Mississippi Seafood Marketing Program (MSMP) is proud to announce that the Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources continue to stand by the amendment to the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013, also known as the Farm Bill, which supports a National Seafood Marketing and Development Fund with associate regional boards.
On September 21, 2012, in an effort to enhance national seafood marketing efforts, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) proposed legislation that would create a National Seafood Marketing and Development Fund, Regional Seafood Marketing Boards and a National Coordinating Committee. The purpose of this was to elevate the position of United States domestic seafood industry through market expansion, sustainability efforts, certification and traceability, as well as new marketing and consumer education programs. If enacted, it would direct the Secretary of Commerce to establish Regional Seafood Marketing Boards in the following areas while also allowing eligible states to have members appointed to these boards to decide how to best distribute funding:
• Northeast Atlantic
• Mid and South Atlantic
• Gulf and Caribbean
• West and North Pacific
When it came time for the Senate to vote on the Farm Bill in mid-June, they left out any mention of the proposed legislation and Senator Begich never had the opportunity to introduce the new seafood amendment. For this reason, the National Seafood Marketing Coalition and individual states are working with legislators to tack on a similar amendment to the House version of the Farm Bill.
“We’re proud that the Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources support amending the bill,” says Irvin Jackson, Director of Mississippi Seafood Marketing Program. “It would be a great help to various seafood industries and the seafood marketing entities that represent them.”
Members of the Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources recently signed a resolution that requests the Mississippi Congressional Delegation assist in amending the 2013 Farm Bill and the passage thereof with the requested amendment.
Fresh, wild-caught Mississippi Seafood from the teeming gulf waters has supported many generations of fishermen and is a sustainable, domestic resource helping to preserve the American economy. When most of the seafood consumed in America is imported, it becomes necessary to take a step back and redirect focus on the countless benefits of expanding and strengthening the domestic seafood market such as employment, food supply and generated revenue in the U.S.