NAMA Weighs In

To facilitate the transformations we seek, we often have to communicate with policy makers. Although sometimes we go solo, our goal is to join others who share our vision for the future of our oceans. Here are a collection of letters that lay out positions taken by NAMA and/or our projects on various issues from fisheries to persistent pollutants to climate change.

From time to time, we'll also upload supporting documents here that are not necessarily NAMA's.

132 undersigned organizations representing consumers, fishermen, farmers and ranchers, local food producers, and co-ops signed onto a letter to the United States Senate expressing concern about food safety legislation, S.510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, and its potential for unnecessarily burdening and handicapping small-scale, local food producers. The groups urged the Senate to support the amendment co-sponsored by Senators Tester and Hagan to ensure that small-scale direct-marketing farms and food producers are protected from unnecessary and overly burdensome federal regulations.

Organized by RAFI-USA, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and others, 135 organizations signed on to the comment to the US Department of Food and Agriculture on the Farm Bill related rules affecting meat packing and processing.

You may not immediately get why an organization like NAMA that works on fisheries issues might want to weigh in on USDA rules about meat packing and processing, but since fish are caught to end up in our food system we believe any opportunity to reign in corportate control of our food system is important. So I hope all of you - espcially all you folks working on food system and fisheries issues, will consider signing onto these comments as well. The kind of corporate control entities like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), and the American Meat Institute (AMI) are asserting only erodes our ability to have a say over who brings us our food, what happens to the animals that end up on our plates, and ultimately, the safety, security, and sovereignty of our food system whether it comes from the land or the sea. Along with the sign on letter, RAFI is also looking for large volumes of personalized comments from organizations and food producers.

Below are action alerts from different organizations that you can use for writing your own comment, if needed. The alerts are from Center for Rural Affairs (hogs), Food and Water Watch (consumers), National Farmers Union (concentration, support for the rule overall), National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (cattle, hogs and poultry), RAFI-USA (poultry), and WORC (cattle).

Hannah Mellion from Farm Fresh Rhode Island testified in support of small-scale food harvesters and explained why 'who fishes matters' just like 'who farms matters' to communities, sustainable ecosystems, and healthy food.

Brett Tolley delivered testimony before the New England Fisheries Management Council on September 30 2010 highlighting 'Who Fishes Matters' and underscoring the fact that uncontrolled consolidation undermines communities, marine ecosystems, and healthy food systems. 

If we care about the health of our oceans, fishing communities, and our food system, then who fishes matters. Please see the attached document to learn how you can get involved with the 'Who Fishes Matters' initiative.

Fleet diversity is an essential element of achieving the ecological, economic and social goals of fisheries management. NAMA recently submitted a White Paper to the New England Fishery Management Council outlining recommendations that could ensure fleet diversity at a time when consolidation and accumulation is being encouraged.

NAMA joins a coalition of 30 consumer, animal welfare and environmental groups, along with commercial and recreational fisheries associations and food retailers in a joint statement criticizing an announcement this week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it will potentially approve the long-shelved AquAdvantage transgenic salmon as the first genetically engineered (GE) animal intended for human consumption.

Brett Tolley of NAMA, Dr. Kenneth Downes - organization development and vision coach, and, Christopher Brown, Rhode Island fishermen deliver testimony to the Interspecies Committee of the New England Fisheries Management Council about the importance of the Fleet Vision Project outcomes and how they can help the council answer important questions before them.
Emerging scientific evidence about local stocks is really evidence that ocean populations and ecosystems operate at multiple scales — from very local to very broad. A group of scientist submit comments to the National Marine Fisheries Service during their deliberation around the Amendment 16 to the NE multispecies/groundfish plan suggesting the evidence about the ocean populations and all theoretical knowledge of ecosystems is consistent with the organization of populations at multiple spatial and temporal scales. They believe, in practice, the important implication is that fisheries must be managed at multiple scales, not just a single large scale, if the hope is to be able to learn, adapt and conserve the resource.