White House task force launches rule to curb pirate fishing

Washington Post
16 December 2014

A presidential task force will propose more than a dozen steps Tuesday aimed at curbing pirate fishing and the sale of falsely-labeled seafood, according to administration officials.

The recommendations of the task force, which was established in June, include established the first-ever national traceability program to track seafood from point of harvest to entry into U.S. markets. The group also direct the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security to include illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing–known as “black market” or “pirate” fishing–into its routine threat analysis and monitoring of the world’s oceans.

(READ: Task force recommendations)

Scientists, law enforcement  officials and environmentalists have identified illegal fishing as a major problem that contributes to the depletion of the oceans and funds criminal operations worldwide. False seafood labeling can pose health risks to consumers who are eating the wrong species of fish unknowingly.

U.S. fishermen landed 9.9 billion pounds of fish and shellfish worth $5.5 billion in 2013, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Global losses from black market fishing range between $10 billion and $23 billion annually, according to federal officials.