The plan confirms the aggressive steps that federal agencies will take
both domestically and internationally to implement the recommendations the Task
Force made in December 2014.
The plan identifies actions that will strengthen enforcement, create and
expand partnerships with state and local governments, industry, and
non-governmental organisations, and create a risk-based traceability program to
track seafood from harvest to entry into US commerce.
The plan also highlights ways in which the United States will work with foreign
partners to strengthen international governance, enhance cooperation, and build
capacity to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud. This includes the
Administration’s work to secure historic and enforceable environmental
provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional trade agreement that
includes countries that together account for approximately one-quarter of
global marine catch and global seafood exports.
“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 US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews. “The
steps the United States has taken to be a leader in environmental stewardship
are paying off. However, our nation's fisheries remain threatened by
illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and seafood fraud, which
negatively affects our markets. The Task Force’s new strategic plan will aggressively
implement recommendations to guarantee that US fishing fleets remain
competitive in the global economy.”
According to NOAA, in 2013, US fishermen landed 9.9bn pounds of fish and
shellfish worth $5.5bn. Globally, IUU fishing causes significant economic
losses, fuelling trafficking operations while undermining economic
opportunities for US fishermen and others engaged in legal fishing.