New bill to protect US fishermen

16 Dec 2011
NOAA is working at stamping out pirate fishing Photo: NOAA

NOAA is working at stamping out pirate fishing Photo: NOAA

A new bill introduced by the US Congress this week and drafted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), aims to protect US fishermen from unfair competition by so called pirate fishing.

The bill, introduced as the 'Pirate Fishing Elimination Act', aims to prevent pirate fishing vessels from entering US ports to offload illegally caught seafood.

It implements an international agreement, called 'Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing', which aims to protect US fishermen, seafood buyers and consumers from so called pirate fishing or illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).

A NOAA spokesperson said to World Fishing: “Illegal fishing undermines fishermen in the U.S. and worldwide who fish sustainably and legally, and it can devastate fish stocks and ocean ecosystems."

NOAA believes that the new US bill should help to encourage broad ratification of the international agreement across the globe.

Ms Lubchenko added: “The international agreement and this bill will close the world’s ports to illegal fishing.”

The international agreement will take full effect when all 25 parties agree to ratify it.

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