DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable William R. Keating
Sent By:
Natasha.Silva@mail.house.gov

Dear Colleague,

America’s fisheries industry is facing a near collapse due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seventy percent of domestically harvested seafood is consumed by the restaurant and hospitality industries. The widespread closure of restaurants due to the COVID-19 pandemic
has negatively impacted the market for harvest of America’s fishermen. That is why Congressman Keating and Congressman Young invite you to join them in requesting substantial direct aid for America’s fishing families in any future stimulus package. Additionally,
this letter urges leadership to prioritize investments in the National Marine Fisheries Service in any forthcoming infrastructure package as both actions are essential to ensure the long-term sustainability of the iconic American fisheries industry.

If you would like to sing off on this letter please contact Andrew Nelson in Congressman Keating’s Office at:
Andrew.nelson@mail.house.gov, or Kayla Rillo in Congressman Young’s Office at:
Kayla.Rillo@mail.house.gov. Accepting signatures until Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 PM. Thank you! 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                           

LETTER TEXT: 

Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy,

                As you consider the many industries that have been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 in forthcoming stimulus legislation, we would like to single out America’s domestic fisheries for special consideration. While we were pleased to see
that you were able to work with our Senate colleagues to include 300 million dollars to support our domestic fisheries in the CARES Act, this number is insufficient to the task of supporting this iconic and sustainable industry as the crisis continues. 

                The COVID-19 virus has resulted in the near total closure of the hospitality and tourism industry both domestically and overseas. With nearly 70% of seafood produced in the United States being consumed in restaurants, coupled with traditional
export markets being eliminated by travel and trade restrictions, America’s domestic fisheries face a time of unparalleled uncertainty.

                Domestic fisheries support more than 1.7 million jobs in the United States and create more than 64 billion dollars in economic activity annually. America’s fisheries are amongst the most sustainable in the world and are the way of life for
countless families from Dutch Harbor to New Bedford, Morro Bay to Chatham.

To meet the unprecedented challenges facing America’s domestic fisheries after the near total collapse of traditional markets, we are asking you to provide $20 billion dollars in support for America’s domestic fisheries in any forthcoming stimulus legislation.

Funding should be dedicated to direct assistance to fishing families and their communities as they attempt to recover from the COVID pandemic. We are also presented with a unique opportunity to make a down payment on the future stability and development
of the American fisheries industry. The COVID pandemic has provided clear evidence that the United States needs to start building the resilient infrastructure that will prepare America’s fishermen for the future. To do so, funds from a future stimulus should
consider:

  • Working with fisheries stakeholder groups to broaden the market for domestically produced fisheries commodities in the US.
  • Creating regional advertising campaigns to educate consumers on how to cook more seafood at home.
  • Modernizing NOAA Fisheries data collection and publication system.
  • Implementing 100% monitoring at sea with heavy reliance on electronic monitoring.
  • Reinvigorating NOAA fisheries stock assessment systems, particularly in areas where traditional surveys will be disrupted by the development of offshore wind.
  • Updating the physical infrastructure of the NOAA Fisheries Service, by rebuilding NOAA’s Science Centers and Regional Fisheries offices.
  • Ensuring that tribal and subsistence fisheries are fully supported.
  • Expanding the Sea Grant College Program.
  • Expanding the Fisheries Finance Program to create more opportunity to finance and refinance existing businesses.
  • Adopting and fully funding the Young Fishermen’s Development Act, legislation with strong bipartisan support that will attract and train the next generation of fishermen.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many underlying weaknesses in the global economy, which has highlighted the importance of taking steps now to not only shore up the economic health of fishing families and their communities, but also to put the infrastructure
in place to ensure long-term success and sustainability of America’s fisheries. We again respectfully request that any additional stimulus or infrastructure package continue to support America’s fishermen in the amount of $20 billion dollars. Thank you for
your consideration of this request. If you have any questions about this matter please contact Andrew Nelson in Congressman Keating’s office at: (202)-225-3111 or at
Andrew.Nelson@mail.house.gov.

 

 

 

William R. Keating                                                                  Don Young

Member of Congress                                                                Member of Congress

 

 

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Environment, Natural Resources

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