And just like that, it’s June. Over the last three months, the Revol-Ocean has come together in full force! Together, we delivered recommendations from fishing communities across the nation for Congress’ next stimulus package, collaborated with the Local Catch Network to learn what our community of fish harvesters and seafood businesses wanted the federal government to do to support them in the age of COVID-19, and generated a sign-on letter to lift up their recommendations. These efforts culminated in a virtual SOS message that was sent to Congress and federal agencies. 

On May 4th, hundreds of independent fishermen along with small and mid-sized seafood businesses across the country and their allies sent a ​letter​ to the Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Agriculture, and Congress urging for increased federal support for America’s fishing communities. The accompanying video message included representatives from Alaska, the West Coast, the Gulf, and New England who underscored growing concerns about the impacts of COVID-19 on small and mid-scale seafood producers. Together, we called on the Trump Administration and Congress to address the increasingly urgent situation facing fishing communities and businesses nationwide. The letter outlines several key recommendations that would enable fishing communities to weather the COVID-19 crisis and adapt to its abrupt and dramatic impacts on the seafood supply chain, while laying the foundation for a seafood system that would provide food security in a sustainable, healthy, and economical way for all people.
The letter and its virtual delivery was a testament to not only our community’s innovative drive but also our ability to come together in times of crisis. Today, we’re asking you to amplify these efforts by continuing to reach out to Congress and demand their support and protection of small and mid-sized fishing businesses. Here, you can find more details as well as a template for the action letter you can use to ask Congress to do what needs to be done!

Now, Summer is upon us and we want to keep driving the momentum!
Upcoming Events
If you’re unfamiliar with Fire Drill Fridays, they began in the fall of 2019 when Jane Fonda moved to Washington, D.C. to focus her activism efforts around climate change. Each Friday, Fonda has hosted actions on Capitol Hill, with each action focusing on a different aspect of the environmental crisis and demanding action from political leaders to address the climate emergency we all are in. In 2020, Fonda partnered with Greenpeace to expand this movement-building effort nationwide and produced virtual rallies that we can all be a part of. 

“There is a difference between the people who fish and those who extract seafood from the ocean. Our responsibility is to support the former and fight the latter.” - Niaz Dorry 

On Friday, June 5th, join NAMA’s coordinating director, Niaz Dorry, and other ocean advocates will address the issues facing our ocean. We look forward to hearing the speakers discuss sustainable fisheries, deep sea mining, and plastics as well as speak to the bigger picture and the movement toward a brighter future for the seafood supply chain. This virtual rally is an exciting opportunity to join and sustain the movement as we continue to flatten the curve by practicing social distancing. Join us as we speak up for protecting our oceans.
Slow Fish Crew Together Webinar - The Story of Salmon 
The Slow Fish Crew Together Webinar Series will have its next installment on June 5th at 1:00pm Eastern. Register for their webinar, where you can expect to hear the story of salmon from the perspective of those who live on the water and in the communities that depend on salmon for their lives and culture. Speakers will be discussing their connections to the vital resource that salmon is, the challenges they face, and their determination in meeting these challenges. We hope that during the webinar you will gain a deeper understanding of the value of salmon and why it is so important to protect as a resource for local communities and us. To learn more about the webinar, visit the registration page.
June 8th is World Oceans Day!
  • On June 8th, we will be speaking as an invited participant in Too Big to Ignore’s “Small is Bountiful” World Oceans Day, during their 24 hour around the world virtual event of panelists and Small Scale Fisheries Art Festival. We’re excited to help highlight the short film, TO THE SURFACE, which features our very own Board President, Jason Jarvis. In the lead up to this final event, please tune into their webinar series from June 1-5th. To see a full agenda and to register, please visit their website.

  • TO THE SURFACE  beautifully captures the challenges faced by the seafood industry in Rhode Island because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but roots the current obstacles in a long-standing history of local fishermen being unable to reach local consumers because 80% of seafood is exported due to state and federal policies, and domestic sale is primarily reserved for restaurants. Rhode Island fishermen fought for an emergency action to allow them to sell directly to consumers and won! Now, the fight remains to make this emergency change permanent. It’s a must-watch to see these important issues explained and witness this story unfold.

  • Celebrate World Oceans Day by streaming Niaz Dorry’s interview with Food Tank President Danielle Nierenberg. Niaz will be discussing the impact of COVID-19 on fishing communities. On Monday, June 8th at 4pm EST, you can tune in to a livestream on Food Tank’s Youtube Live, Facebook Live, and Periscope to watch. If you have to miss it, the audio will be re-broadcasted through Nierenberg’s podcast “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” so visit her podcast page for details.
We're Taking Action | Recent Actions

On May 8, we released an official statement condemning the Trump Administration’s new measures, which effectively expand factory fish farms, dangerously deregulate the fishing industry, and promote the export of our seafood. These measures seem to benefit globalized industrial fishing and aquaculture businesses at the expense of the local and regional seafood industry. We are asking the White House to instead pursue measures that serve the needs and the processes of fishing communities, sustain our marine ecosystems, and support the longevity and health of our seafood system.

While communities and small businesses continue to find ways to survive this pandemic, large corporations are utilizing this crisis to strengthen their pocket books and further their interests at the expense of the hard-working public. In response, over 25 national and state organizations came together to write a letter urging Congress to emphasize the dangers of concentrated power and warn of a coming merger wave financed with public money. We continue to ask Congress to do their part in preventing monopolization and growing corporate power over larger and larger sectors of the country’s economy. We continue to remind them that in order to protect small businesses, workers, consumers, and our communities, they must pass the Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act. 

American Sustainable Business Council Publishes Report

The American Sustainable Business Council recently released a report entitled From Crisis to Opportunity: Recommendations for State and Local Governments which provides a blueprint of suggested policy ideas that will provide economic stimulus as well as lasting social, environmental, and public benefit -- some at little to no cost. As a member, NAMA helped contribute to the report by providing our policy recommendations in the section on food and fisheries. These recommendations work to center those most impacted by food insecurity, ensure a fair and safe livelihood, bolster local and regional food systems, enact reforms to build a resilient system, and protect access. 
Community Support & Resources for the Revol-Ocean 
Be-trayed: How Kickbacks in the Cafeteria Industry Harm Our Communities – and What to Do About It is a recent report compiled by Real Food Generation and is part of our coalition’s Real Meals Campaign. The report exposes the multi-billion-dollar college cafeteria industry of secretive contracts and lucrative kickbacks that link some of the world’s largest food and beverage companies like Tyson, Cargill, and JBS as the tycoons and profiteers to this scheme. The report lays out the size and scope of the problem, which in part, results in independent fishermen not getting paid a fair price. It also makes recommendations for action for students, school administrators, farmers and ranchers, fishers, and food workers, as well as shareholders and public officials. If fairness, transparency, and commitment to small-scale producers are important to you -- one concrete step you can take now is to support the Real Meals Campaign. The campaign is calling on Aramark, Sodexo, and Compass Group to change their current supply chain practices and adopt a plan that puts close to $1 billion each year into food that is fair, humane, climate-friendly, and grounded in racial justice. 

The Local Catch Network hosted a webinar forum to hear from government officials and other technical assistance providers about resources for the seafood industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 200+ individuals attended the webinar, and as a result, the Local Catch Network compiled a comprehensive list of resources that includes everything from grant funds to food and safety tips during this pandemic.

If you’re able, please consider supporting your local fishing communities by purchasing seafood through the Local Catch Network Seafood Finder.
NAMA in the Press