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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 26: Local seafood marketing program; objectives; steering committee

Section 26. (a) There shall be within the division of marine fisheries a coordinated program to market seafood landed in the commonwealth and to take other actions to increase consumer demand and preference for local seafood products, to support the commonwealth's fishing and seafood industry and the residents and communities that benefit from these activities. The objectives of the program may include, but shall not be limited to:

(i) increasing the public's knowledge about the health benefits of consuming seafood and the economic importance of the commonwealth's fishing industry to the local economy and communities;

(ii) educating the public on fisheries' resources, fisheries' management and commercial fishing to build consumer confidence in the sustainable basis for commercial fishing in the commonwealth;

(iii) creating name recognition and increasing consumer demand and preference for the commonwealth's seafood products, including through the use of brand name, logo or other actions to differentiate them from other seafood products;

(iv) stabilizing market prices through the promotion of the commonwealth's seafood products in low consumer demand or when the supply of those products is high;

(v) developing a variety of promotional and educational tools and strategies to achieve the program's purpose and objectives, including employing market research and social media; and

(vi) identifying a range of sources and mechanisms to fund program activities and to increase the scope of program outreach to the public and other stakeholders.

(b) The director of marine fisheries shall appoint a permanent steering committee to assist the division in the administration of its seafood marketing program, including in the areas of strategic planning, financial management, prioritization of programmatic initiatives and in pursuing funding for program activities from outside sources such governments, nongovernmental organizations, industry stakeholders and other private parties. The steering committee shall consist of the director of marine fisheries or a designee who shall serve as chair, the commissioner of fish and game or a designee, the commissioner of agricultural resources or a designee, 2 members of the senate, 1 of whom shall be the chair of the joint committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader, 2 members from the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall be the chair of the joint committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader, and 12 persons to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a representative of wholesale seafood dealers, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the seafood retail business, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the seafood restaurant business, 2 of whom shall be representatives of fishing industry advocacy organizations, 4 of whom shall be representatives from the commercial fishing and harvesting industry, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the lobster industry, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the scallop industry and 1 of whom shall be a representative of the wild caught shellfish industry.