View Full Version : Portuguese face US fish ban

Davie Tait
10th February 2015, 17:59

THE USA has issed a warning to Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico, Nigeria, Nicaragua and Portugal that they face trade sanctions should their fishing fleets not respect international rules.

The warning follows today's publication of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) 2015 Biennial Report to Congress, which highlights US findings and analyses of foreign IUU fishing activities and of bycatch of protected species and shark catch on the high seas where nations do not have a regulatory program comparable to the United States.

On behalf of the United States, NOAA Fisheries will engage in consultations with each of the nations to press for corrective action to address these activities, and improve their fisheries management and enforcement practices relating to IUU fishing. If sufficient action is not taken, and the nation does not receive a positive certification in the next Biennial Report, prohibitions on the importation of certain fisheries products into the United States and the denial of port privileges for fishing vessels of that nation are applicable.

Dr Kathryn Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans & Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, noted that: "As one of the largest importers of seafood in the world, the United States has a global responsibility and an economic duty to ensure that the fish we import is caught sustainably and legally. The President and NOAA are committed to doing our part to working with these nations to encourage their compliance, and we will continue to work with our partners to detect and combat illegal practices."

No countries were identified for bycatch of protected living marine resources or for shark catch on the high seas in the 2015 Biennial Report. However, Mexico was identified in the 2013 Biennial Report to Congress for a lack of management measures for mitigating bycatch of North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles in the gillnet fishery in the Gulf of Ulloa, Baja California Sur. Mexico has made meaningful progress in developing a regulatory program to address this issue. NOAA Fisheries will continue to consult with Mexico moving forward and will delay the certification decision until May 2015.

"The United States is committed to working bilaterally and multilaterally to combat illegal fishing and to ensure the effective management of bycatch of protected species, and shark catch on the high seas," said Eileen Sobeck, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. "We are encouraged by the positive steps these nations took to address IUU fishing and will continue to explore all avenues to combat IUU activity on a global scale."

Independent experts have estimated economic losses worldwide from IUU fishing to be between $10 billion and $23 billion annually, undermining economic opportunities for US fishermen.

Just wait till they really look at Spain...