In response to a new set of federal regulations that were set into action this month, a recent Boston Globe article commends the latest actions taken by the US government to put an end to illegal fishing and fisheries fraud. However, citing the global nature of this issue, the article adds that more initiatives and tougher action are needed to curb the practice of the illegal distribution and sale of un-regulated or under-regulated fish.“Illegal fishing is big business — and fishermen who take advantage of shoddy enforcement or lax regulations in ports around the world make millions on the backs of honest fishermen and consumers. “- The Boston Globe
Praising the recent efforts of the federal government to combat fisheries fraud in the United States, the Globe article goes on to call for a multi-national approach to curtailing illegal fishing practices at their source. According to Pew Charitable Trust, as much as 1/5 of the seafood caught worldwide is harvested through illegal fishing practices. This number only intensifies when the un-regulated fishing that occurs in international waters in brought into the equation. That’s right- despite efforts made by international organizations like the United Nations, international fishing remains mostly unregulated to this day. International agreements between partnering nation-states have helped to pave the way for better oversight and enforcement for fishing in international waters, but with no unifying strategy or single unified oversight agency, much work remains to be done.
In sum, although illegal fishing and seafood fraud remains an issue domestically, it pails in comparison to the environmental damage that is seen on the international stage. And, according to NOAA, as much as 90% of the seafood consumed domestically is imported. In this light, tackling the issue of illegal fishing absolutely requires a multi-national, global approach.
You can read the whole Boston Globe article by clicking here.