Yesterday, the Southern Shrimp Alliance sent a letter to the leaders of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and U.S. House Committee on Agriculture to encourage the inclusion of seafood under USDA programs.
The letter highlights the dire circumstances facing the US shrimp industry and lends unequivocal support for and strong endorsement of a letter sent to the Committees by a remarkably broad nationwide assemblage of the seafood industry allied in their call to focus on practical steps that can provide critical support for America’s seafood producers in drafting the Farm Bill. Specifically, we urge the: (i) creation of an Office of Seafood Policy and Program Integration in the USDA Office of the Chief Economist; (ii) promotion of greater seafood procurement across United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition programs; and (iii) extension of the eligibility for certain USDA grants and loans to U.S. seafood producers and supporting businesses.
In July, SSA also helped draft The Laws Ensuring Safe Shrimp Act (LESS Act) that, if passed, would finance USDA’s purchases of shrimp for the agency’s distribution programs through duties collected on dumped shrimp imports.
“US shrimpers across the Gulf and South Atlantic are confronting one of the worst years this industry has ever experienced. Throughout shrimping states, coastal communities are declaring disasters as imports push the industry to the brink of collapse,” said John Williams, Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. “Making seafood, such as shrimp, eligible under various USDA programs could substantially mitigate this crisis facing our industry today.”