Oceana, which has conducted a lengthy campaign to end seafood fraud in the United States, announced Friday that 450 chefs, restaurant owners and culinary leaders have signed a letter urging Congress to pass the SAFE Seafood Act.

Jacqueline Savitz, Oceana's VP for U.S. oceans, make the announcement at the TEDxMidAtlantic event at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, D.C., where the group is based. The chefs she added, represent all 50 states.

"Chefs and restaurant owners want to know the seafood they serve their customers is safe, legally caught and honestly labeled," Savitz said. "By passing the SAFE Seafood Act, Congress can protect U.S. consumers and honest seafood sellers by making sure that customers get what they paid for."

The letter was signed by chefs including José Andrés, Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, Anthony Bourdain, Jacques Pepin, Eric Ripert, BartonSeaver, Michael Symon and Alice Waters. It urges a traceability requirement for all seafood sold in the United States.

In the letter, the chefs say they "are committed to serving seafood that protects our oceans, our wallets and our health," and that "we should be able to tell our customers, without question, what they are eating as well as where, when and how it was caught."

The SAFE Seafood Act, introduced in Congress (H.R.1012/S.520) in March, was sponsored by Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) in the Senate and Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) in the House of Representatives.

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9-11 February 2015
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