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DOC Meetings to Gather Input on Seafood Fraud, Unregulated Fishing

Thursday, July 31, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will host several public meetings in August to gather input that will aid in the development of recommendations to a recently-formed federal task force on combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and seafood fraud. These meetings include two webinars on Aug. 13 and Aug. 27 as well as in-person meetings Aug. 20 in Seattle, Wash., and Aug. 28 in Washington, D.C. NOAA is also accepting public comments on these issues through Sept. 2.

NOAA states that entities engaged in IUU fishing create an unfair advantage in the marketplace over legitimate fishing operations and legally caught seafood. Global losses attributable to IUU fishing have been estimated to be $10-23 billion annually. In addition, some surveys have found notable levels of mislabeling in retail operations across the U.S. The task force is therefore working to enhance the tools it has available to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud, and the upcoming meetings will help it identify priorities and opportunities to accomplish these objectives. Comments are particularly sought on the following issues.

- how the government can better coordinate its efforts across the full suite of activities related to the seafood supply chain

- the existing authorities and tools that should be enhanced

- key opportunities at the international level to address these issues through regional fishery management organizations and bilateral efforts

- new and existing opportunities to work with industry and other partners, including foreign partners, to develop and implement measures such as traceability programs

- the prevalence of mislabeling and species substitution within the domestic and foreign seafood supply in general

- the extent to which the comingling of seafood products from different origins is an issue

- the actions and issues the task force should prioritize in developing its recommendations for addressing IUU fishing and seafood fraud

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