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.

Two years ago, we ​applauded the conviction and sentencing of Carlos “Codfather” Rafael for seafood fraud and tax evasion, but warned about the risk that his assets would be sold to another seafood mogul or big corporation, leading to yet another single player controlling too much of the seafood supply chain and thus jeopardizing the integrity of the seafood economy and marine ecosystem. We recommended that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) seize all of Mr. Rafael’s boats and permits, and reallocate his fishing quota to a diverse range of fishermen across the New England region, excluding any individuals or entities that control an excessive share (2% or greater) of quota for any groundfish species. 

Thanks to our friends in the Farm to School Network, NAMA is supporting an exciting new Bill to create a farm (and sea!) to school grant program within the Massachusetts K-12 system. This Bill could set a precedent for other states and boost the role that school institutions play toward better seafood for all. Other businesses and organizations are encouraged to sign onto this letter of support.

June 6, 2018

To: Members of U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources

RE: Opposing development of marine finfish aquaculture in the United States

Dear Senator:

Industrial marine finfish farming poses serious risks to our oceans, coastal communities, and public health. We represent a variety of stakeholders, industries, and organizations who rely significantly on a healthy ocean ecosystem. We write today on behalf of our organizations and our millions of members and activists to urge you to protect our oceans and oppose any legislation to develop marine finfish aquaculture in the United States.

We collectively represent: fishers, chefs, and seafood suppliers who need clean and healthy oceans to provide quality, nutritious seafood for our customers; tribal nations who hold the ocean ecosystem and its inhabitants as sacred; nonprofit organizations who fight to protect our environment; academics and researchers who study ocean health and conservation; and coastal communities and businesses who depend heavily on the ocean for our livelihoods and wellbeing.

Industrial ocean fish farms have no place in our waters. They cram thousands of fish into enormous floating net pens and cages, exposing wild fish stocks to pests and disease and risking massive farmed fish spills that further threaten wild fish. These operations use assorted pharmaceuticals and toxic chemicals to treat disease and control infestations, which end up in our waters and can negatively impact nearby marine life. The chemicals can also contaminate the farmed fish, raising public health concerns for consumers.

The untreated waste from these facilities pollutes our ecosystems, creating chemical disruptions that can contribute to dead zones and algal blooms in our oceans. And every year these operations attract and oftentimes result in the deaths of wild dolphins, seals, birds, schooling fish, and other marine animals. This industry also poses serious occupational hazards for workers, and has been classified as one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S.

These industrial farms are built on the factory farm model, which aims to produce the largest quantity of food at the lowest possible cost. This forces all seafood prices downward, lowering the amount consumers may be willing to pay for responsibly and sustainably harvested fish. This directly harms our fishing communities. The massive operations also privatize our public waterways, barring access to limited marine space that could otherwise be used for fishing, boating, tourism, and other activities that bring more value to coastal communities than industrial ocean fish farming.

The dangers associated with industrial ocean fish farms have been documented for decades. In spite of this, Congress is again considering rewriting the Magnuson-Stevens Act, a law intended to protect and conserve our oceans and fisheries, in a way that will allow and encourage faster development of industrial ocean fish farms.

We join together to strongly urge you to protect our marine environment, sea life, existing industries, and our health. Please do not allow any changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Act that would aid development of marine finfish aquaculture. Such an addition would be irreconcilable with a law that is explicitly meant to protect us and our oceans.


Hallie Templeton
Senior Oceans Campaigner Friends of the Earth Washington, DC

Marianne Cufone
Executive Director Recirculating Farms Coalition New Orleans, Louisiana

Miyoko Sakashita
Oceans Director & Senior Counsel Center for Biological Diversity Oakland, CA

Wenonah Hauter Executive Director Food & Water Watch Washington, DC

Jaydee Hanson Senior Policy Analyst Center for Food Safety Washington, DC

John Hocevar
Oceans Campaign Director Greenpeace USA Washington, D.C.

