Washington, D.C. (KINY) – U.S. Representatives Garret Graves (R-LA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Rob Wittman (R-VA), and Mary Peltola (D-AK) have launched the bipartisan American Seafood Caucus to provide a forum for seafood policy champions to find common ground and ensure that healthy, domestically produced, seafood doesn’t take a backseat to foreign products that often don’t uphold our quality and sustainability standards, or may be illegally subsidized by foreign governments.
The inaugural co-chairs represent the United States’s four major coastlines and intend to involve a diverse membership from different regions of the country. The caucus reaffirms the members’ commitment to ensuring American seafood and our fishing communities have a level playing field in both the global and domestic markets.
“In Louisiana, we’ve seen our fishing communities struggle to survive against unfair trade practices, crippling inflation, and energy costs, as well as natural disasters. Members of Congress often have regional differences in our approach to seafood policy, but we have more issues in common than we often realize, and the caucus gives us a platform to find solutions. Our south Louisiana communities stand to gain from this bipartisan effort,” Graves said.
“For generations, from the Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean, seafood has been more than a source of sustenance – it’s been a way of life for folks from our region,” Kilmer said. “Today, members of the bipartisan American Seafood Caucus stand united in our commitment to safeguarding this heritage. We’re dedicated to ensuring that our seafood industry thrives – creating jobs, powering local economies, and putting us on a sustainable path so that future generations can fish for salmon, dig for clams, and enjoy Dungeness crab at the annual seafood festival in my hometown. Together, we’ll advocate not just for the health of our waters but the health of our people and our communities.”
“The Commonwealth of Virginia boasts a rich maritime heritage and a vibrant seafood industry, which have been a major economic driver for generations,” Wittman said. “I’m proud to join my colleagues from across the aisle and country to launch the American Seafood Caucus, which will enable Congress to champion our nation’s seafood industry by promoting sustainable practices, economic growth, and job creation in our coastal communities.”
“American and Alaskan seafood feeds millions at home and around the world,” Peltola said. “It is nutritious, sustainable, and among the highest quality in the world. It is as important to our food system as other agricultural products. The federal government should treat it that way and prioritize the health and productivity of our oceans. Right now, Russia and China are pursuing exploitative trawling that is damaging our fisheries and processing that is flooding the global market with environmentally harmful, unethically produced seafood. America needs a national strategy to respond and protect our domestic fishermen. I am proud to co-found this bipartisan caucus and help lead the way for all of America’s oceans.”