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Wild American Shrimp Board Agrees To Implement New Self-Funding Measures

Success of Domestic Groups' Program Is the Drive for Decision

CHARLESTON, S.C., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Wild American(R) Shrimp, Inc. (WASI) has announced plans to introduce a proactive self-funding process to secure the future of the highly successful certification and marketing program for the domestic shrimping industry. Beginning in January 2008, Wild American Shrimp will be funded by a combination of federal government assistance, voluntary industry contributions, foundation grant applications and a financial assessment to be paid on each pound of Certified Wild American Shrimp sold. The strategies were approved by unanimous vote by the WASI board earlier this week, and are being communicated to approved suppliers of WASI products today.

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"WASI is in its third year of operations and has created a certification and marketing program that carries a reputable value among retailers and the public," said Dennis Henderson, President of WASI. "To ensure the future of this program we need to rely less on a single source of funding and more on our own abilities to pay for our successful programs and activities. Our approved suppliers told us they are ready to make a financial contribution for the value that the certification seal offers and the marketing support that we provide. This, combined with our own fundraising initiatives will enable us to continue to promote, support and ultimately grow our important domestic industry for years to come."

WASI has been funded by the federal government through grants for the organization. The step towards self-funding has been contingent on the success of WASI's activities, and the new announcement is a clear indication of the industry's support and regard for the program. The funding program will constitute three areas of focus: WASI applications for private grants from both the shrimping industry and relevant foundations, federal grant applications, and an assessment of five cents a pound of shrimp meeting the certified standards and carrying the WASI seal. The latter assessment is a fee to be paid by approved suppliers of the certified product.

About Wild American(R) Shrimp, Inc.

Wild American Shrimp, Inc. (WASI) devotes its resources to raising public awareness about the many nutritional and economic benefits of domestic, wild- caught shrimp. It is designed to educate consumers about the advantages of selecting Certified Wild American Shrimp that grows naturally, is caught fresh and supports the shrimp industry of eight Gulf and South Atlantic states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, and South Carolina.

The Wild American Shrimp Certification Program, administered by WASI, ensures that warm-water, wild caught shrimp from U.S. coastal waters meet a high standard of quality and consistency. Shrimp that meet these stringent standards are graded by new standards and labeled with the distinctive Certified Wild American Shrimp mark. More than 70 approved suppliers provide this quality product to processors, distributors, retailers, grocers and restaurants who rely on the quality and consistency of the certification and the Certified Wild American Shrimp logo to distinguish their product. Participation in the certification program is available to harvesters, processors, distributors, retailers, grocers, and restaurateurs.

SOURCE Wild American Shrimp, Inc.
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