Seafood Marketing:

Opportunities To Improve the U.S. Position

RCED-87-11BR: Published: Oct 22, 1986. Publicly Released: Oct 22, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on: (1) how the U.S. seafood industry markets its products; (2) the federal role in assisting the U.S. seafood industry's efforts to become more competitive in domestic and foreign markets; and (3) options and issues for improving U.S. seafood competitiveness.

GAO found that: (1) the U.S. seafood industry is more concerned with production than marketing and is composed of many independent producers with little industry integration; (2) many of the U.S. industry's competitors have successfully used marketing techniques to increase sales; (3) some U.S. seafood industry components are beginning to successfully use marketing techniques; and (4) the U.S. seafood industry has yet to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy. GAO also found that: (1) agencies from the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce are coordinating efforts to improve their seafood marketing programs; (2) closer coordination would improve U.S. seafood competitiveness; and (3) Agriculture is responsible for a number of programs designed to enable industry groups to work together on product marketing. In addition, GAO found that the U.S. seafood industry could: (1) work within the current federal framework to improve competitiveness, which would be beneficial because the current agencies complement each other organizationally, but would be disadvantageous because the coordinated agency activities do not address product quality, an important element of any seafood marketing approach; or (2) attempt to obtain government assistance to apply traditionally successful agricultural marketing techniques to the seafood industry, which would be beneficial because it could lower the government's costs, but would be disadvantageous because the seafood industry has traditionally not displayed the same cooperation as other agricultural sectors.

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