America's Seafood Community Calls on Congress to Fund National Seafood Promotion Campaign

In letter to Congress, over 200 representatives from leading seafood companies and nonprofit organizations from across the country describe how promotional efforts would support public health and environmental goals while aiding hard-hit seafood communities


 

Washington, D.C. – Today, over 200 prominent members of the national seafood community wrote to Congress formally requesting Congressional investment in a multi-year seafood promotion campaign. The campaign would promote the enormous public health benefits of eating seafood while also helping an industry that employs over a million American workers.

“American seafood is so much more than just another meal option. It represents a proud way of life and a stable job for millions,” the letter from seafood industry leaders states. “[A] national investment in seafood will not only deliver a much-needed boost to companies and communities around the country but will also provide long-term benefits for the country’s public health and environment.”

This letter is part of a national push for Congressional investment in a seafood marketing program. The campaign to fund the program reflects diverse seafood companies and interests locking arms in support of a common goal to help the industry recover from the pandemic and tout the public health benefits at a time of mounting physical and mental health challenges.

The letter specifically calls out the important public health benefits that would be the central focus of the promotion campaign: “Fish is an important source of protein and other nutrients, and is a vital contributor to brain development, and healthy immune, skeletal, and cardiovascular systems,” the letter states. “These benefits are especially pronounced among new mothers, babies, seniors, and adults at risk for heart disease.”

The national campaign is driven by the National Seafood Council Task Force, a collection of America’s leading seafood producers, suppliers and processors, and is also supported by an array of America’s leading seafood councils and non-governmental organizations. Together, the coalition is pushing Congress to invest $25 million a year over a five-year period for the seafood promotion campaign.

The impetus for a promotion campaign comes from a recommendation by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, which has called for a marketing and promotion campaign “that features the value of seafood for health and nutritional benefits.” Read more on that recommendation HERE.

Over the coming months, as Congress considers annual Appropriations legislation to fund government activities, the letter signers across the country will continue to press Congress on the need for the promotion campaign. Their activities will include additional letters, meetings and events highlighting the public health, economic and environmental benefits to the country of increasing seafood consumption.

For more information on the letter sent to Congress or upcoming activities of the campaign please contact press@seafoodcampaign.org. You can also visit seafoodcampaign.org for more information.

 

The full text of the letter sent to Congress follows:

Dear Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Shelby, Chairwoman DeLauro, and Ranking Member Granger,

Thank you for your continued support for the American seafood industry. For hundreds of years, seafood has been a cultural touchstone for communities, and has provided a proud livelihood for generations of families from coast to coast.

While we have experienced difficult times in the past, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on restaurants, trade, labor, and supply chains is unlike anything we have endured. As the industry continues to rebound, a national investment in seafood will not only deliver a much-needed boost to companies and communities around the country but will also provide long-term benefits for the country’s public health and environment.

Seafood is an important source of protein and other nutrients, and is a vital contributor to brain development, and healthy immune, skeletal, and cardiovascular systems. These benefits are especially pronounced among new mothers, babies, seniors, and adults at risk for heart disease. Additionally, seafood is a climate friendly protein, with a low environmental impact.

Therefore, as you consider the importance of seafood in the appropriations conversations happening in Congress, the undersigned groups urge you to support a robust investment of $25 million per year over five years into a national seafood promotion campaign that will help American seafood workers rebound from a difficult couple of years and reinforce the public health benefits of seafood consumption.

We are thankful for countless members, on both sides of the aisle, who have fought to secure much-needed federal assistance for fishermen, farmers, processors, distributors, and seafood companies along the supply chain during the pandemic. Furthermore, we greatly appreciate the broader commitment made by many in Congress to help build a stronger and more resilient seafood industry – an aspiration echoed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The most effective and quickest way to ensure that that goal is accomplished is to adequately fund a national promotion campaign to highlight the importance of seafood to the country’s economy, public health, and environment.

Unfortunately, our industry needs this boost to rebound from the last two years of COVID-caused economic hardships. According to a NOAA report, 2020 revenue from commercial fishing landings revenue declined across all regions by an average of 22% relative to 2015-2019, and the seafood industry as a whole continued to struggle due to a reliance on exports, restaurants, and inflationary pressures. A lack of demand and slowdowns in our supply chains led some fishermen to tie up their boats until things got better and many seafood companies need help to reposition in this new economic reality.

Today the industry contributes $60 billion to the national economy and supports 1.2 million American jobs from coast to coast – the majority of whom are blue-collar, hard-working people, who go to work before most people are awake to make sure our grocery stores and restaurants have the fish, clams, lobsters, shrimp, and more that they need.

We are confident that through a unified national seafood promotion campaign, we will not only help the industry rebound for the foreseeable future, but we will firmly establish seafood as a staple in most Americans’ diets.

American seafood is so much more than just another meal option. It represents a proud way of life and a stable job for millions. As America’s seafood workers recover from two years of struggle, now is the time to invest in their success, and in a sustainable and healthy future for all of us.

