Boston Seafood Expo called off

The Boston seafood show, cancelled over coronavirus fears, could be staged in May

THE big Seafood North America Expo – known as the Boston Seafood Show – has been postponed because of coronavirus fears.

The prestige event, due to take place in ten days’ time, was called off last night in a decision that now throws doubt on other big seafood events around the world, including the Brussels expo in April.

The organisers, Diversified Communications, said in a statement: ‘This decision has been difficult because of the major importance of this event to the industry.

‘We heard from those of you who were concerned about health, safety and travel restrictions, and given the short time before the scheduled event date, and upcoming logistics, we have determined that postponement at this time is unavoidable.’

Boston had become one the world’s largest seafood expos and had attracted a record number of exhibitors.

However, many come from China, where travel restrictions are in place, and the Far East, which has been the region hardest hit by Covid-19. Major UK seafood companies had also registered a strong presence.

The show organiser added: ‘We are committed to finding a solution to deliver an event in North America, this year, to ensure business continuity to the seafood industry.

‘Details on when and where will be communicated directly with our customers in the next month.

‘Depending on date and location availability, the event might look slightly different for 2020 but will continue to provide the opportunities to connect suppliers and buyers in the industry.’

The decision will also have a major financial impact on the city of Boston which had been expecting thousands of visitors.

The Brussels show is still due to go ahead from April 21-23, said Diversified. Group vice president Liz Plizga said last week they were working with the venue and local authorities responsible ‘to assess risks and protocols’.

The Brussels show, which moves to Barcelona next year, saw a downturn in exhibitors and visitors in 2016, following a terrorist attack in the city three weeks before the exhibition began.

Several companies, including some of the biggest Norwegian salmon farmers, decided to stay away and there was a 17 per cent drop in crowd numbers.

Security concerns and fewer potential customers from the East were given as reasons for their absence.



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