National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

jesJes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.

 

I've spent a lot of time diving into the archives of National Fisherman in my seven years with the magazine. I remember reading about the national enthusiasm behind creating new food products out of seafood. Think: Sea Dog, the hot dog with healthy Omega 3s!

When I was reading these old volumes, I wondered what happened to those products and the enthusiasm behind U.S. seafood. Part of the answer is that the 1954 Saltonstall-Kennedy Act established the funds that were devoted to these exciting new seafood products and marketing ventures. Over time, those grants were slowly turned over to fishery science research and data collection projects.

This week, Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) introduced an amendment to the U.S. Farm Bill that would create a National Seafood Marketing and Development Fund. (Click here to download a PDF of the amendment.)

Seven states have sent legislative resolutions of support to Congress in favor of a national marketing fund for seafood — Alaska, California, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon and Rhode Island.

On a federal level, NOAA has taken some interest in creating a national sustainability label for U.S. seafoods. It's looking like the right time for more and better marketing of American fish and fisheries.

The fund would roughly mimic the fishery management council structure by establishing five regional seafood marketing boards, and each board member would serve no more than three three-year terms.

The beauty of this marketing fund is that it would establish cost-sharing grants that help committed seafood industry marketers (those willing to pony up some of the dough) get some traction without having to bear 100 percent of the costs.

As Bruce Schactler, director of the National Seafood Marketing Coalition says, the fund is merely taking back a small portion "of the Saltonsall-Kennedy funds that have always been intended for industry grants for the 'promotion and development of seafood products.'"

Cheers to that, Bruce!

If you're interested in seeing this fund come to fruition, call your federal representatives today, and keep the amendment alive in the Farm Bill.

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 8/14/14

In this episode:

  • More cod cuts expected if NOAA data holds
  • Louisiana importing oysters to meet demand
  • N.C. sets new sturgeon bycatch rules
  • BP appeals to Supreme Court on spill settlement
  • Senate releases new Magnuson-Stevens draft

National Fisherman Live: 8/5/14

In this episode, National Fisherman's Boats & Gear Editor Michael Crowley talks with Frances Parrott about the Notus Dredgemaster.

Inside the Industry

PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative has appointed Matt Jacobson as its new executive director.
 
 Read more...

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene its Red Snapper Advisory Panel Wednesday, July 30, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the council office — 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, in Tampa, Fla. 

Read more...

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