March 24, 2020
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Steve T. Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury
George E. Perdue III, Secretary of Agriculture
Wilbur R. Ross, Secretary of Commerce
Re: Domestic Seafood Infrastructure

Dear President Trump:
We write as participants in America’s seafood supply chain, a critical component of the country’s
domestic food infrastructure and one of the major economic drivers in our country’s coastal communities
and states.

Empty restaurants, cafes, and dining halls are a visible reminder of the ongoing, unprecedented
public health efforts to blunt the spread of COVID-19. The livelihoods of the chefs, cooks, servers, and
other staff are obvious and direct casualties of those government efforts. The economic disruption caused
by forced restaurant closures and active encouragement for Americans to “shelter in place,” however,
extend far beyond the food service sector.

There is a direct line from those temporarily shuttered businesses to the food distribution chain that
supports them; the companies and workers who harvest, farm, prepare, process, package, and distribute the
food products that we produce in our country. The Department of Homeland Security rightly recognized
in its March 19 memorandum that seafood workers are “essential critical infrastructure workers” that
warrant prioritization in government support to help protect and maintain our role in food security.
In the case of seafood, more than two-thirds (68%) of the $102.2 billion that consumers paid for
U.S. fishery products in 2017 was spent at food service establishments (as opposed to home consumption).

As a result, in many fisheries, the sudden near shutdown of restaurants and other storefronts has caused
demand to evaporate overnight, threatening the continued economic viability of the entire supply chain.
This could mean the loss of tens of thousands of well-paying jobs. In those fisheries where demand remains
intact, the greatest ongoing challenge will be to make sure employers have state and local support for
undergoing testing, screening, and potential quarantine protocols needed to ensure a healthy
workforce. Without workers, healthy and sustainable fisheries would produce only a fraction of their
potential. Congress and the Administration must work with state and local governments in that regard.

As you have heard from other industries, supply chains cannot be turned on and off like a light
switch. Once lost, a supply chain and the infrastructure that supports it can be exceptionally difficult and
costly to restart. Failure to act boldly now to preserve our country’s domestic seafood infrastructure will
impose far greater costs on our economy and cause permanent damage to our nation’s ability to harvest,
farm, process, and distribute seafood products.

Though we write specifically on behalf of our country’s seafood infrastructure, we expect that the
bold actions we are suggesting would help stave off disaster for food supply industries as a whole. Our
domestic food distribution network produces nearly $700 billion in revenue annually, and employs nearly
1.5 million workers. The value of specialty crops annually is about $65 billion, and the value of processed
fish products is about $12 billion annually. Food manufacturing tends to have relatively high payments to
salaries and benefits compared with other food sector industries, with salaries and benefits accounting for
half of the value added in food manufacturing.

Bipartisan efforts to keep Americans safe from COVID-19 and to deliver much-needed assistance
to the most vulnerable among us are absolutely appropriate. We applaud efforts of Congress and the
Administration to extend unemployment insurance and to address the needs of seniors, children, and other
vulnerable Americans. However, with an uncertain timeline ahead of us in this crisis, we must also take
additional bold action to preserve the operating liquidity of the food production employers who provide and
support domestic food infrastructure and the millions of jobs it supports. Failure to do so risks
unprecedented decline in essential economic activity that will severely affect both workers and our nation’s
ability to continue feeding itself.

The below measures would help to mitigate the impacts of the public health response to COVID-
19 and maintain our critical industry. To be clear, suggested dollars amounts should be considered a starting
point to address the still unknown impacts of this evolving crisis:

1. Ensure USDA’s Section 32 funding levels are maintained (regardless of whether tariff
revenues are diminished) and expand to include an additional appropriation of at least $2.0
billion for Section 32 activities that directly support the supply chain of domestically
produced seafood to end consumers. This existing mechanism could keep workers employed,
supply chains operating, employers open, and nutritional needs met. The program provides for the
government purchase of food for consumers, starting with kids and vulnerable families. For over
80 years, the Section 32 program has provided assistance to food products, the production and
distribution of which is generally not supported by larger price support programs.
We also request that you consider expediting purchases by temporarily suspending federal
contracting rules and regulations so as to facilitate immediate assistance to a broader cross section
of U.S. businesses, free from bureaucratic red tape that might otherwise delay relief.

