Stevens Renews Call to Fight IUU Fishing in Arctic


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
April 6, 2008

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) re-emphasized the need to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and to better protect Arctic fisheries at Thursday's Senate Commerce Committee hearing.

Last December, Stevens, the committee's vice chairman, crafted legislation requiring the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to maintain a list of IUU fishing vessels worldwide and drafted a resolution calling for an end to the foreign subsidies that lead to IUU fishing. On Thursday, he acknowledged that loopholes remain in the laws that allow IUU fishing to occur in the Arctic.

"I am currently preparing a bill that would strengthen the laws that make it illegal to trade [seafood] harvested from IUU fishing [vessels]," said Stevens in a press release. "This bill would strengthen civil and criminal penalties and establish a strong and effective inter-agency International Fisheries Enforcement Program."

Also at the hearing, Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte urged the United States to join the Law of the Sea Convention to fight IUU fishing, a $6 to $8 billion annual business.

"The Law of the Sea Convention is widely accepted as the legal framework under which all international fisheries must operate," said Negroponte. "Acceding to the convention will give us greater leverage in negotiating on these matters, particularly in our efforts to eliminate IUU fishing."

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