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Friday, January 5, 2024

National USDA awards more than USD 9 million in salmon contracts Seafood Source by Christine Blank - January 2, 2024 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the purchase of more than USD 9 million (EUR 8.2 million) worth of wild-caught domestic salmon for youth nutrition programs and other domestic food distribution strategies on 29 December 2023. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/usda-awards-more-than-usd-9-million-in-salmon-contracts From the Editor: H.R. 4618 Fishermen's News - January 3, 2024 Supporters of the commercial fishing industry received some good news in late 2023 when the federal legislation known as H.R. 4618 –commonly called the Supporting Commercial Fishing in Port Infrastructure Projects Act – passed both the House and Senate as part of the Maritime Administration Reauthorization Act. https://fishermensnews.com/from-the-editor-h-r-4618/ International GAPP Lauds Biden’s “Decisive Action” to Close Loophole on Russian Seafood to U.S. SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - February 4, 2024 Yesterday the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) issued a statement praising the Biden administration, the Alaska Congressional delegation, Washington Senator Maria Cantwell and others for leading a "decisive effort to close a loophole that had previously allowed American consumers to unknowingly purchase lower quality Russian-harvested seafood, thereby risking directly blunting U.S. demand for seafood and indirectly supporting Russia’s war on Ukraine.”Biden’s Executive Order “concretely closes the pathway for lower quality Russian-caught fish like Pollock to enter the U.S. market and ensures American consumers have more transparency into the seafood products they purchase,” the group said.“This Executive Order is a significant win for Team Wild Alaska Pollock and we are eternally grateful to the Biden Administration and our Alaska and Washington Congressional delegations for recognizing this need and taking swift action,” said Bob Desautel, GAPP Chairman of the Board.“Our goal at GAPP is to ensure that consumers know the story behind their seafood purchases and we’ve invested heavily at GAPP in encouraging brands to put our name on front of package and on menus. Closing this loophole ensures that our brand—Wild Alaska Pollock—isn’t tarnished by countries harvesting the fish who don’t adhere to the high standards we do around quality, labor, sustainability and continuous improvement.”The ban on Russian-origin seafood was implemented in March 2022, in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But that action failed to stop Russian seafood reprocessed in another country, like China. China has recently been investigated for their unfair labor practices in seafood processing.The new Executive Order and resulting US Department of the Treasury determination, signed on December 22, 2023, will protect American consumers -- those who want high quality seafoods and care about where it comes from -- from unknowingly buying Russian product.“GAPP was founded to build demand for one of the most amazing seafood products on the market—once-frozen, U.S.-caught and processed Wild Alaska Pollock,” Desautel explained.“When Russia lost its ability to ship seafood directly to the United States, they turned to China to import, thaw, process and refreeze their Pollock to allow it eligibility for export to the United States.“GAPP’s research shows this 'twice frozen' pollock when sold as fish sticks, fillets or sandwiches is of a lower quality and results in a far less enjoyable eating experience for consumers. When consumers purchase this lower quality product in the market and have a negative experience, it has the net effect of turning consumers away from not only once-frozen, U.S.-caught Wild Alaka Pollock, but all seafood. That makes GAPP’s work to build demand for this domestic resource even more difficult,” he said.Craig Morris, CEO of GAPP noted critical findings from GAPP’s annual consumer survey.“The bottom line is that provenance is important to U.S. consumers,” Morris said. “That is why GAPP worked so hard with our sister trade associations years ago to ensure that if the package says “Alaska Pollock” in the United States it can only come from Alaska.“This past summer, when we asked a nationwide representative sample of U.S. consumers what’s important to them in purchasing fish, over half said it’s [being] a product of the U.S. and a third said they are motivated to buy knowing it’s a product of Alaska,” said Morris.“But the fact is that when that Russian fish is processed in China and then made into an end item like a fish sandwich here in the U.S., the consumer may not be aware of what name of the fish is much less be able to know where the fish was actually caught or if it has been twice frozen in China.“The President’s Executive Order changes that and essentially gives the U.S. consumer exactly what they say they are asking for as our data shows an incredibly strong preference by U.S. consumers for fish from the U.S. and a notable dislike of fish from Russia and China,” Morris explained.“Specifically, our nationwide survey results showed 87% of consumers are likely to purchase fish from the United States and data indicates consumers actively try and avoid purchasing fish from China and Russia specifically.“We see that when consumers learn their fish is sourced from Russia or China, they’re more likely to feel ‘confused, misled or annoyed’, and that is a risk we can’t run with U.S. consumers who may just choose to turn their backs on the entire seafood case,” he added.“We are incredibly grateful that this new Executive Order as it removes this risk from the marketplace.” https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1268825/GAPP-Lauds-Bidens-Decisive-Action-to-Close-Loophole-on-Russian-Seafood-to-US Federal Register North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/04/2024 The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Scientific and Statistical Committee Informational meeting will be held. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2024/01/04/2023-28986/north-pacific-fishery-management-council-public-meeting

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