NGOs Call for NOAA to Strengthen Seafood Import Standards

U.S. Consumers face tough choices on the seafood counter these days. We’ve now found out that a few kinds of seafood are stuck with the aid of forced or trafficked hard work—repugnant practices no mortal man or woman could wittingly throw their cash in the back of. We recognize that a few kinds of seafood areare fraudulent or not what they claim to be. But did that up to at least one-third of untamed-stuck U.S. Seafood imports are harvested using unlawful, unreported, and unregulated fishing practices (IUU fishing)?

IUU fishing is a sort of fishing that drives overfishing, threatens the world’s fish supply and honest fishermen’s livelihoods, and wreaks havoc on marine ecosystems. Roughly 365 days in the past, U.S. Programs meant to help remedy these ills came into effect. The Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) application aims to close U.S. markets to IUU-fished and fraudulent seafood. It is the primary first step in the fight to combat IUU fishing.

Yet, as exact in a letter NRDC, WWF, Oceana, Greenpeace, Marine Conservation Institute, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Center for Biological Diversity sent to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on April 29, at the only-yr anniversary of the program, NOAA desires to prioritize ultimate key implementation gaps and work towards increasing the program to include all imported seafood species. Without taking those essential steps, the program will fail to prevent IUU fishing and fraudulent seafood from getting into America.

The U.S. imports more than 80 percent of the seafood Americans devour, and in 2018, the United States became the world’s top seafood-importing country. In 2016, a hefty ~five. Seventy-nine billion pounds of fish fit for human consumption entered the USA. These bewildering numbers imply that America has large leverage to stamp out IUU fishing and seafood fraud if the U.S. closes its coffers to IUU-fished seafood.

Anglers who harvest their catches illegally accomplish that as it’s cheaper than adhering to the policies. Conversely, if the illegally fished product can’t reach a primary market like the U.S., there will be a much less economic incentive to fish illegally. The SIMP aims to disincentivize IUU fishing and seafood fraud by shutting down U.S. Trade with this merchandise.

The SIMP currently requires complete delivery chain traceability for 13 seafood businesses. By having key facts about when and where the fish became stuck, the fishing vessel and form of gear used, and where transshipment and processing occurred, import officers have the statistics they need to trace a seafood shipment back to its starting place.

If certain information doesn’t upload up, the shipment says it’s albacore tuna. Still, the import documents file that the tuna was caught near the Aleutian Islands, outside of the albacore tuna’s variety, enforcement agents will realize that there may be something fishy about the specific cargo. While having complete supply chain traceability by myself did not solve IUU fishing, it’s a prerequisite to finishing IUU fishing. In the words of Guy Dean, President of Organic Ocean Seafood and 2018 winner of the Seafood Champion Award for Leadership, “You cannot have sustainability without traceability.”


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