World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from David Schorr, head of WWF’s Transparent Seas Project, in response to today’s introduction of the Safety and Fraud Enforcement for Seafood Act (SAFE Seafood Act) by Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass.):
"The SAFE Seafood Act has the potential to put a dent in the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices responsible for a fifth of all fish harvested from the world’s oceans. It’s welcome legislation that will help lessen the $23 billion lost every year to pirate fishing, while protecting the jobs of responsible fishermen who play by the rules.
“Today’s bill is a critical step to establish a global seafood system that will make fish products fully traceable ‘from bait to plate.’ We applaud Congressman Markey for proposing legislation that will encourage government and industry leaders to work together to assure that all seafood is safe, legal, and honestly labeled.
“We are all victims of the types of criminal fishing this legislation seeks to end. The time has come to put a stop to illegal fishing’s deception of consumers, plundering of marine ecosystems, and tolerance for the serious human rights abuses associated with this practice.
“This legislation is an important step toward keeping illegal fish products off of American shelves, and we look forward to working with Congressman Markey and other fisheries champions on the passage of this important legislation.”
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A summary of the bill is available here.
The Transparent Seas Project - a program of WWF’s global Smart Fishing Initiative - works around the world to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing through transparent fishing practices and "bait to plate" traceability in seafood supply chains.