We look forward to working with you to build out these priorities that will energize the American seafood industry and create a more sustainable future for food.



Signed:

Andrea Albersheim

Seafood Nutrition Partnership

Kenneth Allard

Guckenheimer

Mark Allison

Forever Oceans

Jared Auerbach

Red's Best

Kipp Baratoff

Fishpeople Seafood

Roger Barlow

Catfish Farmers of America

Michael Adrian Barnes

Island Aquaponics and Tilapia Hatchery

Gary Beatty

Inland Shrimp Company

Sebastian Belle

Maine Aquaculture Association

Ashley Besecker

Premier Catch

Joci Besecker

Premier Catch

Jodi Blanch

Gorton's

Eric Bloom

Eastern Fish Company

Todd Blount

Blount Fine Foods

Jeffrey Bolton

IQF Custom Packing, LLC

Leann Bosarge

Bosarge Boats, Inc.

Laurel Breault

American Mussel Harvesters, Inc.

Dr. Tom Brenna

University of Texas

Ben Brock

Char Restaurant

Vincent Buie

Jay Burke

Avramar, Better Fish, Better Lives

Jennifer Bushman

Route to Market

Tommy Call

Associated Wholesale Grocers

Rose Cantwell

Cedar Key Aquaculture

Mike Cape

Censea

Johnny Carino

Johnny Carino, LLC

Hampton Carver

CarverCo, LLC

David Caslow

Acme Smoked Fish

Maddie Cassidy

Global Seafood Alliance

Gregory Casten

ProFish

Richard Castle

Giant Eagle

Jerry Chang

Chang International Inc.

Barry Cohen

Atlantic Capes Fisheries

Sonja Connor

Oregon Health & Science University

Shey Conover

Islesboro Marine Enterprises

Kate Consenstein

Rising Tide Communications

John Corbin

Aquaculture Planning & Advocacy

Linda Cornish

Seafood Nutrition Partnership

Larry Cotter

Napa Seafood Foundation

Jeff Cowles

Research Chefs Association

Eric Critchlow

Marine Stewardship Council

Renato Curto

Inter Oceanic Holdings, LLC

Mark Daily

Idaho Aquaculture Association

Soren Dalsager

Royal Greenland

Jenni Davis

Sea Port Products Corporation

Fiona de Koning

Hollander and de Koning

Garrett Delgado

Neptune Snacks

Bill DiMento

High Liner Foods

Melissa Dobbins

Sound Bites, Inc.

Tom Domino

Wakefern Food Corp.

Susan Dominy

Aquafeed.com, LLC

Richard F. Draves

Draves & Associates, LLC

Bill Dresser

Sea Port Products Corporation

Jason Driskill

H-E-B

Joan Eads

FishWise

Mike Eddy

Beacon Fisheries

Mark Ely

Aqua-Life

Tom Enlow

UniSea

Michelle Faist

StarKist

Erika Feller

Marine Stewardship Council

Stephen Felsenthal

Riverence

Bob Fields

Global Protein Solution, LLC

Derek Figueroa

Seattle Fish Co.

Pat Fontaine

MS Hospitality and Restaurant Assoc.

Mark Frisch

Beaver Street Fisheries, Inc.

Amy Frizzell

Seafood Nutrition Partnership

Sam Galletti

Southwind Foods/Great American Seafood


Charles Gendron

Baja Aquaculture Inc.

Robert Gill

Gill Marine Corporation

Dave Glaubke

Sea Port Products Corporation

Jeff Goldberg

Fortune Imports

Kimberly Gorton

Slade Gorton and Co., Inc.

Jim Gossen

Gulf Seafood Foundation

Brandon Gottsacker

Superior Fresh

Michael Graham

Monterey Bay Seaweeds

Ashley Greenley

FishWise

Nelson Griffin

Red Lobster Seafood Company

Amy Grondin

Duna Fisheries, LLC

Catherine Guetarni

Slade Gorton and Co., Inc.

Daniel Hanks

King and Prince Seafood

Jim Harmon

SeaShare

Mary Harmon

SeaShare

Chris Harrington

Lonestar Seafood

Steven Hart

Global Seafood Alliance

Nate Hefti

Superior Fresh

Hannah Heimbuch

Under Sixty Cod Harvesters

Rod Hepponstall

High Liner Foods

Marcus Hinz

Oregon Coast Visitors Associations

Kurt Hogan

Gorton's

Rhonda Hubbard

Kruzof Fisheries, LLC

Bill Hueffner

Pacific Seafood Group

Linda Hunt

Yankee Fishermen's Cooperative

Chris Hussey

Gorton's

Phillip Jeffrey

Bay Hill Seafood Sales

Amy Johnson

American Mussel Harvesters, Inc.

