By SeafoodSource staff
Published on 07 May, 2013
A new report from conservation group Oceana is blaming widespread seafood fraud on illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing practices.
The report, released this week, is titled Stolen Seafood: The Impact of Pirate Fishing on Our Oceans. In announcing the report, Margot Stiles, Oceana’s campaign director and senior scientist likened the effects of IUU fishing on ocean life to the effects of the illegal ivory trade on the world’s elephant population.
“We are losing the elephants of the sea to poachers,” Stiles said. “By fishing illegally, including in national parks, and targeting endangered species with destructive gear, poachers provoke economic losses in the billions of dollars every year, undermining decades of conservation by more responsible fishermen.”
Oceana released another report earlier this year that showed 30 percent of seafood tested nationwide in the U.S. was mislabeled, prompting national mainstream media coverage. The new report, released this week, indicates IUU fishing is the primary cause of seafood fraud, according to Oceana.
IUU fishing, according to Oceana, accounts to 20 percent of the global fishing catch. Oceana suggested beefing up efforts to ensure traceability, in order to prevent fraud and cut down on IUU fishing.
“Illegal fishing cheats seafood consumers and hurts honest fishermen and businesses that play by the rules,” said Oceana campaign director Beth Lowell. “If we want to fight pirate fishing, we need to be able to track our seafood supply from boat to plate so we can keep illegally caught fish out of our markets and off of our dinner plates."