2. Provide an initial $1.5 billion to the Department of Commerce to provide direct relief for
fishery disasters caused by Federal, State, and Local government responses to COVID-19.
Sections 312(a) and 315 of the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
(MSA) and the Sections 308(b) and 308(d) Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act (IFJ) empower the
Secretary of Commerce to provide multiple forms of relief to businesses and fishing communities
impacted by certain harms—including natural and man-made causes. We request that you work
with Congress to appropriate and make funding available as soon as practicable to fishery and
seafood businesses uniquely impacted by closure of restaurant and food service industries, and
specifically designate the spread and impact of COVID-19 as a natural and man-made cause
eligible for fishery disaster assistance. To ensure funding can be distributed quickly, we also
request that you waive certain requirements under MSA and IFJ for this funding, so that injured
businesses can quickly access needed aid. Please also immediately release all previously
appropriated disaster relief funds so as to inject direct liquidity to coastal employers.

3. Appropriate a minimum of $500 million for the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with
the Department of Agriculture, to purchase surplus commercial seafood that can be shipped
overseas or supplied to domestic organizations. These organizations could include assisted
living communities, hospitals, as well as State and Local government programs, among others.
Facilitating direct government purchase of products that have gone unsold due to the government’s
unprecedented response to the COVID-19 crisis would both ensure stability in this key sector and
provide healthy proteins for Americans.

Thank you for your attention to these well-intended policy recommendations. We will continue to
offer suggestions to promote economic security and stability for America’s food production infrastructure
as the current health situation abates. Commercial fishing and seafood interests are highly diverse between
regions, so additional assistance may be needed to address near-term critical needs for some parts of the
seafood value chain.

Please do not hesitate to contact the signatories below if we can be of additional assistance in our
nation’s effort to combat this crisis, while preserving the essential infrastructure that underlies our economy.

Anthony J. Dal Ponte
General Counsel
Pacific Seafood Group

Bob Vanasse
Executive Director
Saving Seafood

Paul Zajicek
Executive Director
National Aquaculture Association

John Connelly
National Fisheries Institute

Chris Barrows
Pacific Seafood Processors Assoc.

Stephanie Quah
Managing Director

Bill DiMento
VP Sustainability & Gov. Affairs
High Liner Foods

Joe Bundrant
Trident Seafoods

Sean J. O’Scannlain
President & CEO
Fortune International

Randy Rhodes
Harvest Select

Roger A. O’Brien
President & CEO
Santa Monica Seafood

Jamie Goen
Executive Director
Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers

Matt Roach
Director of Corp. Business Alignment
Icicle Seafoods

W. Ron Allen
Tribal Chairman/CEO
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe

Leigh Habegger
Executive Director
Seafood Harvesters of America

David Goldenberg
Executive Director
California Sea Urchin Commission

Kurt Grinnell
Native Trust LLC

Dan Nomura
Alaska General Seafoods

Peggy Howse
General Manager
All Seas Wholesale

Sinclair Wilt
Vice President
Alyeska Seafoods, Inc.

Barry Cohen
Chairman of the Board
Atlantic Capes Fisheries

Andrew Bornstein
Executive Vice President
Bornstein Seafoods

Eugene Bugatto
President & CEO
California Shellfish Co., Inc.

Michael Merrifield
Cape Canaveral Shrimp Company

Jeff Michels
Cascade Organics LLC

Chang Lee
Plant Manager
Da Yang Seafood

Joe Cappuccio
Del Mar Seafoods

Kurt Englund
Englund Marine & Supply

John C. Young
Euclid Fish Company

Kipp Baratoff
Fishpeople Seafood

Timothy Dunsizer
Vice President – Owner
Fisherman’s Ideal Supply House

Mark Franklin
President & CEO
Golden Alaska Seafoods, LLC

Jonathan P Davis
Hood Canal Mariculture, Inc.

Mary Smith
Director of Sustainability
Inland Seafood

David Kelly

Craig Jacobs
OC Wild Seafood

Sean Ferguson
Oceanic Logistics

Bret Scholtes
Omega Protein

SueAnna Harrison
Oregon’s Choice Gourmet

Jerod Goodin
Pacific Dream Seafoods, Inc.

Tom Trumper
Pacific Rim Seafood, LLC

Scott A. Johnson
PanaPesca USA Inc.

Barry D. Collier
President & CEO
Peter Pan Seafoods, Inc.

