R 173
2019 -- H 5926
Enacted 03/28/2019

H O U S E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Representatives Bennett, Solomon, Casey, McNamara, and Jackson
Date Introduced: March 28, 2019

     WHEREAS, Rhode Island is widely and increasingly recognized for its food industry;
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island's booming local food sector now supports more than 60,000
jobs throughout the State and continues to attract and inspire the imagination of entrepreneurs and
innovators; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island's fishing and seafood sector has been, and continues to be, a
vital part of the Rhode Island food industry; and
     WHEREAS, A recently completed study by the University of Rhode Island found that the
total economic impact of the Rhode Island fisheries and seafood sector is nearly 4,400 jobs and
$540 million annually; and
     WHEREAS, The Rhode Island quahog fishery plays a particularly important role in the
history, culture, and economy of the State; and
     WHEREAS, The quahog is the most economically important marine resource harvest
from Narragansett Bay, with the quahog fishery being the fourth most valuable of all Rhode
Island fisheries, following scallops, squid, and lobsters; and
     WHEREAS, In 2018, over 22 million quahogs were harvested and landed in Rhode
Island, with an off-the-boat value of $4.7 million; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island's commercial quahog fishery is characterized by independent
owner/operators who typically work alone on small boats ranging up to twenty-five feet in length;
     WHEREAS, There are about 550 licensed commercial shell-fishermen and women
engaged in the quahog fishery in Rhode Island, with about 250 engaged full-time and year-round;
     WHEREAS, The Rhode Island quahog fishery produces a steady supply of fresh product
to the market throughout the year, thanks to a well-managed, sustainable resource and the grit and
determination of the hard-working harvesters who brave harsh winter conditions to maintain a
stable fishery and market; and
     WHEREAS, Demand for quahogs tends to peak during the summer when stuffies and
clam cakes are the main attractions, even though quahogs also make the perfect fare for
chowders, pasta dishes, clams on the half-shell, and other scrumptious dishes during the fall,
winter, and spring; and
     WHEREAS, The Rhode Island Seafood Marketing Collaborative was established by the
Rhode Island General Assembly in 2011 for the purpose of promoting and advancing the interests
of Rhode Island's seafood industry; and
     WHEREAS, A key outgrowth of the Collaborative has been the creation of "Quahog
Week," an annual statewide celebration that highlights the importance and appeal of Rhode
Island's iconic clam; and
     WHEREAS, "Quahog Week" has proven successful in increasing consumer awareness
and demand and associated sales and market opportunities during a time of year when fresh local
clams are readily available, but often overlooked; and
     WHEREAS, The 4th Annual "Quahog Week" takes place in 2019 during the week of
March 25-31; and
     WHEREAS, "Quahog Week 2019" features a large number of restaurants and markets
throughout the State offering quahog-based specials on their menus and in their display cases; and
     WHEREAS, "Quahog Week 2019" also features two special events, free and open to the
public, taking place at Whalers Brewing Company in South Kingstown and Hope & Main in
Warren; and
     WHEREAS, "Quahog Week 2019" also includes a State House event at which the Rhode
Island Shellfishermen's Association will be shucking and serving freshly harvested quahogs,
accompanied by quahog-based samplers prepared and served by the expert chefs from Johnson &
Wales University's College of Culinary Arts; and
     WHEREAS, All the public events associated with "Quahog Week 2019" are featured on
the SeafoodRI.com website; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Rhode Island House of Representatives of the State of Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations hereby congratulates the Rhode Island Seafood Marketing
Collaborative, the Rhode Island Shell-Fishermen's Association, and the many partners who have
joined together to make "Quahog Week 2019" a rousing success; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That this House hereby takes this opportunity to herald our local quahog
resource, local quahog fishery, and local seafood industry; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That this House hereby recognizes and supports the many hard-working
men and women who harvest quahogs and make them available to consumers, as well as the
many restaurants and markets and food-based businesses committed to growing Rhode Island's
food economy; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That this House hereby encourages all Rhode Islanders to support Rhode
Island's local quahog industry by enjoying a delicious Rhode Island quahog-based meal at their
favorite restaurant, or at home, not just during this special week, but throughout the year; and be
it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Rhode Island Seafood Marketing
Collaborative, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, and to Mr. Michael
McGiveney, President of the Rhode Island Shellfisherman's Association.