Actions and Announcements: Recommendations 14 &15

OCtober 2015: Principles and ‘At Risk’ Species for Traceability Program
The risk-based traceability program requires a set of species to be those traced in the program’s first phase. The National Ocean Council Committee on IUU fishing and Seafood Fraud (NOC Committee) has published its final list of principles for determining species at risk of IUU fishing and seafood fraud, as well as a final list of at-risk species. These lists are the product of robust public comment opportunities, including two public comment periods, through which over 100 comments were received from stakeholders, of which 25% came from international stakeholders. The resulting list of species represents approximately 40% of the seafood, by value that enters U.S. commerce.

The principles include:
  • Enforcement capability 
  • Species misrepresentation
  • Catch document scheme 
  • History of fishing violations
  • Complexity of the chain of custody and processing 
  • Mislabeling or other misrepresentation
  • Human health risks  

The list of at-risk species that will be the basis for the upcoming traceability program include (see Federal Register notice for Scientific names):

  • Abalone
  • Atlantic Cod
  • Blue Crab 
  • Dolphinfish
  • Grouper
  • King Crab (red)
  • Pacific Cod
  • Red Snapper
  • Sea Cucumber
  • Sharks
  • Shrimp
  • Swordfish
  • Albacore tuna
  • Bigeye tuna
  • Skipjack tuna
  • Yellowfin tuna

Please refer to the Federal Register notice for more information.

Next Steps in developing the Traceability Program: The next steps as outlined in the Action Plan include the development of a seafood traceability program that will be established through notice and comment rulemaking later this year. The upcoming rule-making will be based upon the list of species above, as well as the final data collection processes, which were published in draft for comment earlier this year. By September, 2017, an update and evaluation of the program and next steps toward expansion will be issued. The NOC Committee is in the process of of developing the minimum types of information necessary for an effective seafood traceability program to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud, as well as the operational standards related to collecting, verifying and securing that data.

Click here for the Federal Register Notice and background information on the data collection process.