Monterey Bay Aquarium: Administration advances efforts to fight pirate fishing and protect the ocean

Conservation & Science at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

This week, the Obama Administration pressed ahead on two key ocean conservation initiatives to step up the global fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing (often referred to as “pirate” or “black market” fishing) and enhance conservation of ocean wildlife — both critical steps to  restore ocean health.

The White House National Ocean Council Committee on IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud (NOC Committee) shared details of the Administration’s proposal for a U.S. system to track and trace seafood that could make it easier to block illegally harvested or produced seafood and prevent seafood fraud — including the principles for determining risk and some of the priority seafood they  may target for attention. The public can offer feedback about the proposed principles for determining risk and species for the traceability program during a 30-day comment period that opens on August 3.

“It’s really exciting to see rapid progress on a U.S. seafood traceability program,” says Margaret Spring, the Aquarium’s vice president of conservation and science. “Establishing a comprehensive and effective traceability program is a critical step in the global fight against IUU fishing and piracy. It’s an important tool to document the legality and sustainability of seafood entering the U.S. market — especially because most seafood sold here is imported.