Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, Inc.

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U.S. Domestic Shrimp Industry Receives Strong Bipartisan Support from Senate Leaders to Place Shrimp in Seafood Import Monitoring Program

Posted by Mscfuwebs@gmail.com on February 9, 2018 at 12:25 AM

The Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, Inc. issued the following statement today following the transmittal of a support letter from U.S. Senators regarding language in an appropriations bill that would increase transparency in imported shrimp:

A recent letter to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, dated February 8, 2018, from eleven influential Republican and Democrat U.S. Senators led by Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker (R) would include shrimp in the full implementation of the Seafood Important Monitoring Program (SIMP) as part of the FY18 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill within 30 days of enactment. The language of the bill referenced in the letter can be found in S. 1662; Section 513 authored by Senator Richard Shelby (R- AL). The Senators advocate for the inclusion of this important language in the final FY18 omnibus appropriations legislation.

The language, if implemented, would force shrimp importers to adhere to similar standards that the U.S. shrimp industry has been required to meet for years. “With full implementation, the American people would have better, timelier access to health and safety information for this widely consumed product”; the Senators noted. Not only would the bill help build consumer confidence in the safety of imported shrimp; it would also help to close on the door on fraudulent schemes including the adulteration of domestic, wild-caught shrimp that is often mixed with cheap imported shrimp and passed to consumers as U.S. product. Additionally, the language in the bill would help hold importers accountable that source shrimp from countries and companies that employ slave labor and use excessive amounts of antibiotics on the imported shrimp, most of which is farmed raised.

“We sincerely applaud Senator Wicker and the rest of the Senators who expressed strong bipartisan support for the hard-working U.S. shrimp industry in today’s letter regarding including shrimp in the Seafood Important Monitoring Program. The domestic, wild-caught shrimp industry has been in a state of decline for decades due to the flood of cheap, imported shrimp from countries such as India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. This bill is a beacon of hope for our coastal communities that greatly rely on domestic shrimp production- the largest commercial fishing industry in the southeastern United States.” said Ryan Bradley, Director of the Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United and fifth-generation commercial fisherman.

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