The effort to create a national seafood marketing board in the United States has gained momentum with funding from the US government.
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies recently released a explanatory statement on a bill headed for the US Senate that includes a specific order to begin pursuing a National Seafood Council. A specific order in the 222-page document directs NOAA to begin detailing how it facilitates such a council .
“The committee recognizes the sustainability and significant nutritional benefits of seafood consumption, and that promoting seafood nationwide can lead to increased seafood consumption and a seafood industry. stronger,” the report said. “Within 180 days of the enactment of this law, the committee directs NOAA to provide a report to the committee detailing how the agency would facilitate the National Seafood Council through the Fisheries Advancement Fund to support a comprehensive national seafood marketing and public education campaign.”
The idea of resurrecting a national seafood marketing effort was first mooted at a meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee in 2019. The United States had previously attempted to create a National Council of seafood after the US Fish and Seafood Promotion Act was enacted in 1986, but the underfunded effort only lasted five years before disbanding.
The initial 2019 meeting sparked a wave of support for a national marketing board, so in 2021 more than 60 U.S. seafood organizations sent a letter to Congress supporting appropriations needed to resurrect National Seafood. Council.
“The goal of this national seafood campaign is to help America build a more resilient seafood industry,” SNP President Linda Cornish told SeafoodSource at the time. . “Our message that we communicate to consumers will be at the highest level of agreement, which is that seafood is healthy for us to eat.”
Since then, other campaigns have shown the promise of a national marketing effort. Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) and the Seafood4Health Coalition have launched Eat Seafood America! campaign in 2020 and reported an 800% ROI.
During a panel held at the 2022 edition of Seafood Expo North America in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, several leaders of the initiative said funding to form the council appeared to be close at hand, putting the seafood on par with a number of other food-related industries.
“Other commodity campaigns like milk, beef, eggs, avocados have millions [of dollars] a year to bring their product to market,” SNP President Linda Lai Cornish told the session.
Photo courtesy of DCStockPhotography/Shutterstock