Markey Leads Senators in Effort to Combat Seafood Fraud and Illegal and Unregulated Fishing

Letter to State Dept. and NOAA calls for strong rule that ensures fish is traceable from boat to table

Washington (July 15, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today led a group of Democratic senators calling on the State Department and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 

to take strong action to combat seafood fraud and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. In the letter, the Senators write in support of a strong rule based on recommendations from the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud Task Force to prevent black market and fraudulent seafood from entering the market in the United States, defrauding consumers and hurting American fishermen. Seafood fraud hurts American consumers and fishermen and is linked to overexploitation of fish stocks and human rights violations in fishing countries around the world. A recent study found that illegal seafood imports into the United States are valued between $1.3 and $2.1 billion.  

“IUU fishing and seafood fraud pose a significant threat to our economy, public health and the ecology and oceans,” write the Senators in the letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Undersecretary of Commerce Kathryn D. Sullivan. “The opportunity now exists to ensure that all seafood sold in the U.S. is safe, legally caught and correctly labeled. The best way to achieve this goal is to require transparency and traceability for all seafood products and implement the program in an effective and timely manner with appropriate reliance on technology.” 


A copy of the letter can be found HERE.


Other senators signing the letter include Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).