Statement on The President’s Executive Order Regarding U.S. Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth

WASHINGTON, DC — Today President Trump highlighted the importance of the U.S. seafood community to America’s economy, heritage, and future. By issuing an Executive Order that recognizes the benefits of American seafood trade and promotes the vital role it plays in the industry’s recovery, he underscored the significance of delicious, high quality U.S. seafood exports.

Continuing work to open essential markets, like the EU to our shellfish or Japan for our Alaska pollock, will help regain the seafood community’s financial footing and grow an industry eager to expand.

The President’s order also recognized the importance of enforcing rules that ensure wild caught seafood is legally harvested. Enforcement of such ideas is a shared international responsibility. The U.S. has led the way globally as early adopters of the Port State Measures Agreement, the binding international agreement targeting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. With today’s order, the White House shows a continued commitment to stamping out practices that disadvantage Americans who legally work the water.

What’s more, the order calls for a renewed focus on permitting for U.S. aquaculture facilities that is both effective and efficient. This demonstrates a clear understanding that safe, authorized aquaculture can have a lasting impact that is not only beneficial to the viability of wild capture stocks but to the economic sustainability of the entire seafood community.

The U.S. seafood community includes more than 1.7 million men and women and $145 billion in sales. Right now family-owned companies in remote coastal towns and large inland cities that catch, portion, ship and serve seafood are suffering. We applaud the President for acknowledging this important sector and the American workers it supports. We thank him for recognizing the needs identified in today’s order and encourage him to continue to remember the entire seafood value chain, including processors and distributors, during America’s recovery.

John Connelly
National Fisheries Institute