WASHINGTON- Oceana, the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans, applauds the House Natural Resources Committee for passing H.R. 4100, a bill that would provide the United States with critical tools to help combat illegal fishing and prevent the mislabeling of illegally-caught seafood. An identical bill, S. 52, has also advanced in the Senate, and Oceana is now calling on Congress to pass this important legislation.
If passed, the bill would strengthen resources to monitor and track illegal fishing activities, enforce penalties against pirate vessels and keep mislabeled product out of U.S. markets. Oceana campaign director Beth Lowell issued the following statement on the bill’s passage today:
“Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing not only harms law-abiding fishermen and seafood consumers, it undermines efforts to protect our oceans through responsible fisheries management. By catching threatened species, fishing in banned areas or during prohibited times and using illegal gear, pirate fishing can cost us billions of dollars a year globally and contributes to the overexploitation of our oceans.
Honest fishermen deserve to know everyone is playing by the same rules, and seafood consumers need the information that will allow them to make sustainable and informed purchasing decisions. The lack of a traceability system and the weak import controls in the U.S. make it extremely easy for pirate fishermen to dump their illegal catches at our docks, with these fish often ending up on our plates.
I urge Congress to pass this bill and give the U.S. the essential tools and resources we need to protect law-abiding fishermen, consumers and marine ecosystems.”
Oceana thanks Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) for introducing this important legislation, as well as cosponsors Frank Guinta (R-NH), Sam Farr (D- CA), Gregorio Kilili Sablan (D-MP), Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR), Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS), Donna Christensen (D-VI) and Lois Capps (D-CA).
For more information on Oceana’s campaign to stop seafood fraud, click here.
Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 550,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.org.