NMFS Again Looking to ID Illegal Fishing Nations

Written by on March 6, 2014 in Marine Life, Policy & Ocean Law, Sea Turtles, Sharks

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said yesterday (March 5, 2014) that it was seeking input from all parties in an effort to identify countries involved in illegal fishing. U.S. law requires the Department of Commerce to report every two years on the identities of those countries engaged in  illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and in fishing practices such a bycatch that could undermine the sustainability of living marine resources. A third focus was recently added to the scrutiny — directed and incidental catch of sharks, especially the practice of finning, in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Turtle Using a Turtle Excluder Device to Escape.  Photo credit:  NOAA Fisheries

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Using a Turtle Excluder Device to Escape. Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries

The 2011 version of this report identified six countries has having engaged in IUU fishing during the preceding two years:  Colombia, Ecuador, Italy, Panama, Portugal and Venezuela.  The 2013 report identified 10 countries:  Colombia, Ecuador, Ghana, Italy, Mexico, Panama, the Republic of Korea (“South Korea”), Spain, Tanzania, and Venezuela.

One country, Mexico, was also identified for Protected Living Marine Resource (PLMR) bycatch violations. Investigators believe Mexican fishing vessels were responsible for a massive stranding of 438 loggerhead sea turtles and that even these numbers probably represented only a portion of the total number of turtles killed, since many more probably drowned at sea.

Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.


About the Author

About the Author: Tom Tripp is the owner of OceanLines Ltd., the publisher of OceanLines and founder and Editor Emeritus of Marine Science Today. He is an award-winning marine journalist, science and aviation writer and long-time public communications specialist. His PR career and much of his writing stems from the fact that he loves to explain stuff. It all began when he and his brother Mark threw all of Mom's tomatoes at the back wall of the house. . . .


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  1. Angel says:

    Nations with problems on illegal fishing usually have a problem with the cost of having to keep an eye out for illegal fishermen. I believe this tool is very cost-efficient and would be a must for all countries.