event the night before the Seafood Expo North America (SENA). At the Westin's City Bar, graduates gathered to socialize before the show's start raising funds for SIRF's Wally Stevens Perpetual Fund. The open fund honors Wally's contributions as a founder of the Future Leader program and leading proponent of SIRF's industry-improving mission.
Left to Right: Wally Stevens (Global Aquaculture Alliance), Bubba Shaw (Shaw's Southern Belle Frozen Foods), Michael Lieberman (Foa & Son Corporation), Jenni Davis (Sea Port Products Corporation), Dan DiDonato (Preferred Freezer Services) a t the Future Leader Alumni Networking Event held in March

The Mike Gorton Cup
On March 12th during the Seafood Expo North America, NFI and Seafax teams played in the 25th annual Mike Gorton Cup, benefiting SIRF. Participants enjoyed the fast ice and friendly camaraderie of a hard-fought game held at Harvard University. Team NFI took home the cup for the first time in three years with an exciting 8-4 victory.

Read a full account of the game by NFI Team Captain Mike Gorton here.

Participants of the 25th Annual Mike Gorton Cup, held at Harvard University
 Current Research & Funding
SIRF Sponsors Crab Enhancement Study
SIRF, in partnership with sustainability group the NFI Crab Council, has sponsored a study reviewing best practices for blue swimming crab stock enhancement. The study provides a history of enhancement work, a survey of existing methods and recommendations on integrating impactful practices into fisheries management plans. 

Marine fisheries enhancement, or stock enhancement, involves the use of hatchery-reared saltwater organisms to increase abundance and fishery yields in the wild. The use of stock enhancement dates back to the 1880's with the development of fish hatcheries. Modern enhancement evaluations have helped to create a code of responsible practices which guide the implementation of effective programs.
In " Stock Enhancement: Strategic Approach for the Blue Swimmer Crab in SE Asia ," co-authors Drs. Anson H. Hines (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center) and Yonathan Zohar (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) review the efficacy of available stock enhancement approaches. Options for stock enhancement include: Sea ranching, stock enhancement, restocking, enhancing habitat restoration, supplementation, and reintroduction. Hines and Zohar recommend the stock enhancement and restocking methods as most suited for use with blue swimming crab. These options, which focus on building up the spawning stock have been tested for small populations of blue crabs and shown to successfully improve the reproductive output of a crab population.
"We look forward to incorporating the kind of science based enhancement approach suggested by the study into our work for the blue swimming crab resource," said Crab Council Chairman Brendan Sweeny. "The paper is helping to guide the Crab Council's strategic direction of enhancement practices."
As an industry-led group, the Crab Council and its sustainability mission align with SIRF's mandate of improving the seafood business through innovation. SIRF supports the council's enhancement research because of its dual-benefits to the blue swimming crab fishery's long-term health and value," said Chairman Russ Mentzer "We look forward to seeing how this summary research informs blue swimming crab fishery improvement."
New SIRF Project: Environmental Impact Nutrient Comparison
SIRF has added another research project to its 2018 portfolio focusing on the environmental costs of producing US Seafood compared to the micronutrients of other sources of protein.

Dr. Ray Hilborn will assess seafood's carbon footprint in SIRF study

Undertaken by Dr. Ray Hilborn of the University of Washington the project involves calculating a range of environmental impacts including: carbon footprint, nutrients released, and water use [per unit of nutrients] of US aquaculture and wild capture seafood products relative to competing animal proteins, such as beef, pork, and poultry.

The study builds on and draws from a previous SIRF-sponsored project by Dr. Hilborn which evaluated the costs per unit of protein production. This additional research seeks to determine the production variables such as fuel, water and used in the production of popular seafood items.

The study findings will be made available through a smart-phone app where consumers can input the protein they intend to purchase and receive a carbon profile estimating the resource variables expended during a product's journey along the supply chain.

The environmental impact study joins an array of on-going projects, which include breast cancer nutrition and DNA identification, that uphold SIRF's commitment to improving the industry through innovation.

Issue Date


SIRF Newsletter 2018

Quick Links
Mike Gorton
Living Tribute Fund

Mike Gorton has made a tremendous impact on SIRF, serving as a longtime board member and fundraising leader. Celebrating its' 25th anniversary in 2018, The Mike Gorton Cup has raised over $1 million for seafood science studies.The Mike Gorton Living Tribute Fund honors Mike's lifetime commitment to better seafood. 

To donate to the Mike Gorton Living Tribute 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