Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Help Fight Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing

Posting a response I received from Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton's office about the fight against IUU Fishing.

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Discussion Thread
Response (Support Agent) - 03/31/2009 01:55 PM
Thank you for your message to Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton regarding illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and the damage it does to both the sustainability of the world’s marine resources and the communities that depend on them. We share your concern.

The United States has led efforts in the last decade to fight IUU fishing; we supported development in 2001 of an International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate IUU Fishing through the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and, pursuant to this, adopted our own National Plan of Action five years ago. We have also championed the establishment of schemes within regional fisheries management organizations to identify and penalize IUU vessels, limit port and market access by nations that fail to curb IUU fishing, and provide strong monitoring, control, and surveillance of all fisheries.

The United States strongly supports initiatives now underway to develop a global record of fishing vessels - including transport and support vessels - that includes information on beneficial ownership, to negotiate a strong binding agreement on port State measures that will be widely ratified, and to strengthen and harmonize schemes to track trade in high-value fish like tuna.

The Department of State recently joined our colleagues in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard in supporting proposed legislation that will strengthen U.S. abilities to penalize those who violate both U.S. fisheries laws, as well as conservation and management measures adopted by regional fisheries management organizations. We take seriously our commitment to comply with the measures we have agreed to, and we welcome new tools to act against those that do not.

The United States cannot do this alone. We are also working with other coastal countries to improve capacity to manage their own fisheries and to combat illegal fishing by other nations in their waters. Part of this means building awareness and will within these countries to devote resources to these issues, but we are also facilitating access to information, equipment, and expertise from U.S. government agencies and from our partners in other countries and non-governmental organizations.

Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of State.

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