R.I. Senate Resolution – Recognizing the Value on the states rich maritime and fishing history

2019 — S 0744




R H O D E  I S L A N D


S E N A T E  R E S O L U T I O N


Introduced By: Senators Sosnowski, McCaffrey, Algiere, Felag, and Euer
Date Introduced: April 03, 2019
Referred To: Recommended for Immediate Consideration

1 WHEREAS, According to the University of Rhode Island’s 2018 Economic Impact of
2 Rhode Island’s Fisheries and Seafood Sector report, “Rhode Island’s Fisheries and Seafood Sector
3 includes commercial fishing and shellfishing, fishing charters, processing, professional service
4 firms, retail and wholesale seafood dealers, service and supply firms, and tackle shops. Including
5 spillover effects across all sectors of the Rhode Island economy, the total economic impact of the
6 Rhode Island Fisheries and Seafood Sector was 4,381 jobs and $538.3 million in 2016”; and
7 WHEREAS, The state’s fishing community is a major partner in ensuring the health of
8 Rhode Islanders by providing fresh local seafood, which is an excellent source of protein and
9 important minerals, and helps to lower cholesterol and heart disease; and
10 WHEREAS, The state’s fishers are environmentalists who work tirelessly to sustain our
11 oceans, which produce half of the oxygen we breathe and are instrumental to the capture of
12 carbon dioxide; and
13 WHEREAS, Rhode Island has a rich, deep history and connection with the Atlantic
14 Ocean both in times of peace and in times of war. Settlers to Rhode Island have been fishing in
15 the Atlantic Ocean off Rhode Island’s coast for nearly 400 years, since the 1600s; and
16 WHEREAS, Rhode Island was the first state in the country to produce an ocean SAMP, a
17 Special Area Management Plan, which is an achievement widely celebrated and often referenced
18 nationally. The years of study and work that went into that pioneering ocean management plan,
19 which is an enormous source of pride to all of Rhode Island, must be followed and continued; and


1 WHEREAS, Squid is Rhode Island’s top landed fish, with more than 119 Rhode Island
2 fishing vessels landing more than 22 million pounds each year. Rhode Island squid landings alone
3 are valued at more than $28 million annually for this one species of fish; and
4 WHEREAS, Galilee is the number one port for longfin squid landings on the entire East
5 coast; and
6 WHEREAS, In 2015, Rhode Island landed 16 million pounds of squid while the state
7 with the second highest landings was New York, with 4 million pounds. In addition, squid is not
8 a state-restricted fish; out-of-state boats also come to Rhode Island with their squid catch because
9 of the processing facilities located here in Rhode Island; and
10 WHEREAS, Rhode Island’s seafood processing facilities include the largest supplier of
11 calamari in the United States. These seafood processing facilities also contribute millions of
12 dollars to the state’s economy. Rhode Island squid is shipped and enjoyed all over the world
13 because of the seafood processing facilities; and
14 WHEREAS, Along with the State’s fishing history, the $538 million per year and the
15 nearly 4,400 jobs from Rhode Island’s seafood industry are vital statistics to keep in mind as the
16 State moves forward and uses the ocean for energy development. While Rhode Island has
17 strongly embraced the new-to-the-United States offshore wind industry and the approximately
18 100 jobs it should bring to the Rhode Island area, it is also essential to be vigilant in protecting
19 and maintaining the State’s fishing and seafood industry and with it the history and future
20 sustainability of fresh, local, healthy sources of protein for all; now therefore be it
21 RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
22 hereby supports and places a premium value on the state’s rich maritime and fishing history, and
23 will continue to work to maintain and ensure the success of Rhode Island’s seafood industry; and
24 be it further
25 RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby respectfully requests the Governor, the state
26 agencies and the CRMC to act in support and furtherance of Rhode Island’s commercial fishing
27 industry and to do everything in their powers to work to ensure the existence, and the success, of
28 Rhode Island’s commercial fishing fleet and, at a minimum, that they do no harm; and be it
29 further
30 RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
31 transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Honorable Gina Raimondo, Governor of the
32 State of Rhode Island, Grover Fugate, Executive Director of CRMC, Meghan Lapp, Fisheries
33 Liaison for Seafreeze Ltd., James R. Fox, President, Sea Fresh USA, Inc., Noah Clark, Founder
34 of The Town Dock, Anna Malek Mercer, Executive Director, Commercial Fisheries Research

1 Foundation, and Richard L. Fuka, President of the Rhode Island Fisherman’s Alliance.