House Members Launch Bipartisan American Seafood Caucus

Rep. Mary Peltola (D-AK), co-founder of the American Seafood Caucus. Photo: U.S. House of Representatives.

An American Seafood Caucus has been created by three members of the U.S. House of Representatives to provide a forum that ensures domestic seafood doesn’t take a backseat to foreign projects not meeting U.S. quality and sustainability standards or are illegally subsidized by foreign governments.

“For generations, from Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean, seafood has been more than a source of sustenance – it’s been a way of life for folks from our region,” said Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-WA, who announced formation of the caucus on Nov. 8, with Reps. Mary Peltola (D-AK), Garret Graves (R- LA), and Rob Wittman (R-VA).

“Today, members of the bipartisan American Seafood Caucus stand united in our commitment to safeguarding this heritage,” Kilmer said.

Peltola noted that American and Alaskan seafood feeds millions of people around the world.

“It is nutritious, sustainable, and among the highest quality in the world. It is as important to our food system as other agricultural products,” she stated. “The federal government should treat it that way and prioritize the health and productivity of our oceans.”

Peltola, Alaska’s lone member of the House said Russia and China are pursuing exploitative trawling that is damaging the fisheries and processing that is flooding the global market with environmentally harmful, unethically produced seafoods.

“America needs a national strategy to respond and protect our domestic fishermen,” she said.