On January 16, 2024, Trident Seafoods notified the National Fisheries Institute’s (NFI) Executive Committee of its decision to terminate its longstanding relationship with the organization.
Trident has been a proud member of NFI since 1978, and the decision to change our membership status is not one we take lightly. Unfortunately, Trident has hit a crossroads with NFI as it relates to two important areas:
NFI did not stay neutral on a significant public policy disagreement within its membership and made no effort to address opposing views clearly and transparently, contrary to well-established rules of the road for trade associations and
NFI’s decision to advocate for the continued presence of Russian-harvested seafood in the U.S. market runs counter to national and international efforts to restrict Russia’s ability to prosecute its war against Ukraine, ignores the broad and bipartisan support in Congress for the Administration’s actions, favors keeping U.S. consumers in the dark about their seafood choices, and supports importers of Russian-harvested seafood processed in China over a fair and competitive business climate and the long-term health of the U.S. seafood supply chain.
While we think NFI is simply on the wrong side of this issue, Trident also understands that there are different views among NFI’s membership on this complicated matter. Our two fundamental governance and strategic concerns stem from how NFI chose to handle those views and what NFI’s position on this issue implies for the future of U.S. seafood. The underlying gaps in NFI’s governance and process and its response to the presence of Russian-harvested seafood in the U.S. market suggest that the association is not likely to provide the unequivocal leadership and vision that the U.S.-harvested seafood sector needs at this time.