Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, Inc.

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Shrimp in the Seafood Import Monitoring Program is Now Law

Posted by Mscfuwebs@gmail.com on March 26, 2018 at 9:05 AM

U.S. Congress Takes Action To Protect American Shrimp Industry and Consumers of Imported Shrimp!

The domestic, wild-caught U.S. shrimp industry is glad to see the language in Sec. 539 of the FY18 Omnibus Appropriations bill originally introduced by Senator Shelby (R- AL) make it into law. Also, it should also be noted that additional language was added to the final rider that included a number of provisions favorable to restaurants such as language that would give shrimp importers at least until December 31, 2018 to comply with the powerful, Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP). Also, importers will only have to comply if the U.S. Government has created a similar traceability program for U.S. produced aquaculture shrimp by the same date. Additional language was also inserted to ensure the confidentiality of data collected and a provision that gives the Secretary of Commerce discretion in the promulgation of regulations necessary to the establishment and implementation of the program.

"We are pleased with the U.S. Congress for including language in the FY18 Omnibus Appropriations bill regarding lifting the stay on the inclusion of shrimp in the Seafood Import Monitoring Program."- said Ryan Bradley, Director of the Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United. "There was some additional language added to the final rider that made it into law that will ease concerns of U.S. restaurants over potential supply constrictions."; he added.

None the less; the domestic, wild-caught shrimp industry is ecstatic to see that Congress was willing to take action to address problems associated with cheap, imported shrimp flooding into the United States. Often times, the majority of these imported shrimp are farmed raised and are laced with excessive antibiotics. Also, extensive fraud exists throughout the import supply chain as has been reported by several news outlets including the adulteration of shrimp products and allegations of slave labor practices; in which, this action will help to address. Now that is the law, the U.S. wild-caught shrimp industry remains hopeful that imported shrimp will find its way into the SIMP program sooner than later. Consumers of shrimp- the mostly widely consumed seafood in the U.S., should also be relieved that the U.S. Government is taking action to ensure the health and safety of it's citizens.

This issue was fiercely lobbied on by industry groups on both sides of the coin. Special thanks go out to Mississippi's legislators whom worked hard on this issue including: Senator Roger Wicker, Senator Thad Cochran, and Rep. Steven Palazzo. Additionally, the measure was received bi-partisan support from members of both the House and the Senate signed onto letters of support for the "Shrimp in SIMP" provisions. Most recently, Senator Roger Wicker spearheaded a letter signed by eleven Senate colleagues to support the measure; for which the Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United is greatly appreciative of. The war over imported shrimp will continue to rage on; especially, as talks of tariffs begin to heat up!

Here is the full text of the rider found is Sec. 539 of H.R.1625:

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