Working Waterfronts Need Congressional Support to Weather COVID-19

CONTACT: Jo Knight,

Rep. Huffman convenes roundtable to hear directly from fishing and seafood-related businesses

Arlington, VA – Today Representative Jared Huffman, chair of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife, led a virtual roundtable discussion called, “Coronavirus Impacts on American Fisheries and the Seafood Supply.” Speakers included business representatives of the commercial and recreational fishing sectors and the seafood supply chain. Last week, the Secretary of Commerce released its plan for allocating $300 million in fishery relief aid earmarked in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which Congress passed on March 27. Robert C. Vandermark, executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, released this statement following Chairman Huffman’s roundtable event.

“America’s fishing and seafood industries have endured since our nation’s earliest days, providing opportunities for recreation in nature and healthy and delicious sources of protein for Americans from coast to coast. These businesses are the economic foundation for working waterfronts and create millions of jobs in coastal communities around our country. The fishermen and seafood processors and purveyors who deliver this crucial protein source and the recreational fishing businesses that provide access to our publicly owned fisheries need our support now more than ever because many in this community have not been able to get relief through the Paycheck Protection Program. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep most businesses shuttered, today’s session reiterated what many industry members know well: Congress must tailor any future relief to the unique needs of the seafood industry and allocate significantly more than $300 million to keep American fishing and seafood industries alive.

“The Network thanks Chairman Huffman for his leadership in convening this roundtable and to all the Members who joined in listening to the specific needs of the women and men in coastal communities who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat. In addition to increased relief funding for fishing and seafood-related businesses, Americans can also do their part to eat more wild-caught seafood and create greater demand for seafood products. Congress and the American people must all come together to support our fishermen, restaurants and all those tied to the seafood industry so that they can successfully weather this storm.”


The Marine Fish Conservation Network is a coalition of commercial and recreational fishing associations, regional and national conservation groups, aquaria, and marine science organizations committed to sustaining fish populations, healthy marine ecosystems, and robust fishing communities. For more information, visit us at or follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@marinefishcons).