Southeastern Fisheries Association
Protecting access to seafood
SFA’s mission is to defend, protect and enhance the commercial fishing industry in the southeastern United States for present participants as well as future generations through all legal means while maintaining healthy and sustainable stocks of fish.
COVID-19 Helpful Links and Resources
NOAA COVID-19 Updates and Fisheries Info: NOAA Fisheries Coronavirus Updates
Food & Drug Administration Response to COVID-19: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Small Business Association Loan options: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Center for Disease Control: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC
Seafood Expo North America Postponed Until Further Notice
Seafood Companies Send Coalition Letter to Congress Asking for Fisheries Assistance in Response to COVID-19
A coalition of domestic seafood companies has sent a letter to the Senate, asking for specific fisheries disasters relief. The letter asks for $1.5 billion for fisheries disaster relief, as well as $500 million for the Dept. of Commerce to purchase unsold fish and seafood products.
U.S. Commercial Fishermen Have a Strong 2018 Nationally, According to NOAA
NOAA has released its 2018 Fisheries of the United States report. U.S. Commercial fishermen produced 9.4 million pounds of fish, valued at $5.6 billion. "America's fishermen and seafood industries underpin our strong blue economy. Our fisheries are among the world's most sustainable and support thousands of jobs, provide billions of dollars in revenue, and provide protein-rich options to dinner tables," said U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Unfortunately, the U.S. economy still has a trade deficit of $16.8 billion on seafood, importing $22.4 billion worth of seafood while only exporting $5.6 billion.
Strong fisheries management will keep seafood on Florida’s dinner tables
Chef Allen Susser wrote an Op-ed for the Miami Herald, in which he says "The United States boasts some of the best managed fisheries in the world, making American seafood a preferred choice for sustainability advocates like myself and, increasingly, for consumers."
SFA Member CCI offering
New 21CFR117-Compliant HACCP training Courses with Bob Jones
Under new laws, cGMP training is mandatory under 21CFR117. Bob Jones, working with Climate Control International, LLC, has created the premier course to be fully HACCP compliant under the new law. Click the link below to take this new course and complete the exam to update your HACCP certification!
This course is brought to you by Florida Fisheries Foundation and CCI, LLC.
New Florida Fisheries Foundation Document on the Bait & Forage Fish industry
FFF President Bob Jones recently wrote a great paper on the Bait & Forage fish industry, and how the industry is sustainably managed as-is, and undervalued - "The Florida baitfish industry is an under-appreciated sector of Florida’s economy. The commercial fishermen’s harvest of baitfish (forage fish) is critical to the pleasure and success of recreational fishing for residents and tourists."
New fish farm near Miami aims to grow major portion of U.S. salmon supply
A UPI article by Paul Brinkmann discusses the new Salmon farm in Homestead gearing up for production, but at what cost to Floridians? Water quality advocates should be particularly concerned by this excerpt:
"To start work on his 160 acres, Andreassen received permits in 2016 from the South Florida Water Management District to siphon about 20 million gallons of water per day from Florida's underground aquifers."
U.S. Fisheries to Receive $300 Million in Dedicated Funds from CARES Act
Once the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is signed by President Trump, The U.S. domestic fisheries will be able to access $300 million in aid specifically earmarked for the industry. The president is expected to sign the bill by the end of March.
According to a SeafoodSource article on the specific aid, "Among the relief the fishing industry is set to receive is USD 300 million (EUR 272 million) that will be available to tribal nations, fishermen, fishing communities, other fishery-related businesses and certain aquaculture businesses through the Commerce Department until 30 September, 2021.
Under the bill, those entities can receive aid if their revenue losses due to COVID-19 causes “any negative impacts” to fisheries or a loss greater than 35 percent of their prior five-year average revenue."
NOAA Fisheries Issues Emergency Action to Waive Observer Coverage
From a NOAA press release - "Under this emergency action, a NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator, Office Director, or Science Center Director has the ability to waive observer requirements in three specific circumstances, after consulting with observer providers."
