Seafood Industry Moves Toward Goal for National Public Health Campaign

A major, grassroots initiative proposed to help solve America’s public health crisis is moving closer to becoming a reality, the Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) announced.

SNP is nearing its goal of $7.5 million in contributions from the seafood industry – half of what is ultimately needed to underwrite a precedent-setting, three-year national public health campaign that would begin in 2015. A long list of contributors from across the nation’s leading seafood businesses have pledged a significant total of $6 million to date during the quiet phase of the fundraising campaign.

The nonprofit Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) has arrived at this week’s Seafood Expo North America Conference in Boston to launch the public phase of its fundraising campaign and invite all seafood businesses to contribute to the remaining $1.5 million goal from the seafood sector. An accompanying video on SeafoodNutrition.org highlights several key seafood industry leaders rallying support for SNP now.

In-parallel with reaching the goal of $7.5 million from the seafood industry, SNP is raising an additional $7.5 million from a cross-section of healthcare related businesses and philanthropic organizations.

“With America’s health on the line, now is the time for all key players in the seafood industry to step forward and demonstrate the positive difference that eating seafood can make on the well-being of the U.S. population,” says Linda Cornish, executive director of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership.  “Our plan for confronting the nation’s health crisis is not that complicated, but it takes time, partners and resources, if we are to truly affect change in the American diet at a societal level. Through this effort, we can inspire a healthier nation, but the time to act is now.”

Donors who have helped SNP reach the $6 million in contributions to date include: Trident Seafoods Corp., Gorton’s, High Liner Foods, Mazzetta Company, Long John Silver’s, Bumble Bee Foods, National Fisheries Institute, Eastern Fish Company, American Seafoods Group, Rich Products Corp., King & Prince Seafood Corp., Marine Harvest Group, Glacier Fish Co., Fortune Fish & Gourmet Co., Censea, Harbor Seafood, Odyssey Enterprises, Morey’s Seafood International, Handy International, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Slade Gorton & Co., Stavis Seafoods and Tampa Maid. SNP is grateful for the support of its founding seed funders, who are listed on its website at seafoodnutrition.org/donors.

Funds raised will help support SNP’s goal of taking best practices from public health awareness initiatives and applying them for the first time ever toward increasing seafood consumption, for a healthier America, Cornish explained. “The aim of our national, heart-healthy campaign would be to educate individuals – especially the underserved – about the essential health benefits of seafood, while helping them develop the skills and confidence necessary to eat seafood regularly,” she said.

Seafood’s health and nutritional benefits are supported by rigorous scientific research.  This is why the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans include the recommendation to eat seafood twice a week, as part of a healthy diet.

“Seafood can be a very valuable part of the solution to America’s public health crisis.  Through this important cause, we as an industry have a great opportunity to do the right things for consumers, for our businesses and for this country,” says Judson Reis, chair of Seafood Nutrition Partnership and president and CEO of Gorton’s.

“Our hope is that we all come together in meaningful public-private collaborations that really start to change consumer behavior,” Reis adds.  “Getting people to make seafood a more fundamental part of their diet is in the interest of improving public health – it can lead to fewer instances of problems like heart disease, while also reducing spending on medical care. We all want to show how healthy seafood is, and this is the best opportunity the seafood industry has ever had to promote the nutritional and health benefits of consuming more seafood.”

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