On June 14, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Commerce Justice Science funding bill for fiscal year 2019 (FY19). Within that bill were several measures to assist the shrimp sector.
First, the CJS Subcommittee provided $1.4 million in implementation monies for the transition of shrimp to the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP). Shrimp is included in SIMP beginning in December 2018, and implementation funding was also provided in FY18. Second, the language requires NOAA to do more to “deter illegally harvested and improperly documented seafood…to ensure fair competition for our country’s fisherman and safety for American Consumers.” Third, the language requires better technology at NOAA to assist with “Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated” ( IUU) fishing enforcement.
Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL), Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) each strongly support the American Shrimp sector, and their efforts (like this one) are crucial to its long-term success.
“Once again our Senators from Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi delivered for the American shrimp and seafood industries,” said Dr. David Veal, Executive Director of the American Shrimp Processors Association.
“We really appreciate the leadership of Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), Appropriations Committee Member, and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in getting this particular shrimp and seafood IUU language into the CJS Appropriations Bill,” he added.
“Shrimp boats, docks and processors are suffering on the one hand from skyrocketing imports that are causing prices to plummet and surging diesel costs on the other. Both of these adverse
trends are causing plunging profits now in 2018,” said ASPA Gulf Counsel Edward T. “Eddy” Hayes. “So this news of help from our Senators is particularly welcome at a time when many ASPA members are struggling,” he added.
“Better records and monitoring of foreign shrimp ponds will enhance the safety of this farm raised product for the American Consumer,” said Dr. Veal. “Better records also make better trade enforcement possible,” he added.
“Eventually, we hope to achieve more equivalent standards with the EU and other fully developed nations. Then nations can no longer dump shrimp into the U.S. market to evade more expensive monitoring required by the EU and others,” said Eddy Hayes. “This language is a great first step.”
“ASPA members are just so pleased that the Senators from AL, LA, MS work so hard for the survival of shrimp boats, docks and processors,” said Dr. Veal. “Our Senators understand that this is an important way of life and livelihood for families along the Gulf.”
More information on the efforts of ASPA and its members can be accessed via www.americanshrimp.com.
About the American Shrimp Processors Association: The American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA), based in Biloxi, Mississippi, was formed in 1964 to represent and promote the interests of the domestic, U.S. wild-caught, warm water shrimp processing industry along the Gulf and South Atlantic with members from Texas to North Carolina. We are the collective voice of the industry, and our focus is to promote the interests of shrimp processors, other segments of the U.S. domestic wild-caught warm water shrimp industry and the general public. More information is available at http://www.americanshrimp.com