NFI President Testifies Before Congress on Seafood Procurement
Says change in General Services Administration policy was right thing to do
September 24, 2013 Washington, DC Testifying before the Senate Commerce Committees subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, National Fisheries Institute (NFI) President John Connelly told lawmakers the General Services Administrations (GSA) decision to highlight NOAA Fisheries as the preeminent sustainability authority for seafood procurement is good policy.
The modified GSA policy no longer seeks third party certification for fish harvested from U.S. fisheries.
The rules now, reflect the preeminent role that NOAA Fisheries should play in government procurement policy for seafood and NFI supports those changes, said Connelly.
After thanking Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, for their leadership on this issue, Connelly noted that other Federal agencies had based their procurement policies on the old GSA guidelines.
Connelly called on the Pentagon to join GSA in explaining its guidelines, we further urge [the Department of Defense] to make clear that it believes NOAA Fisheries determinations are sufficient documentation of sustainability. The Pentagon should make clear to vendors that they should not require third party certifications to sell American fish to American sailors, Marines, soldiers, and airmen.
An insistence that GSA reconsider its initial seafood procurement policy from a number of Senate and House offices was key to spotlighting this issue.
NFI is the leading trade association for the seafood industry whose members represent a variety of businesses from the water to the table. For more information visit our Web site at www.AboutSeafood.com.###