The following is a list of agencies that are most relevant to seafood alternative marketing. It does not include agencies that oversee general business regulations and taxes (see Resources). See the West Coast state-specific webpages under Permits and More for more detailed information on state and local agencies involved with seafood alternative marketing in those places.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
NOAA Fisheries/National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
- Implements federal fishery management plans developed by each of eight federal Fishery Management Councils for fisheries that occur in US federal waters (> 3 nm from shore). This activity is supported through five regional offices and associated science centers: Pacific Islands, West Coast, Alaska, Greater Atlantic, and Southeast and Caribbean.
- Offers fee-based inspection services of seafood and seafood business (contact information) to ensure compliance with all applicable food regulations. All types of establishments including vessels, processing plants, and retail facilities may receive these services. This program complements the requirements of the US FDA HACCP program mentioned below.
- Provides financial assistance for fishermen (grants and loans).
State Departments of Fisheries
(e.g., Fish and Wildlife, Marine Resources) (name varies among states)
- Oversee management of most US commercial fisheries that occur in their respective state waters (< 3 nm from shore), implementing state fishery management plans and regulations, and providing commercial fishing permits and licenses for catching and landing seafood.
- In some states, oversee licensing required for selling and processing seafood through various alternative markets. See state-specific webpages under Permits and More for examples.
State Departments of Agriculture and
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Regulates commercial weighing devices used for selling seafood. States adopt these regulations, and county-based offices typically oversee testing and registration of scales through their weights and measures department.
- Provides financial assistance for marketing of seafood products (also see Grant Programs).
State and Local Departments of Health
(e.g., Public Health, Environmental Health) (name varies among states and local jurisdictions)
- Help businesses meet US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seafood health regulations (see next section). See state-specific webpages under Permits and More for examples.
United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Regulates processing, packaging and labeling of fish and fishery products consumed in the US, including development of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans. States adopt these regulations, and public health departments (state, county, city) help businesses meet associated requirements (see state-specific webpages under Permits and More for examples).
- For oysters, clams, mussels and scallops, FDA partners with states and other federal agencies on the National Shellfish Sanitation Program. This program oversees the sanitary control of production and sales of these shellfish for human consumption.
- Provides information on foodborne illness and contaminants related to seafood and the sanitary control and production of seafood for human consumption.
- Provides guidance on acceptable market names for seafood sold in the US.