NOAA to Work With Nations to Combat IUU Fishing

Written by on January 14, 2013 in Policy & Ocean Law

Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) submitted a report identifying 10 nations whose fishing vessels were involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in 2011 or 2012.

The Coast Guard Cutter Rush escorts the fishing vessel Da Cheng in the North Pacific Ocean.

The Coast Guard Cutter Rush escorts the fishing vessel Da Cheng in the North Pacific Ocean. Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard.

“NOAA’s international fisheries work is critical to the economic viability of U.S. fishing communities and the protection of U.S. jobs,” said Russell Smith, NOAA deputy assistant secretary for international fisheries. “This is about leveling the playing field for fishermen around the world, and IUU fishing represents one of the biggest threats to the U.S. fishing industry. Seafood is a global business, and U.S. fishermen following the rules should not have to compete with those using illegal or unsustainable fishing practices.”

The nations include:

  1. Colombia
  2. Ecuador
  3. Ghana
  4. Italy
  5. Mexico
  6. Panama
  7. The Republic of Korea
  8. Spain
  9. Tanzania
  10. Venezuela

The U.S. will consult with each of the 10 nations to help encourage them to address the issues of IUU fishing and bycatch. If the nations ignore this report and do not take any positive action, the fishing vessels may be denied into the U.S. and their fish may be prohibited from being imported.

“As one of the largest importers of seafood in the world, the United States has a global responsibility and an economic duty to ensure the fish we import is caught sustainably and legally,” said Sam Rauch, deputy assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “We look forward to working with these nations to encourage their compliance, and we will continue to work with our partners to detect and combat illegal practices.”

The IUU fishing vessel Taruman held 143 tons of illegally harvested Patagonian toothfish (Chilean sea bass).

The IUU fishing vessel Taruman held 143 tons of illegally harvested Patagonian toothfish (Chilean sea bass). Photo credit: Australian Customs Service.

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Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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