GSI Testimony

GSI Letters- 2016

March 3, 2016 – GSI’s Letter to Chairman Senator David Vitter of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and Ranking Member Senator Jeanne Shaheen 

As the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship meets to hear testimony on the Magnuson Stevens Act (MSA) and it’s impacts on small businesses, we urge you to keep in mind the myriad benefits this landmark legislation has had on Gulf coast fisheries, thousands of fishermen and the millions consumers nationwide who depend on robust, sustainably‐managed U.S. fisheries.

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GSI Testimony – 2015

May 6, 2015 – Testimony of Frank B. Randol President, Randol, Inc Lafayette, Louisiana to the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee

Thank you Chairman Vitter, Ranking Member Shaheen, Senator Cardin and Members of the Committee for inviting me to testify about an extremely important program for the small business community, the GUEST WORKER PROGRAM referred to as the H-2B program. This program is vital for the survival of seafood processing small businesses especially in Louisiana and Maryland.

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GSI Letters- 2015

September 22, 2015 – GSI’s Letter to Chairman Thad Cochran of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and Vice Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski of the Senate Committee on Appropriations  

On behalf of the entire seafood supply chain along the U.S. Gulf coast, we want to thank you for your strong leadership and support for the H‐2B visa program. As Congress moves forward with consideration of the final FY 2016 spending measures, we ask that you preserve H‐2B visa language from both the House Homeland Security and the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bills that is critical to the survival of the Gulf seafood community.

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March 26, 2015 – GSI Executive Director Margaret Henderson’s Letter to the FDA on “Fish: What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know” (Docket FDA-2014-N-0595-0001)

 I am writing to provide public comments on behalf of the Gulf Seafood Institute (GSI), a trade association with members in the five Gulf states representing every aspect of the seafood industry – harvesters, processors, wholesalers, retailers, restaurateurs and the charter-for-hire community. We appreciate the opportunity to provide comments on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) draft fish consumption advice entitled “Fish: What Pregnant Women Should Know”.

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March 18, 2015 –  GSI Letter to Congress on Purposed State Control of Red Snapper

As Congress moves quickly to address the challenges facing the recreational red snapper fishing community in the Gulf of Mexico, we would like to take this opportunity to outline several concerns the Gulf Seafood Institute has with various legislative proposals on this matter.

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February 5, 2015 – Representative Boustany’s Letter to Department of Commerce on H-2B

GSI worked closely with Louisiana Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D. on letter he led to the U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez asking him to resume accepting private wage surveys to determine wages for H-2B visa workers.

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GSI Testimony – 2014

December 4, 2014  – Bob Gill, Owner, Shrimp Landing, Crystal River, Florida Representing the Gulf Seafood Institute Before the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs “H.R.3099, The Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act of 2013”

Formed in July, 2013, the Gulf Seafood Institute (GSI) came together to protect the Gulf’s unique culture and environment while elevating the Gulf seafood brand with consumers, customers and policy leaders through advocacy, education and science. The GSI’s board of directors represents every Gulf state as well as every aspect of our industry – harvesters, processors, wholesalers, retailers, restaurateurs and the charter-for-hire community – and is positioned to be a leading voice on key issues including sustainable management, seafood safety, disaster mitigation and recovery, and data collection. All our members share the common value of working to make healthful and abundant Gulf seafood available to all. Additionally, GSI seeks to bolster fisheries science and research to help preserve the Gulf seafood resource and contribute to the longevity of our industry.

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December 4, 2014 – Written Statement of Harlon Pearce Owner, Harlon’s LA Fish, Kenner, Louisiana Before the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs “H.R.3099, The Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act of 2013”

Effective and fair management of Gulf red snapper is not only a concern for the recreational fishing community, but for the broader Gulf coast economy and consumers nationwide. While red snapper is a highly coveted sport fish, consumer demand for red snapper at the retail and restaurant level remains high

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February, 5, 2014 – Jim Gossen, Gulf Seafood Institute Board Member, Testimony Before The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council – February 5, 2014

I am here to speak on behalf of the Gulf Seafood Institute, or GSI. If you haven’t heard of us yet, you will in the near future.  GSI was formed in 2013 as a Gulf wide non-profit, with area of emphasis that include – ADVOCACY, SCIENCE AND EDUCATION. We are seeking to be a unified, proactive and positive voice for issues and actions affecting Gulf seafood, both directly and tangentially.

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February, 4, 2014 – Written Statement of David Krebs President, Ariel Seafoods, Destin, Florida  Representing the Gulf Seafood Institute Before the House Natural Resources Committee “H.R.____ Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act” 

Today, I will highlight several areas of the discussion draft that GSI sees as improvements to current law, I will outline a few additional measures for you to consider, and I will give you our perspective on Section 10, “Gulf of Mexico Cooperative Research and Red Snapper Management” which drastically modifies Sec. 407 of the current statute.

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GSI Letters- 2014

April 7, 2014 – Letter to Senator Richard Shelby on Funding Priorities for the FY 15 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations Act

As you prepare your funding priorities for the FY 15 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations Act, I encourage you to consider a plus-up in the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) budget of $2 million to be used for an electronic data collection program for the federally-permitted charter boat fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. This program has broad support from the charter-for-hire, seafood, environmental and regulatory communities across all five Gulf states and is ready to roll out immediately once funding is made available.

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GSI Testimony – 2013

November 14, 2013 – Written Statement of the Gulf Seafood Institute before the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard “Southeast Regional Perspectives on Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization”

When it comes to ensuring the sustainability of our nation’s fisheries, GSI maintains that the process outlined under MSA is working. The Department of Commerce, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the eight Regional Fishery Management Councils work together to monitor, manage and enforce a program that has led the United States to its position as a global leader in responsibly managed fisheries and sustainable seafood.  Guided by 10 National Standards of sustainability, these agencies monitor, manage and legally enforce all marine fisheries in the United States under the most restrictive regulations in the world. As a result, U.S. fish populations are rebuilding and overall fish abundance is improving.

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September 24, 2013 – Written Statement of the Gulf Seafood Institute Before the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard “The Role of Certification in Rewarding Sustainable Fishing”

While protecting our fisheries and ocean ecosystems is imperative in its own right, getting U.S. seafood on the plates of consumers is equally important for both public health and for the economy of the U.S. seafood community. In order to be comfortable choosing seafood when making mealtime decisions, consumers must be confident in the sustainability of our fisheries. Along these lines, NOAA has implemented the FishWatch program as a primary tool to educate the public about seafood sustainability.

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GSI Letters- 2013

December 9th, 2013 –  Chairman Hastings and Ranking Member DeFazio, Committee on Natural Resources, U.S. House of Representative – In opposition to H.R. 3099, the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act.

As representatives of the seafood community from across all five Gulf coast states, we are writing to express our opposition to H.R. 3099, the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act.  While introduced with the best intentions, this legislation will negatively impact the red snapper harvesting community, the broader seafood supply chain and consumers across the country who depend on a healthy commercial harvest of this popular seafood item.

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October 9th, 2013 – Gulf Seafood Institute Letter to House of Representatives and Senators in Support of S. 1521, the Responsible Seafood Certification and Labeling Act

Seafood harvested in the United States is undeniably sustainable. Guided by 10 National Standards, the Department of Commerce and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) manage and legally enforce our marine fisheries under the most restrictive regulations in the world. As a result, U.S. fish populations are rebuilding and overall fish abundance is improving. However, communicating this positive message to consumers remains a challenge.

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