Bill calls for labeling domestic catch as American-caught

Legislation now before the U.S. Senate calls for a “Wild USA Seafood” label for wild seafood harvested in U.S. waters, including fish, crustaceans and aquatic plants.

The bill was introduced on June 22 by Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska.

“Consumers want to know where their food comes from – and by creating a specific label allowing wild seafood, like Alaskan salmon caught in Bristol Bay, wild kelp harvested in Southeast, or pollock caught in the Bering Sea, the option to be labeled as ‘Wild USA Seafood’ we’re ensuring consumers know they are purchasing the highest-quality seafood from the best-managed fisheries in the world,” Murkowski said.

“The Wild USA Seafood Act is good for seafood consumers and American fishermen,” said Andy Wink, the executive director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association.

“Alaska is particularly synonymous with seafood, there’s many people out there who assume the salmon, crab, or other species they buy comes from Alaska, but the reality is most of America’s seafood is imported,” Wink said. 

“Our research tells us that ‘product of USA’ and ‘wild-caught’ are two of the top-five U.S. consumer motivations for choosing seafood over other proteins. Wild-caught Alaska and other USA seafood is the gold standard for sustainable management, and American fishermen, processors, retailers, and consumers will benefit when the U.S. origin of our seafood products is on the label regardless of where processing occurs,” said Greg Smith, the communications director at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

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