Harlon Pearce (L) meets with federal agencies and other Gulf leaders. (Photo: louisianaseafoodnews)
Gulf seafood leaders reconnect with White House, feds
Thursday, July 21, 2011, 02:40 (GMT + 9)
While in Washington, DC, to receive the “Champions of Change” award from the White House, Louisiana Seafood Board chairman Harlon Pearce attended a day-long Gulf Coast Sustainable Economies Roundtable. He was joined by Ewell Smith, executive director of the seafood board, and Mike Voisin of Motivatit Seafoods.
Representatives from the White House and the US Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, and Health & Human Services, among others, were part of the event. The purpose of the roundtable discussion was to share best practices and connect local leaders with the federal resources they need to succeed.
|U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus (L) chats with Harlon Pearce. (Photo: ouisianaseafoodnews)
For Pearce, who owns Harlon’s LA Fish & Seafood, it was a prime opportunity to remind those in federal agencies that the Gulf seafood industry is still struggling with the economic aftermath of last year’s oil spill — and need the cooperation of multiple agencies in order to restore the industry.
During meet-and-greets and group discussions, Pearce says, he kept his focus on re-engaging with the White House again, “so they won’t forget about where we’ve been and where we’re going, and to ensure that we’re working hand in hand into the future.”
Regulatory protocols, for example, need to be working at the speed of business, says Pearce, not the speed of government. Effective protocols and rigorous seafood-testing measures need to be put in place not just for an oil spill but for the future.
“And we need to make sure that agencies — like the EPA, NOAA, FDA and USDA — are all on the same page when it comes to knowing who’s responsible for what and how we develop testing into the future,” says Pearce.
“We want to guarantee the world a safe, quality product, so that even if something happens, we’re on top of it right away as an industry. Consumer safety and seafood quality are and will continue to be our top priorities in the Louisiana seafood industry.”
Source: Louisiana Seafood News