July 15, 2024

President Obama Tackles Seafood Fraud and Illegal Fishing

Oceana has released a statement that President Obama is going to work on seafood fraud and illegal fishing in the United States. The announcement was made at the global “Our Ocean” conference hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry. The President is directing federal agencies to develop a comprehensive program to combat seafood fraud.

Seafood AssortmentFood Poisoning Bulletin has told you about seafood fraud for the past few years. Many types of seafood are mislabeled, which can lead to illness and allergic reactions. In addition, cheap varieties of fish are often dishonestly sold as more expensive varieties, which costs consumers millions of dollars every year.

Oceana’s campaign director Beth Lowell said in a statement, “President Obama’s announcement is an historic step forward in the fight against seafood fraud and illegal fishing worldwide. This initiative is a practical solution to an ugly problem and will forever change the way we think about our seafood.”

Because seafood travels through a complex chain that is non-transparent, and because so much of our seafood is imported, there are many opportunities for fraud. A recent study found that 20 to 32% of wild-caught seafood coming into the country comes from illegal, unregulated, and unreported or “pirate” fishing.

Tracing seafood from boat to plate is critical to combat fraud and keep consumers safe. Seafood traceability protects honest fisherman that are undercut by unfair competition. In addition, illegal fishing threatens the stability of ocean ecosystems.

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