Washington, D.C. — When the leaders of three North American countries meet at a summit in Ottawa this week, climate change will be among the most pressing topics discussed. However, the Center for American Progress released a column today calling on the leaders of the United States, Mexico, and Canada to also put the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated, or IUU, fishing on their agenda in order to better protect the transboundary fish stocks shared by their countries and respond to new dynamics in the international fish trade.
“Around the world, IUU fishing is a vast problem with billions in annual costs for honest fishermen and marine ecosystems,” said Shiva Polefka, CAP Oceans Policy Analyst and lead author of the article. “The North American Leaders Summit is a great opportunity for the three heads of state to expand on their newfound environmental consensus by taking collaborative action to curtail illegal fishing, which would both improve the livelihoods of law abiding fishermen and ensure the integrity of North American marine ecosystems for future generations.”
The column calls on the leaders to agree to:
- Extend to Mexico the successful collaboration between the U.S. and Canadian coast guards in the fight against IUU in the northern Pacific and Atlantic oceans
- Have the respective marine fisheries and food safety agencies coordinate to unify seafood supply chain reporting requirements to increase seafood traceability
- Encourage Mexico and Canada to join the United States in adopting the Port State Measures Agreement, a newly enacted treaty that closes ports to foreign fishing vessels involved in IUU fishing and expands international information sharing on IUU fishing activity
- Jointly implement innovative new vessel tracking tools to help identify and enforce rules against illegal fishing in North American waters, as well as on the high seas
Click here to read the column.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.481.7141.