F. Joseph Bersch III
President of General Partner
Phoenix Processor Limited

Phil Gibson
Resiliensea Group LLC

Gerald Pack
Safe Harbor Seafood

Meghan Lapp
Fisheries Liaison
Seafreeze Ltd. and Seafreeze

Derek Figueroa
President & CEO
Seattle Fish Company

James D. Busse
Seafood Atlantic Inc.

Matthew Kilfoil
VP of Business Performance
The Fish Company – Miami

Tom Enlow

Heather S. Donnell
Office Manager
Ventura Harbor Marina & Yacht Yard

Ross Butler
Chief Executive Officer
Wanchese Fish Company

Mark JoHahnson
Westward Seafoods, Inc.

Vincent Bryan III
Whooshh Innovations, Inc.

Jeanna Merrifield
Wild Ocean Seafood
Jonathan P Davis
Baywater Shellfish Farms

Todd Madsen
Blue Ocean Mariculture

Brian Menke
Cascade Aqua Farms

Dave Rudie
Catalina Offshore Products

Kyle Lentz & Shina Wysocki
President & Vice President
Chelsea Farms

Kris Nicholls
Chief Operating Officer
Cooke Aquaculture USA

Kathleen Nisbet Moncy
Vice President
Goose Point Oysters/Nisbet Oyster Co

Brian Koval
Hatchery Manager
Hawaiian Shellfish LLC

Bruce Brenner
J J Brenner Oyster Company

Tammy & Doug Devlin
Lilliwaup Oysters

Donna Lanzetta
Manna Fish Farms, Inc

Xin Liu
Oregon Oyster Farms, Inc.

Raz Halili
Vice President
Prestige Oysters Inc.

William Taylor
Executive Management
Taylor Shellfish Farms

Daniel Hanson
HC Snal, LLC

Amy Daugherty
Executive Director
Alaska Trollers Association

Kathy Fosmark
Alliance of Comm. for Sustainable

Marissa Wilson
Interim Executive Director
Alaska Marine Conservation Council

Ben Platt
California Coast Crab Association

David Goldenberg
Executive Director
California King Salmon Council

Diane Pleschner-Steele
Executive Director
CA Wetfish Producers Association

Phillip Lestenkof
Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s

Kim Selkoe
Executive Director
Commercial Fishermen of
Santa Barbara

Robert D. Alverson
Fishing Vessel Owners Association

Chad See
Executive Director
Freezer Longline Coalition

Bonnie Brady
Executive Director
Long Island Commercial Fishing

Heather Mann
Executive Director
Midwater Trawlers Cooperative

Tom Hafer
Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s

Captain Bob Zales II
National Association of Charterboat

Yelena Nowak
Executive Director
Oregon Trawl Commission

Noah Oppenheim
Executive Director
Pacific Coast Fed of Fishing Assoc

Jana Hennig
Executive Director
Positively Groundfish

Laurie Stevens
Executive Director
Southeastern Fisheries Association

Captain Bob Zales II
Southern Offshore Fishing Assoc

Brett Veerhusen
Executive Director
Under Sixty Cod Harvesters

Brent Paine
Executive Director
United Catcher Boats

Mike Conroy
West Coast Fisheries Consultants

Lori Steele
Executive Director
West Coast Seafood Processors Assoc

Jeanne McKnight
Executive Director
Northwest Aquaculture Alliance

Sebastian Belle
Executive Director
Maine Aquaculture Association

Beth Walton
Executive Director
Oyster South

Margaret A. Pilaro
Executive Director
Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Assoc

Nathan Tsao
Hatchery Manager
Jamestown Point Whitney Shellfish

Larry Oetker
Executive Director
Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation &
Conservation District

Sherry Flumerfelt
Executive Director
Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust

Dwayne Oberhoff
Executive Director
Morro Bay Community Quota Fund

Kristin Decas
CEO & Port Director
The Port of Hueneme

Blake Anderson
Santa Cruz Port District

Andria’s Seafood
Restaurant & Market

Arcadia Point Seafood B.P fishing Inc.
Michael J Wagner

Vicki & Steve Wilson
Burlin Phillips

Cape Cod Commercial
Fishermen’s Alliance,

Capt. Mike’s Seafood

Cascade Aqua Farms
John Pappalardo
Mike Fitzpatrick
Brad Mencke

Charter Fisherman’s

Colosse Inc. Denotta Seafood Co
Gary Jarvis

Mayor – City of Destin, Florida

Stacy Lutz
Caron Denotta
Drayton Harbor Oyster

Elston’s Clam & Oyster
Floribbean Wholesale
Steve Seymour
L. Michael Elston

Michael Black
Florida Quality Seafood

Fernandina Seafood

Fisherman’s Wharf
Jesse Flowers
Jesse Flowers
Christopher Shepperd

Frost Fisheries, LLC

Grassy Bar Oyster
Company, Inc.

