WASHINGTON — March 22, 2017 – The following was released by the National Coalition for Fishing Communities:
Earlier this month, shortly after being confirmed as Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross addressed Commerce Department staff and outlined his priorities for the Department. Among the top priorities listed was “obtaining maximum sustainable yield for our fisheries.”
The Secretary had previously expressed his desire to boost domestic seafood production prior to his confirmation. In a February story featured in Politico, Secretary Ross is quoted as emphasizing the need to “figure out how we can become more self-sufficient in fishing and perhaps even an net exporter.”
In response to Secretary Ross’ early interest in working with U.S. fisheries, the National Coalition for Fishing Communities (NCFC) organized a letter of support for the Secretary’s goals. The letter was signed by over 350 members of the fishing industry from across the country. The NCFC would like to thank Commerce Secretary Ross for pledging to support the nation’s fishing communities.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Secretary Ross,
As members of our nation’s fishing communities, we want to express our gratitude for making the attainment of maximum sustainable yield in our fisheries a priority for the Commerce Department. We are also most appreciative of your publicly stated goal to increase domestic seafood production, which is a priority of Saving Seafood’s National Coalition for Fishing Communities.
It is most encouraging that we have a Secretary of Commerce who understands the importance of sustainably harvested seafood. As you know, the U.S. fishing industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and is a vital economic engine for our coastal communities. The industry is ready and willing to work with you and your department to achieve the goals you have set forth for American fisheries, and we want to build a successful relationship between the Commerce Department and commercial fishermen.
We know it is within our means to sustainably increase harvests and achieve maximum sustainable yield. A vibrant fishing industry will pay dividends not only to the coastal communities, but also to the millions of consumers who rely on the nutritional benefits of domestic sustainable seafood.