EJF supports bipartisan efforts in the United States to end pirate fishing
Feb 20, 2013

EJF supports bipartisan efforts in the United States to end pirate fishing

By EJF Staff

EJF strongly supports the bipartisan bill to end pirate fishing introduced to the US Congress by Senators Rockefeller (D-WV), Murkowski (R-AK), Schatz (D-HI), Cantwell (D-WA) and others.

The Pirate Fishing Elimination Act, proposed by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation lead by Senator Rockefeller, aims to prevent, deter, and eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing through the implementation of port access control measures, as outlined under the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, adopted at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (U.N.) in Rome on November 22, 2009.

The bill would prohibit vessels that engage in IUU fishing from entering US ports to unload their illegally caught seafood. This represents a huge step forward in eliminating IUU fishing by removing the financial incentive provided by access to one of the world’s most lucrative seafood markets.

The global losses associated with IUU fishing have been estimated at between $10bn and $23.5bn per year. In addition, IUU fishing undermines the efforts by fishers around the world to fish sustainably and severely damages marine ecosystems through the use of destructive fishing methods.

"The Pirate Elimination Act is a major step forward in excluding illegal fish from our markets, and ensuring that ports around the world coordinate their fight against pirate fishing operators. To aid information-sharing and build transparency, EJF is also calling for fishing vessels to carry unique identification numbers - a key step in ensuring that vessels cannot change flag, name or ownership to escape detection and sanctions." Steve Trent, EJF Executive Director