Cyn Sarthou
Executive Director
Gulf Restoration Network New Orleans, LA

Joseph Bogaard
Executive Director
Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition Seattle, WA

Eliz Barger
Tennessee Outreach Coordinator PeaceRoots Alliance, Farms Not Arms
Summertown, TN

Rebekah Hinojosa Leader
Another Gulf is Possible

Steve Hollis,
President Emeritus
American Federation of Government Employees
Local 3354
St. Louis

Lisa Griffith
National Campaign Coordinator National Family Farm Coalition Washington, DC

John E. Peck Executive Director Family Farm Defenders Madison, WI

Susan West
Journalist & Fishing Community Advocate
Raising the Story
Buxton, NC

Leesa Cobb
Executive Director
Port Orford Ocean Resource Team Port Orford, OR

Alicia Harvie
Advocacy & Farmer Services Director
Farm Aid
Cambridge, MA

Vicki Nichols Goldstein Founder & Executive Director Inland Ocean Coalition Boulder, CO

Lorette Picciano, Executive Director Marge Townsend, Emeritus
Rural Coalition - North American Farm Alliance

Windsor, OH

Michael Stocker
Ocean Conservation Research Lagunitas, California

Candace Crespi
Campaign Director
Ocean Preservation Society Nicasio, CA

Candace Crespi Campaigns Manager Blue Sphere Foundation New York, NY

Graham Unangst-Rufenacht Field Organizer
Rural Vermont
Montpelier, VT

Lynne Foster & Capt. Ernie Foster Owners
The Albatross Fleet
Hatteras, NC

Niaz Dorry
Coordinating Director
Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance Gloucester, MA

Cooper Freeman
Program Manager/Policy Advocate Occidental Arts & Ecology Center Occidental, CA

Steve Gilman
Interstate Policy Coordinator Northeast Organic Farming Association
Barre, MA

Andrianna Natsoulas Executive Director
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Inc. Farmington, NY

Eugene Pickett
Black Farmers and Ranchers New Mexico
Jarales, NM

Rudy Arredondo President/CEO/Founder
National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association
Washington, DC

BJ McManama
Campaign Organizer
Indigenous Environmental Network Bemidji, MN

Sarah Laeng-Gilliatt
Board Member
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire Concord, NH

Todd Leake
Citizens Sustainability League – ND Emerado, ND

Eric Holt-Gimenez Executive Director Food First Oakland, CA

Heather Day
Executive Director Community Alliance for Global Justice
Seattle, WA

Noreen Springstead Executive Director WhyHunger
New York, NY

National Coordination
U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance

Michelle Horovitz Executive Director Appetite For Change Minneapolis, MN

Leah Penniman Co-Executive Director Soul Fire Farm Petersburg, NY

Viviana Moreno
Community Organizer
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
Chicago, IL

Amanda Grondin & Greg Friedrichs Co-Owners/Fishermen
Duna Fisheries, LLC (F/V Arminta) Port Townsend, WA

Mariana Mendoza
Faculty, Urban Sustainability M.A. Antioch University, Los Angeles Culver City, CA

Robert "Doc" Hall Co-Founder Compression Institute

Adam Mason
State Policy Organizing Director Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
Des Moines, IA

Derek Ronspies Chef/Owner
Le Petit Cochon Seattle, WA

Kendall Whitney
Marketing Manager
Seafood Producers Cooperative Bellingham, WA

Chris Philips Managing Editor Fishermen's News Seattle, WA

Karen Jurgensen Chef
Quillisascut Farm Rice, WA

Aaron Longton
Port Orford Sustainable Seafood Port Orford, Oregon

Alex Corcoran
Editor in Chief
Edible Seattle Magazine Seattle, WA

Austin Becker Co-Chair
Slow Food Seattle Seattle, WA

Greg Mueller
President & Executive Director Washington Trollers Association Westport, WA

Paula Barbeito Campaign Coordinator Slow Fish International

Angela Adrar
Executive Director Climate Justice Alliance

Bianca Piccillo & Mark Usewica Co-Owners
Mermaid's Garden
Brooklyn, NY

Karen Binder Caterer
Madison Park Café catering

Seattle, WA

Walt Sonen
Alaska Commercial Fisherman Seldovia, AK

Emily Nicolson Fisherman/co owner Iliamna Fish Co Portland, OR

Rachel Norton Residential Energy Specialist
Mountain Association for Community Economic Development

Hazard, KY

Stephen Bartlett
Sustainable Agriculture of Louisville

Louisville, KY

Evan Ferguson
Foods and Nutrition Teacher
Cape Hatteras Secondary School
Buxton, NC

Sam Ferguson Commercial Fisherman F/V Evan Elise Hatteras, NC

Noah Oppenheim Executive Director Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations

