Senator Wicker Continues to Fight for Mississippi’s Domestic Seafood Producers and Consumers

February 14, 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and colleagues are pressing the Biden administration to level the playing field for Mississippi’s seafood producers. The Biden administration agency responsible for seafood import oversight, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), planned to increase the amount of species subject to monitoring under the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) from 4 to 8 percent. Instead, the agency withdrew the proposal. This letter came in response to that announcement.

SIMP is designed to address Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, which is a tactic often used by foreign countries. The small increase also left off nearly half of all seafood imports not covered by the SIMP measures. Without expanded monitoring, IUU perpetrators can continue to mislabel and misrepresent their seafood products – giving them the upper hand in our domestic markets. This is bad for seafood producers and consumers alike.

“Mississippi’s seafood producers should not be taking a backseat to foreign imports that are unsafe and mislabeled. Our homegrown seafood must be the priority in our own markets. I will keep fighting for this critical sector of our economy and for U.S. consumers to have healthy and reliable seafood products,” Senator Wicker said.

Senator Wicker and his colleagues have repeatedly warned that withdrawing or expanding the SIMP program would further expose U.S. consumers to seafood sourced from IUU fishing practices. U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., led the letter.

Click here to read the latest warning sent to the Biden administration officials.