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U.S. Senate Urged To Ratify Treaties To Combat 'Pirate Fishing'



Published on 15 February 2014



by Office of the Spokesperson

(WireNews)

Washington, D.C.

Illegal fishing, driven by the high demand for seafood combined with negligent enforcement of registration and other tracking mechanisms, is a serious threat to food security, marine ecosystems and management of fishing resources around the world.

In testimony before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 12, representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard urged ratification of four treaties aimed at improving international cooperation to keep fish caught illegally from entering U.S. and global markets.

Illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, known as “pirate fishing,” is the practice of fishing anywhere and everywhere without permission.

Three of the treaties focus on conservation and management of fisheries in the North Pacific Ocean, the South Pacific Ocean and the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Above, a Hawaii-based U.S. Coast Guard cutter in the North Pacific escorts a fishing vessel suspected of illegal high seas driftnet fishing.

The fourth pact, known as the Port State Measures Agreement, is a global agreement aimed at developing the capacity of countries with lax fishing regulations to share information and strengthen inspection capabilities. Many developing countries are known as “ports of convenience,” where illegally caught fish are brought to market. Port states enforcing the treaty would refuse port entry or access to port services.

The United States was a leader in negotiating the global agreements, but it is not recognized as a party to the treaties until the U.S. Senate ratifies them.

 


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Posted 2014-02-15 11:24:00