What We Do
America’s top commercial fishing ports and the leading advocacy organizations for the fishing industry have come together to form the National Coalition for Fishing Communities (NCFC), whose mission is to amplify the voice of the industry and the communities that rely on it. From New England and mid-Atlantic to the Gulf Coast to the west coast and Hawaii, the NCFC is working with fishermen and fishing communities to ensure that Congress and regulators develop policies that reflect, preserve and advance their interests.
The American commercial fishing industry consists of a diverse set of enterprises that are located mostly in smaller ports and are represented by small, geographically-based trade organizations. In some ways the industry’s diversity is a strength, but it also can make it more difficult for the commercial fishing industry to be heard. Most of industry’s relatively small trade associations, as well as many fishing communities, lack the capacity to conduct robust media and lobbying campaigns. The balkanization of these groups and parts tends to undermine the image of cohesion that has been vital to the success of other food industries (e.g. beef, pork, dairy).
We believe that the industry does not need another organization, but rather a mechanism through which existing organizations can make their positions clear. That’s where the NCFC comes in.
The NCFC is managed by Saving Seafood, which was created as a 501(c)(6) in 2009 to conduct media and public outreach on behalf of the seafood industry. Saving Seafood is best known for the website, SavingSeafood.org, which covers the most important news, issues, and policies affecting the commercial fishing industry. Since its inception, the site has become one of the top online sources for industry news. Building upon Saving Seafood’s established credibility on Capitol Hill and across the industry, the NCFC will give fishermen a recognized voice in our nation’s capital that reaches the officials sent there to represent us, and outreach to national media to build the public awareness needed to move industry priorities forward.
The need for commercial fishermen and fishing communities to be heard in Washington and across the nation is greater than ever. Extremely well-funded environmental special interest groups have pushed their agendas onto elected officials and national media, often with sensationalized rhetoric and neglect for scientific accuracy. All too often, Members of Congress and the media hear one-sided and often misleading information about fisheries issues.
We know that all parts of the industry will not always agree on every detail, but we can work together on the bigger picture – to call attention to sensible approaches to fisheries management that are of common interest across the country and to spotlight facts about the industry that have been hidden in the shadows, or overwhelmed by special interest campaigns.