U.S. Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud Releases Final Recommendations

The Task Force has released its final recommendations.

March 17, 2015

On March 15, 2015, the Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud, co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State, released its action plan. This plan articulates the aggressive steps that federal agencies will take both domestically and internationally to implement the recommendations the Task Force made in December 2014. Learn more about the action plan here.

Presidential Task Force action plan released March 15, 2015 (Credit NOAA)

Presidential Task Force action plan released March 15, 2015 (Credit NOAA)

The plan identifies actions that will strengthen enforcement, create and expand partnerships with state and local governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations, and create a risk-based traceability program to track seafood from harvest to entry into U.S. commerce. The plan also highlights ways in which the United States will work with our foreign partners to strengthen international governance, enhance cooperation, and build capacity to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud. This includes the Administration’s work to secure historic and enforceable environmental provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional trade agreement that includes countries that together account for approximately one-quarter of global marine catch and global seafood exports.

Background:

On June 17, 2014, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum entitled “Establishing a Comprehensive Framework to Combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud.” Among other actions the Memorandum established a Presidential Task Force, co-chaired by the Departments of State and Commerce and made up of a broad range of other federal agencies. The Task Force was directed to report to the President within six months with “recommendations for the implementation of a comprehensive framework of integrated programs to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud that emphasizes areas of greatest need.”

In August, the Task Force initiated a public engagement process aimed at gaining broad input and expertise from key stakeholders and interest groups to inform and advise them on the development of recommendations in compliance with the Memorandum. The Task Force sought comments on topics of particular interest. The public comment period began July 31, 2014 and closed on September 2, 2014. Comments can be viewed online by going directly to Regulations.gov and a pdf version of the FR Notice is available here.

Following a review of input from key stakeholders, the Task Force released its recommendations on December 18, 2014. The Task Force requested comments from key stakeholders and interest groups to advise on how to most effectively implement the proposed recommendations. The public comment period began December 18, 2014 and closed on January 20, 2015. The proposed recommendations can be accessed through the Federal Register Notice and a PDF of the recommendations can be found here.

The public engagement process also included 4 public meetings with Task Force representatives. Transcripts of these meetings (2 conference calls and 2 in-person meetings) can be accessed below. The presentation provided at all four public meetings can be accessed here.

August 13, 2014 – Conference Call: Transcript
August 20, 2014 – In-Person Meeting, Seattle, Washington: Transcript
August 27, 2014 – Conference Call: Transcript
August 28, 2014 – In-Person Meeting, Washington, DC: Transcript

For questions, please contact Laurel Bryant (laurel.bryant@noaa.gov)

IUU Reports

Action Plan for Implementation
IUU Task Force Proposed Recommendations
2015 MSRA Report to Congress (Full report)
2015 MSRA Report to Congress (Summary)
2013 Report to Congress
2013 Summary Webpage

Resources

Remarks from Deputy Secretary of Commerce at Seafood Expo North America (PDF)
Press Release

The International Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Network aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of fisheries-related MCS activities through enhanced cooperation, coordination, information collection and exchange among national organizations and institutions responsible for fisheries-related MCS.