NOAA, EU enact ‘catch certificate’ rules

In an effort to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the European Commission on Thursday announced that they singed an agreement to implement rules requiring wild seafood products exported to the European Union to include a “catch certificate.”

The certification will apply to all U.S. seafood exports to the EU, including product exported to a third country for secondary processing. NOAA also plans to audit a sample of exporters to confirm their seafood products are IUU-free as part of the certification process.

In a letter to exporters, Timothy Hansen, director of NOAA’s Seafood Inspection Program, ensured that the documentation developed as part of the program will comply with the European Commission’s IUU regulations and will not curb the flow of seafood exports.

Hansen also said cooperation with the EC on this issue is part of a broader effort to eliminate IUU fishing, “which contributes to overfishing and reduces the value of legally harvest fisheries products.”

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