Steve Bittenbender

Contributing Editor

Steve Bittenbender works as a freelance journalist based in Louisville, Kentucky. Besides working for SeafoodSource.com as a contributing editor, Steve also works as an editor for Government Security News and as the Kentucky correspondent for the Reuters News Service. He also works as a sports writer for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal and The Associated Press. He has received awards from the Kentucky Press Association and the Louisville Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for his on-going and enterprise reporting work.

Published on
May 12, 2021

Two U.S. congressmen have filed legislation that would expand the role of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) to include all species.

U.S. Representatives Jared Huffman (D-California) and Garret Graves (R-Louisiana) unveiled the Illegal Fishing and Forced Labor Prevention Act on Tuesday, 11 May. The purpose of the legislation is to better connect illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing to forced labor practices in the seafood

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Published on
May 6, 2021

The U.S. State Department on Friday, 30 April announced in the Federal Register that it has suspended Mexico’s commercial shrimp fishery from exporting wild shrimp into the country because Mexico’s efforts to protect sea turtles are “no longer comparable to that of the United States.”

As a result, the only Mexican shrimp that can enter the U.S. must come from aquaculture operations.

The U.S. took similar action against

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Published on
May 6, 2021

A report released by officials from the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday, 6 May instructs NOAA to expand the National Marine Sanctuaries System and National Estuarine Research Reserve System.

The report also calls on NOAA to work on conservation efforts to help restore fish populations, and better protect threatened and endangered species. Those recommendations are part of how the administration plans to protect 30 percent

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Published on
April 30, 2021

Two U.S. senators on Thursday, 29 April, filed a bill that calls on the federal government to increase protections for smaller fish that serve as an essential food source for ecosystems across the country.

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) have filed S.1484, called The Forage Fish Conservation Act. The legislation would amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to mandate that that

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Published on
April 27, 2021

Two American shrimp trade associations have requested to appear at a hearing next month the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will hold regarding actions the United States may take in response to a tax India has levied against digital goods.

India, the world’s second-most populous nation, has imposed a 2 percent “digital services tax” on revenue generated by “non-resident” companies on a wide array of

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Published on
April 26, 2021

Shrimpers in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico continued their strong run to start 2021 with their best March since 2017 ... 

Photo courtesy of Leigh

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Published on
April 22, 2021

NOAA Fisheries has issued a final rule that designates three critical habitat areas for humpback whales in U.S. waters in the Pacific Ocean.

According to the document, published in the Federal Register, two of the three distinct population segments of humpbacks are considered endangered based on the Endangered Species Act, while a third segment is deemed threatened.

On Wednesday, 21 April, the agency designated more than 59,000 nautical square

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Published on
April 21, 2021

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Tuesday, 20 April announced that it would make another 22,000 H-2B visas available for businesses, such as seafood processors, that rely on seasonal laborers.

In a statement, the federal agency said feedback from businesses that rely on the visa program to staff summer operations led to the expansion. DHS said many of those businesses were unable to hire American workers to fill critical

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Published on
April 19, 2021

A group of 10 West Coast lawmakers have reached out to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to see why fishermen and processors in their region have largely been left out of a program created through COVID-19 relief measures.

Led by U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), the Senators and House members sent a letter to Vilsack noting that the fishing industry in California, Oregon, and Washington state account for more than USD 500 million

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Published on
April 15, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden has called on Congress to give the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration a more than 25 percent increase in funding for the 2022 fiscal year.

In a letter to Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) on 9 April, Acting Director for the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young requested USD 6.9 billion (EUR 5.8 billion) for the agency. That’s USD 1.4 billion (EUR 1.2 billion) more than

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