R 190
2019 -- S 0744
Enacted 04/03/2019

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

     WHEREAS, According to the University of Rhode Island's 2018 Economic Impact of
Rhode Island’s Fisheries and Seafood Sector report, “Rhode Island's Fisheries and Seafood Sector
includes commercial fishing and shellfishing, fishing charters, processing, professional service
firms, retail and wholesale seafood dealers, service and supply firms, and tackle shops. Including
spillover effects across all sectors of the Rhode Island economy, the total economic impact of the
Rhode Island Fisheries and Seafood Sector was 4,381 jobs and $538.3 million in 2016”; and
     WHEREAS, The state's fishing community is a major partner in ensuring the health of
Rhode Islanders by providing fresh local seafood, which is an excellent source of protein and
important minerals, and helps to lower cholesterol and heart disease; and
     WHEREAS, The state's fishers are environmentalists who work tirelessly to sustain our
oceans, which produce half of the oxygen we breathe and are instrumental to the capture of
carbon dioxide; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island has a rich, deep history and connection with the Atlantic
Ocean both in times of peace and in times of war. Settlers to Rhode Island have been fishing in
the Atlantic Ocean off Rhode Island’s coast for nearly 400 years, since the 1600s; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island was the first state in the country to produce an ocean SAMP, a
Special Area Management Plan, which is an achievement widely celebrated and often referenced
nationally. The years of study and work that went into that pioneering ocean management plan,
which is an enormous source of pride to all of Rhode Island, must be followed and continued; and
     WHEREAS, Squid is Rhode Island’s top landed fish, with more than 119 Rhode Island
fishing vessels landing more than 22 million pounds each year. Rhode Island squid landings alone
are valued at more than $28 million annually for this one species of fish; and
     WHEREAS, Galilee is the number one port for longfin squid landings on the entire East
coast; and
     WHEREAS, In 2015, Rhode Island landed 16 million pounds of squid while the state
with the second highest landings was New York, with 4 million pounds. In addition, squid is not
a state-restricted fish; out-of-state boats also come to Rhode Island with their squid catch because
of the processing facilities located here in Rhode Island; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island’s seafood processing facilities include the largest supplier of
calamari in the United States. These seafood processing facilities also contribute millions of
dollars to the state’s economy. Rhode Island squid is shipped and enjoyed all over the world
because of the seafood processing facilities; and
     WHEREAS, Along with the State’s fishing history, the $538 million per year and the
nearly 4,400 jobs from Rhode Island’s seafood industry are vital statistics to keep in mind as the
State moves forward and uses the ocean for energy development. While Rhode Island has
strongly embraced the new-to-the-United States offshore wind industry and the approximately
100 jobs it should bring to the Rhode Island area, it is also essential to be vigilant in protecting
and maintaining the State's fishing and seafood industry and with it the history and future
sustainability of fresh, local, healthy sources of protein for all; now therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby supports and places a premium value on the state’s rich maritime and fishing history, and
will continue to work to maintain and ensure the success of Rhode Island’s seafood industry; and
be it further
     RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby respectfully requests the Governor, the state
agencies and the CRMC to act in support and furtherance of Rhode Island’s commercial fishing
industry and to do everything in their powers to work to ensure the existence, and the success, of
Rhode Island’s commercial fishing fleet and, at a minimum, that they do no harm; and be it
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Honorable Gina Raimondo, Governor of the
State of Rhode Island, Grover Fugate, Executive Director of CRMC, Meghan Lapp, Fisheries
Liaison for Seafreeze Ltd., James R. Fox, President, Sea Fresh USA, Inc., Noah Clark, Founder
of The Town Dock, Anna Malek Mercer, Executive Director, Commercial Fisheries Research
Foundation, and Richard L. Fuka, President of the Rhode Island Fisherman's Alliance.