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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 the Inaugural SIRF Fundraising Dinner, the Upcoming SIRF Hockey Fundraiser, Researcher Dr. Paul Sarnoski and the Ethel Feigon and Richard E. Gutting Memorial Funds.    


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 Events

SIRF Hosts First Fundraising Dinner--
Former NBA Star Detlef Schrempf Speaks

Last month, SIRF held its inaugural benefit dinner at NOBU restaurant in Miami Beach, Florida. Coinciding with the National Fisheries Institute's Global Seafood Market Conference, the event gathered a diverse collection of seafood leaders for an evening of fine dining and philanthropy.


Sushi rolls galore at NOBU restaurant for SIRF Fundraiser


SIRF Chairman Russ Mentzer described the event as a sea change moment for the organization. "SIRF has worked hard the past two years to raise our visibility and demonstrate our work as vital to the seafood community," said Mentzer. "This dinner provided a chance for competing companies to literally come to table, learn about SIRF and significantly further SIRF's ability to sponsor impactful seafood research."


Attendees demonstrated an outpouring of generosity, pledging close to $100,000 nearly closing out the Ethel Feigon Memorial Fund and closing the recently established Richard E. Gutting Fund Memorial Fund.


Event honored Jack Kilgore, Rich Products
Pictured with SIRF Chairman Russ Mentzer
In addition, SIRF honored Jack Kilgore of Rich Products for his lifetime contribution to the seafood industry. Guest speaker, former NBA All-Star and philanthropist Detlef Schrempf shared his thoughts about the need to work together as a team.   

Former NBA player, Detlef Schrempf, addresses attendees


Schrempf is a member of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership board and borrowed from his days on the hardwood to draw parallels between the worlds of basketball and business.  


"As a two time NBA Sixth Man Award winner, I can tell you how important it is to have depth in your bench," Schrempf said. "A successful team needs that extra player that goes in at difficult junctures and does what it takes to pull out a victory. SIRF is that sixth man for seafood, a game changer that supports needed research in resource management, health benefits and food safety."
Good times for a good cause

Left to Right: Bill Dresser (Sea Port Products), Detlef Schrempf, Jenni Davis (Sea Port Products), Mari Schrempf, Mary Mentzer
Annual SIRF Hockey Fundraiser --
March 17, 2014

SIRF will host its annual hockey fundraiser on March 17th at Harvard Ice Rink in Boston. Coinciding with the Seafood Expo North America, the fundraiser will feature the seafood industry's top skating talent as Team Seafax squares off against Team NFI. Last year saw dynamic play from both sides with the grudge match finishing in a 4-4 tie.


SIRF's Hockey Fundraiser, a friendly competition


Seafax's team will be captained by President and former collegiate phonem Jim Bonvie while the NFI squad includes the usual bruisers Todd Clark (Endeavor Seafood), Mike Gorton (Slade Gorton & Company) and the Preferred Freezer unit. NFI President John Connelly will referee, assuming his accustomed role of officiating among bitter rivals.


Hockey and seafood fans alike are encouraged to take a break from business and come see this fun, sporting event. The game starts at 7 PM and a shuttle bus will be provided to attend the hockey game leaving the Westin Waterfront Hotel at 6:15 PM.  


For more information, please contact

Schooled in SIRF
Dr. Paul Sarnoski,  
University of Florida
Dr. Paul Sarnoski of the University of Florida has tenure with SIRF. Currently developing a rapid assessment test for decomposition in Tuna and Mahi Mahi, Dr. Sarnoski is twice a SIRF researcher for his work now and during his graduate school days. While earning his degree at Virginia Tech, Dr. Sarnoski participated in SIRF funded research that examined methods of detecting crab spoilage.


SIRF Chairman Russ Mentzer believes that Dr. Sarnoski's continuity with SIRF epitomizes the connection that the organization strives for with its researchers. "The seafood industry is a close industry. You thrive on your relationships," said Mentzer.


Mentzer went on to say that SIRF then takes this relational business approach and applies it to its funded research. Over multiple projects, SIRF develops professional associations with leading scientists and academic institutions to ensure the completion of quality and impactful scientific work.


Dr. Sarnoski conducting SIRF sponsored research

Dr. Sarnoski has welcomed SIRF's support throughout his scientific career. "Because of seafood's global nature, decomposition presents a problem to the whole seafood business," said Sarnoski. "SIRF's funding has allowed me to examine this problem from many angles and address a concrete concern of the industry."


Dr. Sarnoski's current project with SIRF seeks to develop a rapid field analytical tool for objective product quality control.  The research involves testing for histamine and other biogenic amines which can result from temperature-abused Tuna and Mahi Mahi. Research began in August of last year and will continue through August of 2015.

Issue Date


February 2014

Quick Links
Ethel Feigon Memorial Fund
Ethel Feigon, the former President of Central Seaway Company (Censea), passed away on March 9th, 2013 in Sarasota, Florida. 
Her husband Gershon Feigon founded Censea in 1960. After Gershon's passing, Ethel Feigon ran the company well into her 80's increasing revenues tenfold. 
Only $5,000 needs to be met to close out the Ethel Feigon Fund. To donate click here.

Richard E. Gutting Memorial Fund


Richard E. Gutting passed away December 24th, 2013. President of the National Fisheries Institute from 1997 until 2002, Mr. Gutting provided a lifetime of work within the seafood community.


Mr. Gutting was known for his expertise in legal and regulatory issues and provided valuable advice through counsel and Urner Barry's daily Foreign Trade alert. 


The Richard E. Gutting fund received generous pledges during SIRF's Fundraising Dinner, which will close the fund.  

Michael Voisin
Memorial Fund
In 2013, the SIRF Board of Directors established a fund commemorating the late Mike Voisin, owner of Motivatit Seafoods, Inc. 
Mike Voisin passed away in Houma, LA February 2, 2013 of complications arising from a heart attack.

Please consider supporting SIRF research through the Mike Voisin fund.

To donate 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

Quick Links
2013 April Newsletter
2013 June Newsletter
2013 September Newsletter