Local fishermen applaud seafood labeling law

Date: September 4, 2017

Source: Daily Comet
Author: Dan Boudreaux

A new regulatory program that will go into effect next year would require seafood to be labeled with its country of origin.

Although some are worried about how the labeling might negatively affect the seafood industry as a whole, local fishermen and processors are seeing it as a boon.

Opponents of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program, chief among them being the National Fisheries Institute that recently lost its lawsuit to stop the Jan. 1 implementation, say that the labeling for wild caught and farm-grown seafood could cost the industry millions of dollars.

“NFI is disappointed with the court’s decision. The Seafood Import Monitoring Program remains an expensive burden for American companies the will bear the costs, for instance $53 million in record-keeping expenses alone,” said NFI President John Connelly in a news release.

The regulations are designed to target illegal fishing and importation practices. Connelly said his organization has a long history of supporting reasonable measures to combat illegal fishing, but he argues that the monitoring program won’t affect “pirate fishing.”

“These additional regulations will not decrease pirate fishing. The SIMP will though increase food prices and reduce seafood choices for the average American family,” Connelly said.

However, local fishermen and seafood processors support the change.

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