FL House of Representatives adds Amendment for Domestic Commercial Fishermen to Shark fin Trade Ban Bill
The Florida House passed SB.680 this week, which bans the import and/or export of shark fins through the state, but added an amendment which allows federally-licensed commercial fishermen to continue utilizing the entire shark carcass.
Department of Commerce and NOAA Issue Statements Against Domestic Ban of Shark Fin Sales
Chris Oliver of NOAA and the Department of Commerce both issues statements this week disapproving of legislation banning the sale of shark fins domestically. Both statements cite the sustainable shark fisheries the U.S. has as the gold standard globally, and how requiring shark fins and other products to fellow the same ethical and traceable standards fishermen here in the U.S. have to abide by is the best way to create more conservation.
New HMS Committee for SFA
SFA is launching a new Highly Migratory Species Committee with the goal of creating a lasting legacy for current and future generations of fishermen, and to provide access to healthy, sustainable Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico HMS fisheries to all Americans.
To achieve these goals, the HMS committee will offer an inclusive and collaborative forum to address industry-wide challenges and promote common interests
Please email Membership Manager Katy McGlynn (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details on joining this committee, and/or other SFA committees. Participation in SFA Committees is open and available to most current members in good standing.
New Pelagic Longline Bluefin Tuna Area-Based and Weak Hook Management Measures
NOAA released new rules and regulations for the Pelagic long-line fisheries to help with bluefin tuna bycatch. "NOAA Fisheries has adjusted regulatory measures put in place to manage bluefin tuna bycatch in the pelagic longline fishery for Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS), specifically addressing the Northeastern United States Closed Area, the Cape Hatteras Gear Restricted Area, and the Spring Gulf of Mexico Gear Restricted Area as well as the weak hook requirement in the Gulf of Mexico."
The new measures affect the HMS pelagic longline fishery in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
SFA and Sustainable Shark Alliance Support SSFTA
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US lieutenant governors call for more inspections on imported seafood
From SeafoodSource.com News: Lieutenant governors in the United States have put their weight behind a resolution sponsored by Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser (R-Louisiana) calling for additional inspections of imported seafood.
NOAA: U.S. Shark fisheries are among the best and most sustainable in the world
Hear from NOAA about how U.S. shark fisheries are managed and how good science and understanding fisheries management has help set the standard for shark fisheries. It also dispels the idea that banning the sale of shark fins is the best way to conserve sharks - "Our policy that sharks must be brought to shore with fins naturally attached, however, does have an important global role. It shows that it’s possible to have sustainable shark fisheries without banning the sale of fins. Responsibly participating in the global fin trade allows the United States to showcase our strong conservation and management practices overseas. "
There are worldwide efforts to reduce the harvest of seafood and to reduce the number of fishing vessels and fishermen in the industry. One major effort of reduction is in fisheries identified as overcapitalized. Another effort is being made by groups who are opposed to harvesting animals for food purposes.
There is a worldwide concern about seafood safety, so much so that the United States, Canada and the European Economic Union have initiated strict seafood safety regulations. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established 21 CFR 123 in 1996 as the controlling regulations for all seafood and aquaculture products sold at wholesale in the country. SFA is developing new options for those needing to be HACCP-certified.
Manuscripts, rules and regulations show how the seafood industry in the southeast has been transformed from a valuable and respected industry to an industry considered by some groups as no longer needed.
SFA Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board: Peter Jarvis, Triar Seafood
President: Tony Lombardi, Lombardi's Seafood
Vice President: Dawn Aylesworth, Aylesworth Foundation
Treasurer: Sherri McCoy, Cape Canaveral Shrimp Co.
Secretary: Jeanna Merrifield, Wild Ocean Market
Robert Aylesworth, Aylesworth Fish & Bait
Gary Graves, Keys Fisheries
Dennis Henderson, Trico Shrimp Co.
Tom Hill, Key Largo Fisheries
Jimmy Hull, Hull's Seafood Market
Mike Merrifield, Wild Ocean Market
Gerald Pack, Safe Harbor Seafood
Eugene Raffield, Raffield Fisheries
Steven Rash, Water Street Seafood