Where Have All the Salmon Gone? The Shepard Letter

The Shepard Letter is the only known existent official document on the sale of live salmon eyed-eggs for export. The tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

United States Department
of Agriculture
Animal and
Plant Health
Riverdale. MD 20737
4700 River Road

Received June 8 1996 V. J. Shepard
Post Office Box 184
Anacortes, Washington 98221

Dear V. J. Shepard:

Thank you for your recent letter to Secretary Glickman concerning the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s involvement in inspecting and promoting aquaculture products designated for export.

We recognize the importance of exports to the aquaculture industry, and we are pleased to have this opportunity to provide you with information about our Agency’s recent efforts to assist U.S. producers. As you may know, in May 1994, our program established a voluntary certification and inspection program for aquaculture products in the State of Washington. By the end of February 1995, we had endorsed approximately 28.5 million salmon fish eggs for export to Chile under this program. We have also endorsed 2.5 million live ornamental fish from six other States for export to 31 foreign countries. In addition, our Agency supports the aquaculture industry through research and operations to control depredating birds and other animals; noxious aquatic weed control and exclusion; and regulation of veterinary biological products used to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases affecting aquatic animal health.

We are currently seeking legislative authority to establish a national regulatory aquaculture program that would provide uniform health standards, quality assurance guidelines, and enhance the industry’s ability to trade in interstate and international commerce. With appropriate authority, we would hope to initiate a comprehensive inspection and certification program for the export of aquaculture products, negotiate aquatic health export protocols with foreign countries to facilitate exports of U.S. aquatic species, and implement importation requirements to protect against introductions of serious pathogenic agents.

We hope this information is helpful.


R. L. Rissler
Acting Director
Operational Support
Veterinary Services

APHIS – Protecting American Agriculture An Equal Opportunity Employer

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