Washington (December 9, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committeeapplauded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) final rule establishing the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud.

“Seafood fraud not only hurts American consumers, it also harms the fishermen who depend on an honest marketplace,” said Senator Markey. “Ensuring that seafood is legally caught and honestly labeled is important for our economy, public health, and the health of our oceans. Although this final rule focuses on priority species, the Seafood Import Monitoring Program lays the groundwork to ensure transparency and traceability for all seafood products that enter the American marketplace. As a global leader in seafood sustainability, the United States should set the example with a clear goal of boat-to-plate traceability for all seafood products. I will keep working with the seafood industry, consumer advocates and other stakeholders to protect both American fishermen and consumers.”

In July 2016, Senator Markey led a letter to NOAA and the State Department in support of a strong final rule to ensure that both fishermen and consumers are protected from IUU fishing and seafood fraud. Senator Markey, joined by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss), wrote President Obama in January 2014 requesting that he direct federal agencies to better coordinate their efforts to fight seafood fraud. In June 2014, the White House announced the formation of the Presidential Task Force on Combatting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud whose work led to the today’s announcement.