new us rule proposed to combat black market fishing

May 4, 2016

Jurgen Freund/WWF Jurgen Freund/WWF

In a critical step forward to stop the trade of illegal and unreported fish in seafood imports, the US government has proposed a new rule for a seafood program that will trace from the moment fish are caught, until they reach the US border.

The new rule requires that certain fish species will be subject to traceability that will ensure critical information is collected and reported about the fish. The information will then be collected and analyzed by US authorities, to review and verify legality for entry and sale across US markets, restaurants and grocery stores.

The data, documentation and processes that will be required under this proposed program include key aspects WWF has identified as critical to combatting the illegal fish trade, which is depleting ocean resources and is valued up to $23 billion a year. This includes—among other aspects—a requirement for information about the fishing vessel, evidence of authorization to fish, records of where and when the fish were caught and landed at port, and a record of processing.

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