HR 774: Bill to combat illegal fishing passes U.S. House of Representatives
On Monday, July 27th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 774: Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015 by voice vote. The bill is now awaiting Senate decision. If passed, this bi-partisan legislation would combat IUU fishing activities by:
- Strengthening enforcement by building domestic capacity for monitoring and identifying IUU activities
- Creating stiffer penalties for vessels caught illegally fishing in U.S. waters
- Implementing legislation needed for the U.S. to ratify the United Nations Port States Measures Agreement (PSMA)
The PSMA is an international treaty to close ports to foreign vessels engaged in IUU activities. The agreement will decrease the incentive for IUU fishing and help prevent illicitly caught seafood from entering legitimate seafood markets.
The U.S. Senate voted to approve the PSMA back in April 2014, but Congress still needs to pass implementing legislation before the U.S. can ratify the treaty. Currently, there are 14 countries that have ratified the PSMA. The treaty will enter into force once it has been ratified by 25 nations.
To learn more about ways to address IUU fishing, visit the FishWise Traceability & IUU Fishing Resources page.