Congress Urged to Fund National Seafood Marketing Campaign

BOSTON – Legislators on Capitol Hill are being urged by those in the Massachusetts seafood industry to fund a nationwide marketing campaign showcasing seafood.

In a letter to the delegation in Congress representing the Bay State, members of major players in the seafood industry such as Gorton’s and North Coast Seafoods called for funding to boost a multi-year marketing effort.

The signatories said that campaign would improve public health, boost the regional economy, and aid a vital part of the workforce within Massachusetts–especially in the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is part of a larger nationwide push from the National Seafood Council Task Force to receive funding for a five-year marketing campaign.

That coalition of leaders in producing and supplying seafood is aiming to secure $25 million per year from Congress.

The full letter, according to the Task Force, can be found below:

Dear Massachusetts Congressional delegation:

Thank you for your continued support of the Massachusetts seafood industry. Our state’s iconic seafood industry continues to be a key economic driver for communities across the state and an essential part of our identity. We are dedicated to ensuring that the wide variety of seafood our state produces continues to be a cornerstone of our economy and way of life.

While we have experienced difficult times in the past, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on restaurants, trade, labor, and supply chains is unlike anything we have endured. As you consider the importance of seafood in the appropriations conversations happening in Congress, the undersigned groups urge you to support a robust investment into a national seafood marketing campaign that will help American fishers rebound from a difficult couple of years.

We are thankful that so many in the Massachusetts Congressional delegation and others have fought to secure much-needed federal assistance for our seafood businesses. Furthermore, we greatly appreciate the broader commitment made by the delegation to help build a stronger and more resilient seafood industry – an aspiration echoed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The quickest, most effective way to ensure that that goal is accomplished is to adequately fund a national marketing campaign to highlight the importance of seafood to the country’s economy, public health, and environment.

Unfortunately, our industry needs this boost to rebound from the last two years of COVID-caused economic hardships. According to a recent NOAA report, COVID has had a profound impact on the seafood industry. The report finds that commercial fishing landing revenue declined by 22 percent due to measures to reduce the spread of COVID. A lack of demand and slowdowns in our supply chains led some fishermen to tie up their boats until things got better.

Bearing the brunt of the downturn are the fishers, dealers, retailers, and processors in Massachusetts – the majority of whom are blue-collar, hard-working people who go to work before most people are awake. These men and women have made our commercial fishing industry into the force it is today and they deserve every resource we can provide.

We are confident that through a unified national seafood marketing campaign, we will not only help the industry rebound for the foreseeable future, but we will firmly establish seafood as a staple in most Americans’ diets.

We are all invested in the health and growth of the seafood market – not just those of us who depend on the daily catch to receive a paycheck. As we begin to confront food challenges associated with climate change, it’s imperative to note that seafood is a climate friendly protein, with a low environmental impact.

Additionally, fish is an important source of protein and other nutrients, and is a vital contributor to brain development, and healthy immune, skeletal, and cardiovascular systems. These benefits are especially pronounced among new mothers, babies, seniors, and adults at risk for heart disease. Encouraging more seafood consumption is not only good for public health, but would save Americans billions of dollars in health-related economic costs.

Massachusetts seafood is so much more than just another meal option. It represents a proud cultural touchstone and a stable job. Our waters and coastal towns have helped support and feed generations of families. As Massachusetts seafood workers recover from years of struggle, now is the time to invest in their success.

We look forward to working with you to build out these priorities that will energize the Massachusetts seafood industry and put more people to work.


Judson Reis

Soren Dalsager
Royal Greenland

David Kelly

Meagan O’Reilly
North Coast Seafoods

Kara Lydon
Kara Lydon Nutrition

Jeffrey Bolton
IQF Custom Packing

Kurt Gordon
Gorton’s Inc.

Chris Hussey
Gorton’s Inc.

Christian L’Heureux
North Coast Seafoods

Jared Auerbach
Red’s Best

Kenneth Allard

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

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