Local leaders in the Gulf Coast region have put together a proposal that calls for the federal government to purchase millions of pounds of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico to be served at U.S. military bases and prisons.
As reported by John Fritze, writing for USA Today, it’s the latest effort to bolster the Gulf economy, which is still reeling from this summer’s oil spill.
Three months after BP sealed the deepwater well, a group of civic leaders from the affected area is pushing for an economic stimulus package for the Gulf area that includes, among other ideas, increasing demand for Gulf seafood by having the government buy shrimp and other fish in mass quantities.
It would be a great way to keep fishermen working, says Ewell Smith of the Louisiana Seafood and Marketing Board. Smith is one of those lobbying for the proposal. It would also help get the message across to the American consumer that Gulf seafood is safe to eat, the group believes. For many, the perception remains that Gulf seafood still somehow tainted from the spill–and it’s that perception that’s stalling the region’s recovery.
The business and government coalition, known as Ready 4 Takeoff, met last week with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the former Mississippi governor who was appointed by President Obama to oversee Gulf Coast recovery efforts.
No timeline for a decision on the matter has been reported.