Rancho Dominguez, CALIFORNIA – Santa Monica Seafood Co., applauds the reintroduction of the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act. The bipartisan bill, reintroduced on October 28, would establish national standards for offshore aquaculture, help meet the increasing demand for local, sustainable seafood, and create new jobs.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that the United States has over 95,000 miles of shoreline. Roger O’Brien, President and CEO of Santa Monica Seafood, said, “the ability to access federal waters to raise and deliver sustainable seafood to the American public will help reduce our dependence on imported seafood. The United States imports over 90% of our seafood, and the bipartisan AQUAA Act will go a long way towards reducing that trade deficit.”
The Covid-19 pandemic seriously impacted the seafood industry, and the job opportunities the bill will create in coastal communities cannot be overstated. The industry’s seasonality means that the sizable number of workers who dedicate their lives to seafood will have the opportunity to access the much-valued stability that aquaculture operations can provide.
At scale, aquaculture can lessen the need for harvesting wild fish, help prevent overfishing, and protect marine habitats. The AQUAA Act will potentially help contribute to the long-term goal of providing our growing population with sustainable protein. “We commend Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) for crossing party lines for the good of the American economy and the future of our oceans,” said O’Brien.
ABOUT SANTA MONICA SEAFOOD – Santa Monica Seafood, an 82-year-old privately-owned company, is the largest specialty wholesale distributor and processor of fresh and frozen seafood in the Southwestern U.S. with over 250,000 s.f. of facilities in 12 locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, New Mexico, and Texas. Santa Monica Seafood also owns and operates two retail stores and cafes – in Santa Monica and Costa Mesa, CA – specializing in seafood and seafood-related products. Santa Monica Seafood was the first and still the only seafood company in the United States to achieve FSSC 22000 certification for food safety management systems, ISO 14001 certification for environmental management programs and BAP certification for its main processing facility for repacking salmon and tilapia products.