Domestic Shrimp Industry Scores Victory in Congressional Import Monitoring Program

On Thursday, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) added language to the FY2018 Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee bill to ensure that the Seafood Import Monitoring Program for shrimp is fully implemented on the same timeline with all other species.     

“We are so pleased that Chairmen Cochran and Shelby inserted language in the Senate CJS Appropriations bill to make sure that shrimp is included in this important program to provide traceability of U.S. seafood imports,” says Dr. David Veal, Executive Director of the American Shrimp Processors Association. “They understand that since shrimp comprises 65 percent of U.S. seafood imports, it is vital that the species is included in the program.”

“Chairmen Cochran and Shelby showed once again today that they care about the survival of the U.S. shrimp industry and continued economic opportunity and job growth for coastal Gulf communities,” says  Edward T. Hayes, Gulf Counsel for the American Shrimp Processors Association. “This measure will make sure that the health and safety of the American consumer is foremost when it comes to aquaculture shrimp imports.”

“Including shrimp in the Seafood Import Monitoring Program will help with trade enforcement by making it easier to combat import fraud,” continues Dr. Veal. “We also appreciate that Secretary Wilbur Ross and the U.S. Commerce Department worked very hard to implement the rule on the overall program.”

“The leaders of NOAA and of the Commerce Department understand that illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) foreign fisheries cause harm for consumers and the domestic seafood industry. We are also grateful for the broad support of the rule by Gulf state Senators. We commend Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in particular for leading two Senate letters on this topic, which clearly moved the ball forward.  It is nice to see the Congress and the Trump Administration team up on this issue,” Hayes concluded. For more information and to view the letter from Senator Bill Cassidy, click here.

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