West Coast seafood companies say they are eager to discuss climate actions.
A release from the West Coast Seafood Processors Association came on the same day the Biden Administration announced the Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.
In the order, it states that “The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis.” and it includes numerous goals to address climate change .
As part of the order, it states a goal of “identifying strategies that will encourage broad participation in the goal of conserving 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030”.
In a statement, the regional partners say that the fishing and seafood industry welcomed President Biden’s commitment to healthy oceans and inclusion of the industry as a key stakeholder group to discussions .
“We appreciate that President Biden has committed to a science-based process with meaningful stakeholder engagement,” West Coast Seafood Processors Association Executive Director Lori Steele said. “Thankfully, our Council process already provides us this very solid foundation. We are looking forward to continuing to work with our Council partners, and we stand ready to engage with the Biden Administration to ensure the long-term health of our oceans.”
The statement from the association says that industry engagement will be crucial, particularly given how vulnerable our fishing communities are right now in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They say that the onset of the pandemic and the sudden loss of restaurant markets created major supply chain problems in 2020, resulting in unemployment and significant business losses.
“The EO language sets forth a pretty short window in which to engage stakeholders,” Midwater Trawlers Cooperative Executive Director Heather Mann said. “My hope is that identifying the commercial fishing industry in the EO reflects a strong commitment from the administration for meaningful dialog and input, not just a check-the-box exercise.”
“President Biden has made a commitment to set aside partisanship and work on unifying the nation – when it comes to the fishing industry, it is critical that the administration fully understand all the sacrifices we have made and the conservation safeguards we helped put in place to protect our oceans. These safeguards and the resulting protections were accomplished through transparent, stakeholder-driven processes,” Mann continued. “Abandoning the spirit of compromise, which seeks win-win outcomes for conservation and the industry, to focus on broadly sweeping measures that will not help the climate and simultaneously hurt the fishing industry, is not unifying nor a success.”