Analysis of Seafood Imports a Useful Tool on Capitol Hill
October 5, 2016-McLean, VA- Last fall, the seafood research organization, SIRF, finalized a project that charted the economic impact of seafood imports by congressional district. The resulting research mapped the dollar value of seafood imports for each of the 435 constituencies in the House of Representatives as well as identified districts’ key export items. These economic profiles have enabled seafood advocates to demonstrate to lawmakers in detail the importance of the seafood importing industry on local economies.
Conducted by Dr. Mike Toma of Armstrong State University, the economic study drew on government Census data to form an exhaustive cross-section of seafood import distribution in the United States. Distilling the large database into shareable form, the National Fisheries Institute developed informational one-pagers that enumerate tailored import-export statistics for each congressional office.
“Trade is a two way street,” said NFI Vice President of Governmental Affairs Robert DeHaan. “When a lawmaker sees the dollar figures seafood brings into the district or the volume of in-district goods being sent to a major seafood supplying country, the connection is eye-popping and immediate. The seafood importing industry is something to pay attention to and its issues worth fighting for.”
The study results have been used in several seafood advocacy efforts including the Capitol Hill meetings of NFI’s Political Conference and Future Leader sessions as well as in targeted lobbying outreach among seafood champions and critics, alike.
“SIRF funds research that supports the seafood business,” said SIRF Chairman Russ Mentzer. “The more national decision-makers recognize seafood as a stable protein and consistent economic resource the more our industry benefits. SIRF’s import study is one example of SIRF’s investment in projects that have both immediate and long-term gains for the seafood community.”
The Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF) was established in 1964 to fund research grants to colleges, universities and other institutions for research related to the seafood industry and the consumers of its products. SIRF is supported entirely by voluntary contributions from individuals and companies in and related to the seafood industry.