Oceana urges end to illegal fishing, seafood fraud

Results of a nationwide poll by the ocean conservation nonprofit Oceana concludes that Americans overwhelmingly support national policies to end illegal fishing and seafood fraud.

The poll, released in late January, found that respondents want imported seafood to be held to the same standards as U.S.-caught seafood, that all seafood should be traceable from the fishing boat to the dinner plate, and that all fishing vessels sold be publicly trackable.

The poll also found that the majority of respondents want the federal policies that prevent the sale of any seafood in the US caught using human trafficking and slave labor.

“All seafood sold in the U.S. should be safe, legally caught, responsibly sourced and honestly labeled,” said Beth Lowell, Oceana’s deputy vice president for U.S. campaigns. “It’s clear that Americans want and need to know more about the seafood they’re eating.”

Oceana is urging the Biden administration to lead the fight against unreported and unregulated fishing, while leveling the playing field for American harvesters and seafood businesses. Current policies are not sufficient to prevent illegally caught seafood from entering the country, Lowell said. It is estimated that up to 30 percent of seafood caught worldwide is a product of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, valued from $25 billion to $50 billion annually.

Oceana campaigns to halt illegal fishing, increase transparency at sea and to require traceability of all seafood to assure it is safe, legally caught, responsibly sourced and honestly labeled.