US Senate includes the National Seafood Council in 2023 budget

Detail view and background of used fishing nets.
Detail view and background of used fishing nets.

To increase seafood consumption and strengthen the seafood industry

The US Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) has included the National Seafood Council in FY23 Appropriations Report. Thereby, it recognizes the sustainability and important nutritional benefits of seafood consumption.

According to a statement, the National Seafood Council is now one step closer to receiving the necessary funding to promote seafood on a national scale. The aim is to increase seafood consumption and strengthen the seafood industry.

Now, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA) has 180 days to provide a report. It should detail how the agency would facilitate a National Seafood Council through the Fisheries Promotion Fund (16 U.S.C. 4008) to support a comprehensive, nationwide seafood marketing and public education campaign.

To sum up, the report will include an estimated cost of such a program. Also, an explanation of how it would be different from the S–K Grant Program and other existing NOAA programs.

Fisheries Surveys and Offshore Wind

On the other hand, the Committee provides a total of $16,5 million above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level across NMFS. This will address consultation and permitting, stock assessment, and management. Further, protected resources need related to the expansion of offshore wind energy projects.

In more detail, $1,5 million is within marine mammals, sea turtles, and other species; $4 million is within fisheries and ecosystem science programs and services; $7 million is within fisheries data collections, surveys, and assessments; and $4 million is within fisheries management programs and services.

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