Dick Jones

Blue Ocean Mariculture

Jessica Jones

StarKist

David Kelly

Innovasea

Brenton Kernes

Newalla Fish Company, LLC

Matthew Kilfoil

Cooke

Jack Kilgore

Rich Products

Joe Koran

ZnK, LLC

Kazuo Kozakai

Nippon Suisan (USA), Inc.

Thomas Kraft

Norpac Fisheries Export

Emma Kramer

Straight to the Plate

Kurtis Kramer

Straight to the Plate

Julie Kuchepatov

SAGE

Matthew Lebo

AKUA Life PBC

Cheng Lee

University of Hawaii

Michael Lee

California Aquaculture Association

Lisa Leger

NFNE

Neil Leininger

Veramaris

Kerry Lewis

FW Bryce

Christian L'Heureux

North Coast Seafoods

Hugh Link

Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission

Joseph Logan

Trident Seafoods

Teresa Low

Acme Smoked Fish

Meghan Luck

Alaska Wild Caught Seafood

Kara Lydon

Kara Lydon Nutrition

Jordan Lynch

G-Town Oyster Co.

Wendy Mainardi

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

Ben Martens

Maine Coast Fishermen's Association

Nancy Mathews

Cox's Wholesale Seafood, LLC

Zach Mazzetta

Mazzetta Company, LLC

Stephen McCauley

The Ginger Network

Kathleen McDavitt

Aquaculture Stewardship Council

Smokey McKeen

Pemaquid Oyster Co.

Jeanne McKnight

Northwest Aquaculture Alliance

Russ McPherson

Harvest Select Catfish

Nichole Medina

Blue Ocean Mariculture

Nick Mendoza

Neptune Snacks

Devan Meserve

Global Seafood Alliance

Robert Michaud

Gorton's

Jessica Miller

Seafood Nutrition Partnership

Elaine Moquette-Magee

Albertsons

Jim Motos

Rich Products

Christopher Nelson

Bon Secour Fisheries, Inc.

Ryan Nelson

Late Harvest Kitchen

Tim Novotny

Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission

Lauren Nutini

American Mussel Harvesters, Inc.

Roger O'Brien

Santa Monica Seafood

Meagan O'Reilly

North Coast Seafoods

Sarah Oeltjen

Premier Catch

Robert Orr

Cuna Del Mar

Mark M. Palmer

OBI Seafoods, LLC

Mike Parks

Tampa Bay Fisheries, Inc.

Victoria Parr

Veramaris

Harlon Pearce

Harlon's LA Seafood

Brian Perkins

Global Seafood Alliance

Brice Phillips

Phillips Foods, Inc.

Diane Pleschner-Steele

California Wetfish Producers Association

Philip Powell

Global Seas, LLC

Paula Quigley

American Mussel Harvesters, Inc.

Joe Rankin

NH Community Seafood

Jenny Shea Rawn

JSR Ventures

Peter Redmond

Aquaculture Stewardship Council

Judson Reis

Robert Rheault

East Coast Shellfish Growers Association

Randy Rhodes

Harvest Select Catfish

Katy Rivera

For Cod and Country, LLC

Jillian Robillard

Southern Maine Crabs, LLC

Fiona Robinson

SeaShare

Bryan Rosenberg

Chicken of the Sea

Joe Rosenberg

Censea

Michael-Ann Rowe

Off the Beaten Palate Productions

Dave Rudie

Catalina Offshore

Norman Salem

Monica San Miguel

Forever Oceans

Jennifer Scheer

Rubio's Restaurant Inc.

Shannon Schell

Premier Catch

Angela Scheufele

Rubio's Restaurant Inc.

Barton Seaver

For Cod and Country, LLC

Sara Sinnott

Oldways

Jeff Stern

Censea

Ainsley Stollar

Seafood Nutrition Partnership

Ellen Stollar

Steven Summerfelt

Superior Fresh, LLC

Caroline Susie

Caroline Susie RD

Adam Taylor

North Coast Seafoods

Thayne Taylor

Kauai Sea Farms

Jan Tharpe

Bumble Bee Seafoods

Kim Thompson

Aquarium of the Pacific

Michael Tlusty

UMass Boston

Andrea Tomlinson

New England Young Fishermen's Alliance

Jessie Trinchard

Neptune Snacks

Joe Urban

Greenville County Schools

Cyndi Van Hook

Coral Reef Seafood

Gretchen Vannice

Salvatore Versaggi

Versaggi Shrimp Corp.

Afton Vigue

Maine Aquaculture Association

Daniel Vogler

Harrietta Hills Trout Farm, LLC

Anthony Vuoso

Cal Marine Fish Company

Cynthia Wallesz

C&G's Wild Alaska Salmon

Bethany Walton

Oyster South

Celeste Weller

Yakobi Fisheries

Hugh Welsh

DSM North America

Dana White

Dana White Nutrition

Sam Wiley

Danny Woodson

Tampa Bay Fisheries

Sandy Yi-Davis

Seafood Nutrition Partnership

James Zurbrick

Fish For America USA





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