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In Bipartisan Push, Pingree Joins House Lawmakers in Calling for $20B in Direct Aid for Seafood Industry

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) joined Congressman Bill Keating (D-Massachusetts), Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska), and 16 other members of Congress in asking for $20 billion for the seafood industry in Congress’ next coronavirus response legislation. Their letter, which was sent to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy, can be viewed here

“The COVID-19 virus has resulted in the near total closure of the hospitality and tourism industry both domestically and overseas,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter. “With nearly 70% of seafood produced in the United States being consumed in restaurants, coupled with traditional export markets being eliminated by travel and trade restrictions, America’s domestic fisheries face a time of unparalleled uncertainty.”

The lawmakers asked for funding to support the more than 1.7 million jobs in the U.S. that are directly tied to domestic fisheries, which create more than $64 billion in economic activity annually. Among their requests were: 

  • direct assistance payments to fishing families and communities as they recover from the economic effects of the pandemic
  • encouraging the purchase and distribution of surplus seafood products for those in need, and
  • funding advertising so seafood consumption increases in the near-term.

The letter also asks for assistance in building a more resilient infrastructure for the seafood industry, which would ensure the long-term success and sustainability of Maine fisheries.



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