Industry Gathers At SIRF Soirée

Coronado, California – Last week the seafood industry gathered in beautiful Coronado, California for the 6th annual Seafood Industry Research Fund’s (SIRF) Soirée benefit dinner. The evening brought together the SIRF Board of Directors and supporters to raise both awareness and funds for SIRF. Held in conjunction with the National Fisheries Institute’s Global Seafood Market Conference, this year’s event took place at the Coronado Island’s Community Center.

Throughout the evening there were many highlights showcasing SIRF accomplishments including the commercialization of FAST FISH-ID, a handheld device that allows for the easy DNA identification of 38 seafood species. The funds raised from the Soiree will benefit the newly established “Russ Mentzer Living Tribute Fund,” which honors the contributions of long-term SIRF Chairman Russ Mentzer. Mr. Mentzer will transition out of his chair role in 2019.

“Funding the future of seafood is a cause I’m passionate about,” said Mentzer. “SIRF’s contribution to the innovative force of scientific research has directly improved the industry for more than 50 years. The creation of FAST FISH-ID in particular represents a tangible contribution from SIRF to the seafood community that will aid in the industry’s economic integrity.”

The keynote speaker for the evening was Don Kent, President and CEO of Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, who spoke about the importance of aquaculture in food security and feeding increasing populations.

“To sustain the ever-growing world population, aquaculture is essential for our future,” said Kent. “It provides year-round jobs and represents over 50% of all seafood produced, providing an essential protein to many parts of the world.”


The Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF) was established in 1964 to fund research grants to colleges, universities and other institutions for research related to the seafood industry and the consumers of its products. SIRF is supported entirely by voluntary contributions from individuals and companies in and related to the seafood industry