Oct 9 2015

California Approves Law for Commercial Fishermen to Set Up Public Seafood Markets

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Copyright © 2015 Seafoodnews.com

Seafood News

Seafood markets will be allowed to operate in the public square just like farmers markets, now that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins’ Pacific to Plate Act. AB 226 removes red tape, making it easier for shoppers to purchase local seafood.

“The massive growth of farmers markets across the state shows us the benefits of allowing direct sales between farmers and consumers,” said Atkins (D-San Diego). “Coastal communities and small-business owners throughout California deserve the same opportunities.”

Pacific to Plate streamlines the permitting process so that commercial fishermen can organize under a single permit—just like certified farmers markets—allowing public seafood markets to operate as food facilities and fresh fish to be cleaned for direct sale.

“By making it easier to establish and open these markets, we hope to create more jobs for local fishermen and give San Diegans more fish caught fresh off our waters,” said County Supervisor Greg Cox. “My thanks to Speaker Toni Atkins and our local fishermen for working together to make this law happen.”

Pacific to Plate also establishes guidelines such as compliance with the California Retail Food Code and food-safety requirements.

San Diego’s Tuna Harbor Dockside Fish Market celebrated its anniversary in August. It has expanded to include 17 vendors selling their catch, comprising 22 species caught in local waters, including swordfish, yellowtail, squid, and white sea bass.

“The changes to the law will have environmental, economic, and societal benefits as fishermen get a fair price for their product and the consumer gets high-quality local fish, also at a fair price. This will restore the fishermen’s place in San Diego fishing culture,” said Peter Halmay, one of the founders of Tuna Harbor.

Copyright © 2015 Seafoodnews.com

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