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McNamara Asks DEM: Let Shellfishers Sell Direct


[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] The RI State House.
STATE HOUSE — Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) is calling upon the Department of Environmental Management to let the state’s shellfishers sell direct to consumers, in hopes of providing relief to the small business owners hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Giving these shellfishermen permission to do this would be a service to the community,” said Representative McNamara. “Especially at a time when people are looking for sustainable, nutritious foods that they can get directly from the harvesters. This is an invaluable opportunity to fulfill a need of the populace as well as help an industry that’s facing a cutback in demand at a time that is traditionally their busiest season.”

Representative McNamara, in a letter to DEM Director Janet Coit, wrote, “Lobstermen have been granted permission to sell their products at retail. I believe that this disparity between lobstermen and shellfishermen are based on a negative perception that commercial shellfishermen somehow do not handle their products safely. This prejudice is totally unfounded, today’s shellfishermen are extremely careful and knowledgeable about the handling and storage of shellfish. It is for this reason I believe that an equitable solution that would allow these professional fishermen to sell their product to the public, should be allowed.”

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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