Gulf Fresh Inc.
Dean Frost
George Trevelyan

Joseph Abdo
Harbor Pride Seafood

Hurricane Pass

Kamilche Sea Farms
Jeremy A. Streig
Nick Ruland
Charles Stephens

Long Fisheries Inc. Lutz Seafood Inc.

Main Vain Charters
Tyler Long
Stacey Lutz
Antonio Giambanco

Mickeys Wild Chinook
Oceanside Bait Co.

Ocean Run Seafoods
Carol Takacs Ritter
James Gardner
Donald Snow

Oregon’s Local Coast

P.M Fishing inc. ProFish International
Kelly Hanson
Gideon Mease
Wally Pereyra

Rhode Island
Fishermen’s Alliance

Renewable Resources

Rocky Bay Seafoods
Richard Fuka

Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance
Nicole E. Neeman Brady
Managing Principal & COO

David Barton
Shellfish Biologist

Rogue King Seafood Salty Dog Seafood
Saltydos Albacore

Jeff Werner
Co-Owner of Seafood Market

Sara Hinton
Farm Manager
Frank Akers
San Diego Bay
Aquaculture & Acacia
Pacific Aquaculture

Sea Spirit Shenanegan Seafood
Rebecca Richards & Norm Abell
Managing Principal
Carl Duwell
Harry Allen

The Builders Initiative

Washington Trollers

Watson Fishery Inc.
Peter Bryan
Senior Program Officer
Guy Lutz
Shawn Watson

Westport Cold Inc.

Westport Custom
Seafood LLC

Westport Seafood Inc.
Michael Cornman
John C. Galvich
General Manager
Michael Cornman

Winter Rose Inc.
Gretar Gudmundsson

1. Eric Fosmark F/V Vinland California
2. Scott Fosmark F/V Yaznak/Queen Corrine California
3. Sal Mineo F/V Mineo Bros. California
4. Tim Obert F/V Stacey Jo/Misty Dawn California
5. Giovanni Pennisi F/V Irene’s Way/Elaine California
6. Joshua McCoy F/V Top Tuna Florida
7. Jay Lucas F/V Casey ‘s Pride Florida
8. Harry Allen F/V Shenanegan Oregon
9. John Alto F/V Spring Persuader Oregon
10. Frank Akers F/V LANOLA Oregon
11. Bryan Craig F/V C-RAE Oregon
12. Anthony Cummings F/V P.C. Hooker Oregon
13. Henry DeRonden F/V Newdawn Oregon
14. Nick Diede F/V Coolchange II Oregon
15. Carl Duwell F/V Sea Spirit Oregon
16. Gene Fisher F/V Two Fishers Oregon
17. Joseph Fiske F/V Sharon Joe Oregon
18. James Gagnon F/V Esperanza Oregon
19. Eli Icenogle F/V Ingibjorg K Oregon
20. Mark Kemmish F/V Richard H Oregon
21. Guy Lutz F/V Jessica A Oregon
22. Lonnie Marrington F/V Helen Marie Inc. Oregon
23. Ray Monroe F/V Outlaw Oregon
24. Brett Montague F/V Jo El Oregon
25. Jason Prophet F/V Prophet Fishiser Oregon
26. Joel Purkey F/V AliceFaye Oregon
27. Brad Quinn F/V Concubine Oregon
28. Gary Stevens F/V Turmoil Oregon
29. Greg Temple F/V Infinity Oregon
30. Matthew Wagner F/V Tina Lea Oregon
31. Jeff Werner F/V Deanna Marie Oregon
32. Joe Zelfer F/V Royal Oregon
33. Gretar Gudmundsson F/V Provider/Valiant Washington
34. Burlin Phillips F/V Melville/Dawn Venture/Glass Slipper Washington