Saving Seafood Announces the National Coalition of Fishing Communities

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The National Coalition of Fishing Communities has been formed to amplify the voices of fishermen and fishing communities, and to ensure that policymakers understand their interests and address their needs. The Coalition brings together municipalities, regional associations, businesses, and individuals to move the national conversation on fisheries in a positive direction.

The strength and diversity of NCFC can make a big impact in the way fishing communities deliver their message in Washington.

The National Coalition of Fishing Communities (NCFC) has been organized to meet the challenges of modern communication for the commercial fishing industry and related business and civic communities. NCFC is a unique partnership of seafood interests, dedicated to transmitting the voices of fishermen and their communities. NCFC will ensure that fisheries managers, scientists, academics and elected officials understand the positions of our members, and address their concerns. We will accomplish this through dialogue, education and outreach.

“This is a very exciting time for us,” says Sarah Garcia, former Harbor Planning Director of Gloucester, Massachusetts and the Director of Outreach and Membership for NCFC. “The strength and diversity of NCFC can make a big impact in the way fishing communities deliver their message in Washington.”

The Coalition will formally launch during the next U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, to be held in Washington, DC on January 19, 2016, and is currently engaged in a membership drive. Already, over 60 members have signed up, drawn from America’s top commercial fishing ports, leading fishing businesses, and regional associations.

Saving Seafood will provide the communication and media relations in numerous forms and venues, creating the opportunity for our messages to be received. Too often, misleading information about the industry makes its way into print, and the media hear only one side of the story. The NCFC allows its members to make their positions clear, and deliver their messages to a wider audience of media, policymakers, and likeminded industry members.

“Five years ago, Saving Seafood began as a trade news and information organization, aimed at telling the truth about our industry,” said Greg DiDomenico, Executive Director of New Jersey’s Garden State Seafood Association. “They have proven to be capable of helping the industry, and can assist locally, nationally, and globally”

The Coalition is made up of different types of communities. In addition to municipalities with economic, social, and cultural ties to the fishing industry, NCFC includes associations who represent and are supported directly by working commercial fishing families; businesses who are involved in the harvesting, processing, distributing, marketing, and serving of seafood; and individuals in fishing communities across the country who see first-hand the necessity of local knowledge informing policy.

“America’s fishing communities and seafood industry have been maligned by special interest groups working in collusion, who have slandered hard-working Americans with outrageous claims and misrepresentations,” says Saving Seafood Executive Director Bob Vanasse. “We’re aiming to bring the entire supply chain of fishermen, shoreside businesses, processors, markets, and restaurants together to join this effort to move the national conversation in a positive direction.”

Members can join at the NCFC website, fisheriescoalition.org, and choose one of the three membership plans that best suits their needs, with plans for individuals, small business, and corporations starting at $10, $100, and $500 per month levels.

Members receive the NCFC’s newsletter, which contains the most up-to-date information on current events, and through the NCFC mailing list will be connected to a nation-wide effort to make sure their concerns are communicated to policymakers, media and the public, to bring a new perspective to important industry issues that have been overwhelmed by special interest campaigns.

“An umbrella group like NCFC makes it easier for fishing organizations around the country to be vocally involved in the management process,” said Rod Moore of West Coast Seafood Processors Association in Portland, Oregon and a NCFC member. “The Coalition is a platform through which we can speak out about issues that are important to our members.”

Like Saving Seafood, NCFC is committed to the proper implementation of U.S. fisheries management law, which requires that regulators take into account “the social and economic needs of the States.” [Magnuson-Stevens Act (2)(b)(5), Public Law 101-627]

NCFC is founded on the principles of integrating the needs of communities with the goals of conservation, utilizing the best available science, and connecting members of the national fishing community to each other. The Coalition will create a proper understanding of the struggles of our community, and articulate our message.

Join us now to be a part of the movement. Visit http://fisheriescoalition.org/join-us/ to support America’s fisheries and let your voice be heard.

Saving Seafood is a 501(c)(6) Washington, DC - based non-profit that conducts media and public outreach on behalf of fishing communities, and keeps the public informed on fisheries issues. Saving Seafood’s national reach and influence provides fishermen with a recognized voice in the nation’s capital to communicate their concerns and build public awareness of the industry’s priorities.

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Bob Vanasse
Saving Seafood
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