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The ECSGA Blog

SBA Loans and Other News

By Bob Rheault | 03/27/2020 |

It is a little overwhelming to deal with the flood of local, regional and national news and legislation coming out. We are doing our best to digest and process and pass along what we feel is accurate and helpful to our members. It is obviously a two-way street and we need to hear from members what is going on, what you are experiencing, what programs are working for you. You…

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Coronavirus Response Bills – What Do They Mean for Your Business?

By Bob Rheault | 03/26/2020 |

On March 6, 2020 Congress passed an $8.3 billion supplemental appropriation, then a Families First Response Act on March 18, and then the CARES bill, which has passed the Senate and now heads to the House for consideration. CARES contains hundreds of pages of heavy legal jargon, and there is lots to unpack.  Thanks to the dogged work of many of our Senate allies on the Appropriations Committee (especially Collins,…

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R.I. Judge Rules Cultured Oysters Are Livestock

By Ann Kane Rheault | 12/31/2019 |

On December 26, 2019, a Rhode Island Superior Court judge upheld a local zoning board’s decision allowing oyster grower and restaurateur Perry Raso to continue using a portion of land on the salt pond where he grows his oysters to support his aquaculture operation. In making his ruling, the judge accepted that shellfish farming meets the definition of agriculture, setting a valuable precedent for those who seek to use their…

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So much good news it feels like Christmas!

By Bob Rheault | 12/13/2018 |

Many of our efforts are starting to bear fruit and it gives me great pleasure to highlight a few year-end success stories: The House and Senate have passed the Farm Bill so it now goes to the President for signing (probably today or Friday). Contained in the bill is an amendment we have been working on for years that should greatly improve the crop insurance options for aquaculture producers. Thanks to…

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FDA Responding to Comments on EU Trade Embargo

By Bob Rheault | 10/18/2018 |

The FDA reports that it is addressing the comments received in response to the March 2018 publication of the Federal Register announcement on the equivalence determination regarding the European Union food safety control system for raw bivalve molluscan shellfish, aka the EU trade embargo issue. The agency hopes to have new regulations issued in the Federal Register allowing the resumption of trade at the end of  2018 – presumably with…

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Updated Model Ordinance NSSP Guide Published

By Bob Rheault | 10/18/2018 |

The FDA has just published an updated Model Ordinance NSSP Guide, which means that all the changes that were voted on in the 2017 ISSC meeting are now official, enforceable regulations.  States should be able to exercise some discretion on certain items while industry becomes familiar with new elements, but you should try to get up to speed to avoid violations. Some of the more significant changes include: Dealers need…

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Milford Oyster Festival Shucking Contest Results

By Ann Kane Rheault | 09/04/2018 |

The results of the shucking contest held at the Milford Oyster Festival on August 18, 2018 are: First Place ($1,000 prize): Honor Allen of Hunt’s Oyster Bar in Panama City, Fla., with a final time of 153 seconds. Second Place ($500 prize): Max Dawson of Hunt’s Oyster Bar in Panama City, Fla., with a final time of 181 seconds. Third Place ($250): Patrick McMurray of Ceili Cabin, Toronto, Canada with…

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NC Aquaculture Development Conference

By Bob Rheault | 03/11/2018 |

I sat down to post this and can’t help but cringe at the irony.  I made the last post on the 8th and selected the image of an arm in a sling to illustrate employee insurance… and the following morning in the predawn darkness, I was heading out for an early flight to New Bern, NC when I slipped on a patch of ice and broke my elbow, so now…

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Are You Paying Too Much For Insurance?

By Bob Rheault | 03/07/2018 |

Friends, If you are paying for insurance coverage for your employees, chances are you are paying too much.  In some states it can be as much as three times what you would pay if you could cover your employees under your state’s workers compensation insurance.  Some recent court decisions have ruled that if you spend 30% of your time on the water or unloading boats, you are considered a “seaman”…

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Shellfish Growers Storm DC

By Bob Rheault | 03/07/2018 |

I just returned from an epic week in DC where 17 ECSGA members teamed up with a dozen growers from the PCSGA to educate our elected representatives about our priorities. Combined we hit nearly 100 congressional offices and agencies, carrying an optimistic message of increasing production, sustainable seafood, and jobs and economic development in rural coastal towns across the country. This was our 13th year doing this important work, and…

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