Update to HR 774 blog: FishWise partners support Senate bill to combat illegal fishing

Created on Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Congratulations to FishWise partners Albertsons Companies, Hy-Vee, Sea Delight, and Santa Monica Seafood, and to SeaPact members Ipswich Shellfish Group and Seattle Fish Co. for their contribution in urging the U.S. Senate to pass S. 1334: Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015.

In July 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 774: Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015. H.R. 774’s companion bill, S. 1334, is currently awaiting a Senate vote. If the Senate passes the bill, it will then be sent to President Obama for final approval.

If passed into law, 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 the 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. The treaty will enter into force once it has been ratified by 25 nations. Currently, 14 countries have ratified the PSMA.

To learn more about ways to address IUU fishing, visit the FishWise Traceability & IUU Fishing Resources page.