April 2023 Newsletter

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Front of Printed April Newsletter - see below for text
  1. SSA Recommends Enhancements to SIMP

The Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) helps prevent illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing products from reaching the U.S. market. In comments filed this month, SSA suggested ways to increase the enforceability of SIMP and implement a meaningful traceability program. We presented examples of loopholes from the shrimp industry that support restricting the International Fisheries Trade Permits (IFTPs) to U.S. residents. We also asked the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to confirm that forced labor and human trafficking abuses in seafood supply chains will be used as a basis for identifying covered species.

  1. Win: Reduction in Proposed Wind Power Sites

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management proposed three areas in the Gulf of Mexico to be leased for wind power turbines. Only a tiny fraction of traditional shrimping grounds could be impacted by the proposed location of the wind turbines thanks to SSA’s advocacy.

A future phase of the process will determine how to connect the turbines to land through cables, demanding continued representation of the shrimp fishery’s interests. Further, SSA would like to see Congress develop legislation to require wind power companies to contribute to a fisheries compensation fund in cases of unintended damages.

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  1. Shrimpers Represented at Shrimp AP Meeting

SSA representatives actively participate in and serve on the Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Advisory Panel (see members) to engage in the scientific, management, and policy matters important to shrimpers. The Shrimp AP’s two-day meeting this March covered many issues of concern facing the shrimp industry.

  • Effort data. A new electronic logbook program to measure shrimp fishing effort is under development, including a new estimation model that will affect future management;
  • New shrimp stock modeling. The Shrimp AP considered a new shrimp stock assessment methodology and associated ecosystem modeling;
  • Wind power leasing. SSA raised concerns about insufficient requirements to decommission offshore wind energy facilities;
  • National seafood marketing. NOAA published a draft National Seafood Strategy on how to market the health benefits of seafood. SSA submitted comments that strongly support the marketing of U.S. seafood and oppose using U.S. tax dollars to promote imported seafood;
  • Bycatch and interactions. An update was provided on sea turtle and smalltooth sawfish interactions with the shrimp fishery as they relate to compliance with Endangered Species Act requirements.

See the full agenda:

See SSA’s representation on the Shrimp Advisory Panel:

See SSA’s Comments on the National Seafood Strategy:
  1. Foreign Industries Try New Strategy in Sunset Review

Last week, parties filed pre-hearing briefs with the International Trade Commission in the Sunset Review legal proceeding to determine whether antidumping duties are still needed on shrimp imports. Unlike in past sunset reviews, the foreign industries argue that dumped imports should be individually analyzed, rather than as a group, to determine whether they adversely impact the U.S. shrimp industry. A hearing will be held before the Commission on April 11th. 

Read the brief filed on behalf of the domestic shrimp industry that argues the antidumping duties should be continued:

  1. Federal Funding Sought for Antibiotic Testing, ELB Development

SSA is pursuing federal funding for the development of new electronic logbooks, which provide vital data that impact shrimp fisheries management and access to traditional fishing grounds.

We are also seeking additional federal funding to increase FDA testing of farm-raised shrimp imports for antibiotic residues. In 2019, we worked with congressional leaders to provide the FDA with “$500,000 to test Antibiotic Resistance in Imported Seafood.” While the FDA identifies shrimp imports as a high risk for contamination, it tests only 0.1% of all seafood entry lines for banned antibiotics. Meanwhile, other major global seafood markets, such as the European Union and Japan, substantially increased their testing of farm-raised shrimp—diverting shrimp to the U.S. market at low prices.

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