NOAA 2007-R107
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NOAA’s Fisheries Service published a new rule in the Federal Register on April 11 to allow the formation of Seafood Marketing Councils designed to help market and promote seafood to the American consumer. Councils can be established as of May 11.

“The councils will help the seafood industry market its products and educate the consumer about the benefits of eating seafood,” said Bill Hogarth, director of NOAA Fisheries Service.

The councils, established under the Fish and Seafood Promotion Act, will provide the public with accurate information on the health benefits of eating seafood as well as the environmental and biological sustainability of fish species. The councils will also fulfill a goal in the President’s Ocean Action Plan to enhance the understanding of our oceans.

Over the last decade, seafood consumers have been bombarded with conflicting messages about the health attributes of various seafood products, the sustainability of fish species and the effects of overfishing on the marine ecosystem. This information from different sources, some accurate and some inaccurate, has confused consumers about what is safe to eat and what fish can be eaten that is not harmful to the fish ecosystem or the environment. The confusion among consumers has served to unnecessarily hurt the American seafood industry at a time when it is working under the strongest environmental regulations of any nation. In some cases, consumers have been erroneously warned not to eat certain fish when the fish are being harvested in a sustainable manner by a well regulated industry.

The new seafood promotion councils will be funded entirely by the seafood industry, at no cost to the American taxpayer. However, their plans will be approved by NOAA Fisheries Service in order to ensure they do not conflict with the mission of NOAA to protect and preserve our nation’s living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement.

A copy of the Federal Register notice may be obtained online at:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

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