It turns out Oceana isn’t the only one looking into seafood fraud; just this week, a huge seafood fraud bust in Florida was announced. And thanks to President Obama’s pledge to tackle the issue, we may see additional efforts to stop seafood fraud and illegal fishing in the future.
By Leah Powley
Seafood fraud in the Mid-Atlantic region is causing new concern among area watermen and their Congressional representatives. According to crab fishermen in Maryland and Virginia, imported crabmeat is being packaged in the United States, relabeled, and then sold as a “product of the U.S.” This mislabeling—illegal under U.S. law—has gathered attention from the area’s Congressional representatives, who are calling on President Obama to address this seafood fraud.
- A New York-based seafood company and its executives pleaded guilty in federal court for fish fraud. The executives underreported the amount of summer flounder they caught between June 2009 and December 2011 by 56,000 pounds and used false documents to ship fish to customers. The Wall Street Journal
Last week was big for our oceans. Following a two-day summit at the State Department that brought together world leaders, NGO representatives, marine scientists, and other stakeholders to address key ocean issues, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry announced important new initiatives to protect our oceans from a number of serious threats. In particular, he announced a new effort to fight seafood fraud and illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing that will include establishing full-chain traceability for seafood sold in the U.S.
- On Monday, the president of the Pacific island nation Kiribati announced that he’ll ban all commercial fishing in the country's Phoenix Islands Protected Area by 2015. Though these islands are small, they're home to some of the most abundant coral reef archipelagos in the Pacific.
- In a video announcement released at the Our Ocean conference today, President Obama announced that he will expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. This Monument contains some of the most pristine tropical ecosystems in the world, but is vulnerable to ocean acidification and climate change. The Associated Press
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is updating their mercury-advisory guidelines for the first time in ten years, and is taking a new approach to advising mercury consumption: encouraging informed intake rather than avoidance.
Seafood mislabeling and fraud occurs all over the world, but the global scope of the problem is just becoming understood now.
Welcome to the first “Ocean News” post! Going forward, Oceana will be posting a daily round-up of the top ocean news from the previous day, ranging from heart-warming stories of entangled whale rescues to new research on sea level rise. Stay tuned for more!