In response to today’s Senate passage of The Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015 -- which sets the stage for President Obama to formally commit the United States to the Port States Measures Agreement (PSMA) -- World Wildlife Fund issued the following statement from Michele Kuruc, vice president of oceans policy:
“Implementing the Port State Measures Agreement provides the United States a strong and far-reaching weapon to its arsenal in the fight to end illegal fishing. By passing today’s legislation, Congress is reminding the world of our nation’s growing determination to keep illegally caught fish and seafood out of US markets.
“This legislation positions the United States to join with like-minded countries to close global ports to the illegally caught seafood that is risking the long-term viability of our fisheries. Ratifying this treaty has been a long time in the making, but the global cooperation it will unleash has the ability to turn the tide against the global crime syndicates and other illegal actors who profit from stealing seafood from our seas.
“While our commitment to the PSMA is good for US consumers and fishing communities, it’s also a momentum builder for other nations looking to secure the political will needed to ratify the agreement. The US now must turn toward implementation and engage with other countries to achieve maximum impact and disrupt illegal fishers quickly and permanently.”