San Francisco, CA

Kirk and Camilla Lombard Founders
Sea Forager
San Francisco, CA

Michael and Diana Clausen
Clausen Fisheries, Inc. Tukwila, WA

Kirsten Robinett
JCoco Sales ManagerSeattle Chocolate Company
Seattle, WA

Diane LaVonne
Owner & Chef
Diane's Market Kitchen Seattle, WA

Rachael Kennedy
Social Impact Consultancy Blacksburg, VA

Devika Ghai
Pesticide Action Network Berkeley, CA

Christina Foster
Foster What Matters, Inc. Normal, IL

Cate Grady-Benson Board V.P. Farmington Land Trust Farmington, CT

Mark Kastel
The Cornucopia Institute Cornucopia, Wisconsin

Bhavani Jaroff
Founder / Member
iEat Green, LLC / North Shore Slow Fish
Old Westbury, NY

John Zippert
Authorized Representative

Alabama State Association of Cooperatives
Forkland, AL

Nicole Sugerman
Policy Associate Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Kingston, NY

Bernard Obie
Abanitu Organics Roxboro, North Carolina

Y. Armando Nieto Executive Director Community Food and Justice Coalition Oakland, CA

Stephanie Villani
Owner & Fishmonger Blue Moon Fish (F/V Blue Moon)
Mattituck, NY

Marilyn Moore
Founder, CEO
Witness Project of CT, Inc. Bridgeport, CT

Martin Gowdy
Gowdy Fisheries, Inc. Seattle, WA

Kirtrina Baxter Co-organizer Soil Generation Philadelphia, PA

Anna Lappé Director
Real Food Media San Francisco, CA

Chris McCaffity Owner
Reel Job Fishing Morehead City, NC

Jeff Cordulack Executive Director
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut
Derby, CT

Cathy Joly
Wapack Sustainability New Hampshire

Ian Cole
Owner Ocean2table CSF Santa Cruz, CA

Noemi Giszpenc Executive Director Cooperative Development Institute
Northampton, MA

Casson Trenor
Founder Tataki Sushi Bar / Shizen
San Francisco, CA

Colleen Weiler
Jessica Rekos Fellow for Orca Conservation Whale and Dolphin Conservation
Plymouth, MA

Navina Khanna
HEAL (Health, Environment, Agriculture, Labor) Food Alliance Oakland, CA

Joann Lo Co-Director

Food Chain Workers Alliance
Los Angeles, CA

Shiney Varghese
Senior Policy Analyst Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mary Gutierrez Executive Director Earth Ethics, Inc. Pensacola FL

Michael R. Dimock President
Roots of Change Oakland, CA

Linda Burner Augustine Freelance Food Consultant, Teacher, Writer

Seattle, WA

Alan Lovewell Owner
Real Good Fish Moss Landing , CA

Steve Merritt President Alaska Trollers Association Juneau, AK

Garrett Graddy-Lovelace Co-founder
Agroecology Research- Action Collective Berkeley, CA

Stacia Clinton
National Program Director Health Care Without Harm Reston, VA

Cassie Burdyshaw, Advocacy & Policy Director
Turtle Island Restoration Network

Olema, CA

Sean Barrett
Dock to Dish | Community Supported Fishery Montauk, New York

Thierry Rautureau
The Chef In The Hat
Luc Restaurant & Loulay Kitchen & Bar
Seattle, WA

Marsh Skeele
Vice President/Fisherman Sitka Salmon Shares Sitka, AK

NAMA joins 52 other organizational allies in a joint letter to USDA as well as House and Senate Committees on Agriculture in support of small family-run dairy farms who are struggling to get a fair price for their products. The policies called for in this letter will help farmers provide fair wages to their workers and support the local economies of rural America. 

Individuals representing 76 businesses and organizations along with the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) delivered a public letter to Fulton Street Fish Market asking them to discontinue their “Community Supported Fishery” (CSF) marketing campaign on the basis of “dishonest and values-deprived” advertising.

To combat the wave of multibillion dollar mega-mergers all across the farm and food industry, NAMA joined over 200 organizations in showing broad-based support for the principles of fairness and equity in farm markets in this letter to Senator Pat Roberts, Chairman of Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. 

In October 2017 we submitted this written testimony to the U.S. Senate as part of their public comment period for the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Management and Conservation Act Reauthorization. We call attention to issues surrounding Catch Share policy, democratic empowerment, and non fishing impacts like climate change.