U.S. Announces Plan to Combat Illegal Fishing

The Washington Post
16 March 2015

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has announced a plan to crack down on the multibillion-dollar global black market in seafood, an effort that would try to trace a fish’s story from where it was caught to how it was shipped.

Officials said that the unregulated part of the fishing industry, which could be worth up to $20 billion annually, contributes to consumer unease about food safety.

The plan, announced on Sunday during the Seafood Expo North America in Boston, would create a new tracking system and stronger enforcement measures by United States Customs and Border Protection and other law enforcement officers at the nation’s ports to identify those engaged in illegal fishing.

It also would focus on seafood fraud, where one species of fish is sold as another. A study by Oceana, an international organization that focuses on oceans, found that a third of more than 1,200 fish samples tested nationwide were mislabeled.

“The Obama administration is committed to working to ensure that America’s fishing industry remains the heart and soul of coastal communities across the country,” said Bruce Andrews, the deputy secretary of commerce. “The task force’s new strategic plan will aggressively implement recommendations to guarantee that U.S. fishing fleets remain competitive in the global economy.”

Read more