IUU Seafood Fraud Task Force

SSA Submits Recommendations to President’s Task Force on Seafood Fraud and Illegal Fishing

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 on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud (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 is directed to report to the President within 180 days 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.”


The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has solicited input from key stakeholders including the seafood industry and other interests. This has included a series of public meetings and the opportunity to submit written comment on a range of general and specific issues in order to inform and advise the Task Force in developing its recommendations to the President. It is rare that issues of this nature receive attention by the White House.


The Southern Shrimp Alliance has taken this unusual opportunity to provide a series of recommendations to the Task Force on behalf of domestic warm-water shrimp producers and associated shoreside enterprises on key issues of concern regarding seafood fraud and Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. These closely related issues, particularly those that involve shrimp imports, have been a central focus of SSA’s work on behalf of the industry since its inception.


SSA’s comments address key IUU fishing issues including pirate fishing, forced labor and substandard bycatch practices in foreign shrimp fisheries all of which adversely impact the competitive position of US shrimp fishermen. Similarly, SSA’s comments also address the impacts on honest US businesses in the domestic shrimp industry caused by a wide range of fraudulent activities. These activities include those designed to evade anti-dumping duties, FDA Import Alerts, COOL requirements and/or environmental/labor/IUU regulatory restrictions, as well as those involving an array of mislabeling, repackaging and short-weight abuses.¬†


The Task Force is expected to make its recommendations to the President in December 2014. SSA will continue to monitor and participate in this process as opportunities arise including working with the many Federal agencies whose functions and responsibilities are covered by this initiative to implement the Task Force’s recommendations.

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