National Ocean Council Committee Extends IUU Fishing And Seafood Fraud Comment Period
The National Ocean Council Committee on IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud (NOC Committee) extends the comment period from September 2, 2015, to September 11, 2015, on the notice, which published August 3, 2015, seeking public input on draft principles for determining seafood species at risk of IUU fishing and seafood fraud (“at risk”) and a draft list of “at risk” species developed using the draft principles. The comment period is being extended in order to provide further opportunity for the public to review and provide thoughtful comment.
(From Federal Register) — According to NOAA, in 2013, U.S. fishers landed 9.9 billion pounds of fish and shellfish worth $5.5 billion. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud undermine the sustainability of U.S. and global seafood stocks and negatively impact general ecosystem health. At the same time, IUU fishing and fraudulent seafood products distort legal markets and unfairly compete with the products of law-abiding fishers and seafood industries. On March 15, 2015, the Presidential Task Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud (Task Force), co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State, took an historic step to address these issues and published its Action Plan for Implementing Task Force Recommendations (Action Plan).
The Action Plan articulates the proactive steps that Federal agencies will take to implement the recommendations the Task Force made to the President in December 2014 on a comprehensive framework of integrated programs to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud. The Action Plan identifies actions that will strengthen enforcement, create and expand partnerships with state and local governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations, and create a risk-based traceability program to track seafood from harvest to entry into U.S. commerce, including through the use of existing traceability mechanisms. The work the Task Force began continues under the oversight of the National Ocean Council’s Committee on IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud (NOC Committee), established this past April, 2015.