U.S. SEAFOOD COMMUNITY STRONGLY SUPPORTS A NATIONAL SEAFOOD COUNCIL TO DEVELOP A HOLISTIC CONSUMER MARKETING & PUBLIC EDUCATION INITIATIVE
More than 60 leading organizations in the nation’s diverse seafood community sent a letter to Congress today to support a comprehensive, nationwide seafood marketing and public education campaign as recommended by NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Council (MAFAC) in July 2020.
Seafood is the healthiest, most environmentally sustainable form of animal protein production on the planet, but Americans are not eating nearly enough for optimal health as outlined in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. An unprecedented public education campaign, with initial support from the federal government, is needed to inspire a shift in consumer behavior and to measurably increase American seafood consumption from the current 16 lbs. to 26 lbs. per capita, which is the recommended two servings per week. To support this campaign, the letter to Congress (House and Senate) requests an initial appropriation for $25 million.
As recommended by NOAA’s MAFAC, an industry-led, federally-supported National Seafood Council will develop and execute a holistic seafood marketing and education campaign to build a more resilient seafood sector, improve public health, and foster a healthier planet.
The U.S. seafood community strongly supports a National Seafood Council. In 2020, MAFAC conducted interviews with more than 50 seafood industry leaders from across the country and reported there was national support for the concept. The Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) has received a similar favorable response to the concept and has formed an industry-represented National Seafood Council (NSC) Task Force to lay a foundation for the Council’s future work.
“The National Seafood Council Task Force will actively lay the foundation for the most all-encompassing, consumer-facing seafood marketing campaign in our nation’s history,” said Jim Motos, SVP of Consumer Brands Division, Rich Products and Chair of Seafood Nutrition Partnership.
The National Seafood Council will establish one unified voice for the seafood industry and will remain positively focused on the areas of greatest agreement among the diverse seafood sector: public health. A broad-reaching, unified National Seafood Council will provide the scale needed to complement and amplify efforts of existing seafood marketing organizations and will focus on increasing seafood consumption as a whole and not at the species-specific level.
Recognizing the urgent need for Americans to eat more seafood for overall wellness, the initial focus of the National Seafood Council will be to promote the immense health benefits of consuming sustainable seafood, which includes U.S. wild-caught fisheries and aquaculture.
“With an initial influx of federal funds and strong industry leadership, a National Seafood Council can build a stronger more resilient seafood sector — one that supports our fishermen, our environment, and Americans’ health,” said Linda Lai Cornish, president of Seafood Nutrition Partnership.
Industry leaders interested in learning more about the National Seafood Council Task Force may contact Margaret Henderson, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Seafood Nutrition Partnership.
SUPPORT LETTER SIGNATORIES
Michael Alexander, King & Prince Seafood, Brunswick GA
Eric Bloom, Eastern Fish Company, Teaneck NJ
Tom Brenna, Ph.D., Professor, University of Texas at Austin, Austin TX
Joe Bundrant, Trident Seafoods Corporation, Seattle WA
Jennifer Bushman, Route to Market, San Francisco CA
Carlos Cardenas, Sol Azul Seafarms, LLC, Ventura CA
John Connelly, National Fisheries Institute, McLean VA
Sonja Connor, MS, RDN, Research Associate Professor, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland OR
Linda Cornish, Seafood Nutrition Partnership, Arlington VA
Eric Critchlow, Marine Stewardship Council, Seattle WA
Bob Desautel, Global Seas LLC, Seattle WA
Tom Domino, Wakefern Food Corp. dba ShopRite, Keasbey NJ
Bill Dresser, Sea Port Products Corporation, Kirkland WA
Jason Driskill, H-E-B, LP, San Antonio TX
Mikel Durham, American Seafoods Group, LLC, Seattle WA
Mike Eddy, Beacon Fisheries, Jacksonville FL
Derek Figueroa, Seattle Fish Company, Denver CO
Fernando Frederico, Lusamerica Foods, Morgan Hill CA
Mark Frisch, Beaver Street Fisheries, Inc., Jacksonville FL
Charles Gendron, Baja Aquaculture Inc., Jackson WY
Jamie Goen, Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, Seattle WA
Josh Goldman, Australis Aquaculture, Greenfield MA
Ron Goodman, Ivy City Smokehouse, Washington DC
Jim Gossen, Gulf Seafood Foundation, Lafayette LA
Nelson Griffin, Red Lobster Seafood Company, Orlando FL
James Griffin, Professor, Johnson & Wales University; Chilean Salmon Marketing Institute, Boston MA
Jim Harmon, SeaShare, Bainbridge Island WA
Steve Hart, Global Seafood Alliance, Portsmouth NH
Hannah Heimbuch, Under Sixty Cod Harvesters, Homer AK
Rod Hepponstall, High Liner Foods, Inc., Portsmouth NH
Kurt Hogan, Gorton’s Inc., Gloucester MA
Dick Jones, Blue Ocean Mariculture, Kailua-Kona HI
John Kaneko, Hawaii Seafood Council, Honolulu HI
David Kelly, Innovasea, Boston MA
Julie Kuchepatov, SAGE, Portland OR
Neil Leininger, Veramaris, Blair NE
Tom Mazzetta, Mazzetta Company, LLC, Highland Park IL
Kathleen McDavitt, Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Salt Lake City UT
Jeanne McKnight, Northwest Aquaculture Alliance, Mercer Island WA
Andy Mecs, StarKist Co., Pittsburgh PA
Jacob Merculief, Mayor of City of Saint Paul Island, Saint Paul Island AK
Malcolm Milne, North Pacific Fisheries Association, Homer AK
Craig Morris, Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers, Seattle WA
Jim Motos, Rich Products, Saint Simons Island GA
Chris Nelson, Bon Secour Fisheries, Bon Secour LA
Robert Orr, Cuna Del Mar LP, Jackson WY
Jim Parsons, National Aquaculture Association, Tallahassee FL
Harlon Pearce, Harlon’s LA Fish, Kenner LA
Margaret Pilaro, Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, Olympia WA
Judson Reis, Gloucester MA
Robert Rheault, East Coast Shellfish Growers Assn., Toms River NJ
Joe Rosenberg, CenSea, Inc., Northbrook IL
Dave Rudie, Catalina Offshore Products, San Diego CA
Angela Scheufele, Rubio’s, Carlsbad CA
Barton Seaver, Coastal Culinary Academy, Portland ME
Brooks Takenaka, United Fishing Agency, Honolulu HI
Jan Tharp, The Bumble Bee Seafood Company, San Diego CA
Brett Veerhusen, Ocean Strategies, Seattle WA
Bethany Walton, Oyster South, Mobile AL
Hugh Welsh, DSM, Parsippany NJ
Andy Wink, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, Anchorage AK
Jeremy Woodrow, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Juneau AK
Justin Zeulner, The Wave Foundation, Portland OR