Fishermen’s surveys ask: How catches are marketed; Opinions on monitoring of seafood imports

Fishermen's direct marketing, how seafood imports are monitored are survey topics

by | May 17, 2023

Filed Under Markets | NOAA Fisheries

Responses will help improve NOAA Fisheries programs

Survey #1—

Federal outreachers hopes that fishermen can help increase the visibility of the domestic seafood sector and the role seafood harvesters play in supporting the nation’s food system.

NOAA Fisheries, the University of Maine, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are trying to better understand how commercial seafood harvesters in the United States market their catch. The research team is surveying harvesters and hope responses will:

  • Fill data gaps on seafood marketing at the national level
  • Increase understanding of local and regional seafood marketing practices
  • Remove barriers to direct marketing for the commercial fishing sector 

Similar surveys are well-established in the agricultural sector but do not exist in the seafood sector.

“This work helps unpack the different pathways seafood takes from our ocean to the consumer. Understanding these pathways documents the benefits of U.S. fisheries to the nation in terms of food production and food security, and contributes to NOAA’s National Seafood Strategy,” said Sarah Shoffler, one of the NOAA Fisheries leads on the survey project. “This project also leverages strengths of the three organizations: USDA’s valuable experience in alternative marketing practices survey work; University of Maine’s, through their Local Catch Network, contacts and continued engagement with local fishing businesses around the country; and NOAA Fisheries’ understanding of fisheries and seafood data.”

Between March and July 2023 NOAA contacted nearly 7000 direct seafood marketers in the US to learn more about their engagement with the direct seafood sector, characteristics of their businesses, and their marketing practices.   

Direct seafood marketers should have received postcards and survey forms in the mail in April. Learn more about the survey here.

If you are an American direct seafood marketer and have not yet received a postcard, email, or survey form, but are interested in participating please contact Dr. Sahir Advani at

The survey is open from March to June 2023.

Survey #2 –

This anonymous survey asks U.S. commercial fishermen what they think about import monitoring on seafood products, specifically the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), and how it affects their businesses. 

The comments are being gathered for NOAA by Ocean Strategies, an Alaska based and operated public affairs firm specializing in the seafood industry and marine resources.

SIMP currently monitors 13 seafood groups that are imported into the U.S. NOAA is considering expanding the species the program monitors and wants feedback. While this survey isn’t for official NOAA comments, Ocean Strategies is helping collect perspectives from individual fishermen and their representatives.

Responses will be aggregated and anonymous as part of a general report of commercial fishing perspectives. The final anonymous report will be available to fisheries stakeholders, including all survey respondents. 

Leave your email at the very end of the survey and we’ll update you on what we learn!

 Click Survey link and tell us how monitoring seafood imports impacts your fishing business  
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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.


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