National Seafood Council Task Force planning major seafood marketing campaign

A Raley's seafood market

The National Seafood Council Task Force announced it is holding an initial meeting of an expert working group in Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A. to start the work on what it is calling “the most-comprehensive, consumer-facing seafood marketing campaign in our nation’s history.”

The meeting is the result of over two years of work, and partially serves as a resurrection of a marketing effort that has roots in the U.S. Fish and Seafood Promotion Act – enacted over 30 years ago. The idea of resurrecting a national marketing effort was first floated at a Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee panel, which discussed the idea of reviving the National Seafood Council and conducting a widespread, consumer-facing marketing campaign to increase seafood consumption in the U.S.

The new task force isn’t a revival of the government-funded National Seafood Council of 30 years ago – though over 60 companies have pushed for Congress to support a National Seafood Campaign. Rather, it is an industry-led effort supporting Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) with its efforts to promote seafood as a healthy food source.

As part of those efforts, 29 companies on the task force are helping the SNP “incubate” the National Seafood Council, which is leveraging the recommendations from NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Council.

“The goal is to build a more-resilient seafood sector, improve public health and foster a healthier planet through seafood education, research, promotion, and marketing directly to American consumers,” SNP said in a press release.

The NSC Task Force is holding its first meetings to help design the NSC in order to conduct a widespread, consumer-facing seafood marketing campaign with the goal of targeting the largest swath of U.S. consumers in the history of the seafood industry's efforts.

“Findings from this initial meeting will be shared with the broader seafood community,” SNP said.

The task force itself is intended to be a snapshot of the wider seafood industry as a whole, SNP said. Currently, the task force is made up of a nearly even split of large and small businesses, with the requirement that each business source some combination of wild-caught and aquaculture products.

“One of the key objectives of the NSC Task Force is to be representative of the diverse U.S. seafood supply chain,” SNP said. “The make-up of the current NSC Task Force members and their representatives shows a balance of small- to medium-sized businesses and large-sized businesses, wild-capture and aquaculture-based companies, as well as equality in gender.”

The companies are also geographically varied, with companies from across the country represented.

Momentum for a National Seafood Council has been building since the first meeting on the subject in 2019. Other domestic food products have some version of a industry-wide marketing board that promotes domestic consumption. The seafood industry, too, had such a board thanks to the U.S. Fish and Seafood Promotion Act, but those efforts have been dormant since its disbanding almost 30 years ago.  

Photo courtesy of Raley’s


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