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NOAA Offers Public Consultation on Fish at Risk from Illegal Fishing

07 May 2015

US - The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced opportunities for the public to comment on the principles used to determine whether fish and seafood species are at risk from illegal activities.

The consultation is taking place as part of NOAA's efforts to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud.

These principles will be used to develop a list of species eligible for a risk-based seafood traceability programme, which is a key step in levelling the playing field for legal fishermen.

Both the draft principles and a draft list of at risk species will be published for public comment in July 2015.

“Public input is an important first step as we work to identify which species are at risk,” said NOAA Administrator Dr Kathryn Sullivan.

“IUU fishing and seafood fraud distort legal markets and unfairly compete with the catch and seafood products of law-abiding fishers and seafood industries.

"Together with our global partners, we can ensure the economic and environmental sustainability of fisheries and fish stocks in the US and around the world.”

State Department Under Secretary Cathy Novelli said: “We value public input in tackling the complex global challenges of IUU fishing and seafood fraud.

“The United States is working closely with partners around the world to promote sustainable fisheries, protect the livelihoods of those engaged in legal fishing, and build consumers’ confidence in the seafood they eat.”

The National Ocean Council is now managing the US plan to combat these illegal activities under a newly established Committee on IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud (NOC Committee).

This committee is encouraging the public to provide input on the recommended principles, which should be measurable, have a reasonable amount of existing data to assess, and be applicable to domestic and/or international fisheries.

IUU fishing generally refers to fishing conducted in violation of national laws or internationally agreed conservation and management measures in effect in oceans around the world.

IUU fishing undermines international efforts to sustainably manage and rebuild fisheries and creates unfair market competition for fishermen who adhere to strict conservation measures, like those in the United States.

Further Reading

For details on how to contribute to the consultation click here.

TheFishSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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