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New law empowers U.S. to combat illegal fishing and seafood fraud

Staff writer ▼ | November 7, 2015
President Barack Obama has signed the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enforcement Act, marking another critical step in the Administration’s efforts to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud.
Fishing   The United States now joins 13 other nations
The bi-partisan legislation includes a number of provisions preventing illegally harvested fish from entering the United States, and supports efforts to achieve sustainable fisheries around the world.

The U.S. will now join a global effort to ratify and implement the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), which will prevent vessels carrying fish caught illegally from entering U.S. ports and keep illegal product out of U.S. markets.

Implementation of the agreement was the first recommendation of the IUU Action Plan, released in March by the President’s Task Force on Combatting IUU and Seafood Fraud, an interagency group co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State.

The United States now joins 13 other nations that have already ratified the PSMA, which will be legally binding once a total of 25 countries have ratified it.

“Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing undermines both the economic and environmental sustainability of our nation’s fisheries,” said Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., under secretary of Commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

“Combatting IUU fishing and seafood fraud is critical to sustaining the resilience of our global ocean fisheries, to leveling the playing field for the United States fishing and seafood industries, and to protecting the United States’ reputation as a leader in sustainable seafood.

Passage of this bill is a step in the right direction, and will help the United States advance its ongoing efforts to achieve sustainable fisheries.”