R 239
2021 -- S 0889
Enacted 05/11/2021

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Euer, and McCaffrey
Date Introduced: May 07, 2021

     WHEREAS, Rhode Island proudly supports its burgeoning food industry; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island’s fishing and seafood sector is a key component of the Rhode
Island food industry; and
     WHEREAS, A recent study by the University of Rhode Island found that the total
economic impact of Rhode Island’s 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 harvested
from Narragansett Bay; and
     WHEREAS, Over 20 million quahogs with an ex-vessel value exceeding $4 million are
harvested from Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island coastal waters on an average annual basis;
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island’s commercial quahog fishery is characterized by independent
owner/operators who typically work alone on small boats and often in harsh conditions; and
     WHEREAS, There are over 500 licensed commercial shellfishermen 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; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island’s seafood retailers, namely markets and restaurants, provide
fresh Rhode Island quahogs to local consumers, enriching palates and bolstering our local food
economy; and
     WHEREAS, The Rhode Island quahog fishery has withstood the challenges posed by the
pandemic, and the Rhode Island restaurant industry has held its own, with both now poised to
strengthen as our economy reopens and builds back; and
     WHEREAS, Water quality improvements in Narragansett Bay have led to the opening of
1,908 acres of new shell-fishing waters in the lower Providence River in 2021, providing a
significant growth opportunity for the fishery; 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 "Quahog Week," an annual
statewide celebration that highlights the importance and appeal of Rhode Island’s iconic clam;
     WHEREAS, "Quahog Week" has proven successful in increasing consumer awareness
and demand and associated sales and market opportunities for quahogs; and
     WHEREAS, The 5th annual "Quahog Week" takes place in 2021 during the week of May
17-23; and
     WHEREAS, "Quahog Week 2021" features a large number of restaurants and markets
throughout the State offering quahog-based specials on their menus and in their display cases, all
highlighted on the SeafoodRI.com website; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island hereby congratulates the
Rhode Island Seafood Marketing Collaborative, the Rhode Island Shellfishermen’s Association,
and the many partners who have joined together to make "Quahog Week 2021" a premier
statewide event; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby encourages all Rhode Islanders to support Rhode
Island’s local quahog and seafood industry by participating in "Quahog Week 2021" and enjoying
fresh Rhode Island quahogs 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 Honorable Daniel McKee, Governor of the
State of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Seafood Marketing Collaborative and the Rhode Island
Shellfishermen’s Association.