BOSTON — There might be something fishy about October at the University of Massachusetts Amherst this fall.

Thanks to a state grant reeled in by Our Wicked Fish Inc., students at the UMass flagship campus can expect plenty of local seafood and fishing-related events during "a month-long campaign for New England-caught seafood" coinciding with National Seafood Month.

"Components of the campaign will include social media content, on-campus contests, online giveaways, meet-n-greets with fishers, and could also include events such as a film screening, fish cutting demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, and brief before-and-after online survey," the Baker administration said in a press release announcing the award of three grants through the Division of Marine Fisheries' Seafood Marketing Grant Program.

The partnership between Our Wicked Fish and UMass Dining was awarded $31,240 in funding, the largest of the three grants.

The state funneled $13,376 towards a project to develop "a crowdsourcing and consumer mobilization platform to test methods for real-time seafood purchasing advice, with the goal of making the state's retail marketplace rapidly adaptable to variation in supply of local species."

The third grant, worth $6,000, will help the New Bedford Port Authority update its website to better market New Bedford-based businesses to international buyers and to educate Massachusetts residents about the seafood that is brought in at New Bedford.

"The circumstances of the pandemic present us with a pivotal opportunity for our seafood industry -- consumers need access and knowledge about great locally produced protein, and the harvesters and producers need new ways to reach consumers with the fish and shellfish they have available locally every day," said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr of Gloucester. "These grants will help make an urgently needed connection between them, and that will have a lasting positive impact." 

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