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Alaska Commercial Seafood Industry Urges the Federal Government to Respond to Russia's Embargo on U.S. Seafood Imports and Calls on Russia to End its Ban

After Russia enacts ban on the import of all U.S. seafood products, top Alaska Salmon, Pollock, and Crab producers say a U.S. ban on Russian seafood imports would send a message to President Putin

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading companies from Alaska's $6 billion seafood industry today announced their support for a ban on Russian seafood imports to the United States and urged Russia to rescind its August 7 ban on U.S. food imports. Such a move would not only further squeeze Russia's faltering economy as Russia threatens European stability, but would support America's sustainable, high-quality fisheries. The Alaska seafood industry is seeking support from the Alaska congressional delegation for the ban, as well as from the United States Trade Representative. It also seeks diplomatic efforts to immediately end Russia's ban on U.S. seafood products.

Russia has been a major market for U.S. seafood products such as salmon roe, hake, Alaskan pollock, and others. The U.S. has been an important market for Russian products including crab, Russian pollock, salmon, caviar, and others.

The proposed U.S. ban would remain in effect until Russia rescinds its ban on U.S. imports, and would include mechanisms to prohibit all seafood imports of Russian origin, including Russian-caught seafood that is transferred through other countries such as China before reaching the U.S. Hundreds of millions of dollars of Russian seafood imports are sold in the U.S. every year, with much of the imported Russian fish coming through China.

"We did not start this fight, and we hope the Russians will call off their embargo. But a U.S. ban will signal to President Putin that America will not sit idly by while Russia disregards international law and tries to coerce the world into ignoring its transgressions through retaliatory actions," said Terry Shaff, President & CEO of UniSea Inc.

Those endorsing the ban include Alaska General Seafoods, Alyeska Seafoods, Icicle Seafoods, North Pacific Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Peter Pan Seafoods, Trident Seafoods, UniSea, Westward Seafoods, and the members of the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers (http://www.alaskaberingseacrabbers.org).

For More information, please contact Terry Shaff, President & CEO, UniSea Inc. at +1-415-861-5311.

SOURCE UniSea Inc.

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