As a global leader in sustainable seafood and importer of up to 90 of seafood for domestic consumption, it is in the interest of the United States to promote and support sustainable fishing practices while at the same time combating and preventing illegally harvested or fraudulently marketed fish from entering the global stream of commerce.
The National Ocean Council’s Committee on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud (NOC Committee) was established to take the place of a 2014 Presidential Task Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud, and oversee implementation of the Task Force Action Plan released on March 15, 2015. Established in April 2015, the NOC Committee is comprised of the same 14 federal agency-members as the Task Force and continues to be co-chaired by NOAA and the Department of State. Following its establishment, the NOC Committee immediately formed federal working groups around each Recommendation detailed in the Action Plan. This web-portal is designed to provide public access to the updates, activities and engagements being conducted to implement the Action Plan.
On June 17, 2014, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum for “Establishing a Comprehensive Framework to Combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud.” Among other actions the Memorandum established a Presidential Task Force, co-chaired by the Departments of State and Commerce and made up of a broad range of other federal agencies, 14 in total.
MISSION OF THE TASK FORCE:
The Task Force was directed to report to the President within 180 days with “recommendations for the implementation of a comprehensive framework of integrated programs to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud that emphasizes areas of greatest need.” Through an extensive public comment and engagement process, the Task Force developed a series of 15 recommendations, which were released on December 18, 2014, for further public comment. Based on this final round of public comments, on March 15, 2015, the Task Force released its Action Plan for implementing the recommendations. This plan articulates the aggressive steps that federal agencies will take both domestically and internationally to implement the recommendations the Task Force made in December 2014. Learn more about the action plan here.
PUBLIC COMMENT AND ENGAGEMENT 2014:
In August 2014, the Task Force initiated a public engagement process aimed at gaining broad input and expertise from key stakeholders and interest groups to inform and advise them on the development of recommendations in compliance with the Memorandum. The Task Force sought comments on topics of particular interest. The public comment period began July 31, 2014 and closed on September 2, 2014. Comments can be viewed online by going directly to Regulations.gov and a PDF version of the FR Notice is available here.
Following a review of input from key stakeholders, the Task Force released its recommendations on December 18, 2014. The Task Force requested comments from key stakeholders and interest groups to advise on how to most effectively implement the proposed recommendations. The public comment period began December 18, 2014 and closed on January 20, 2015. The proposed recommendations can be accessed through the Federal Register website and a PDF of the recommendations can be found here.
The public engagement process also included 4 public meetings with Task Force representatives. Transcripts of these meetings (2 conference calls and 2 in-person meetings) can be accessed below. The presentation provided at all four public meetings can be accessed here.
• August 13, 2014 - Conference Call: Transcript
• August 20, 2014 - In-Person Meeting, Seattle, Washington: Transcript
• August 27, 2014 - Conference Call: Transcript
• August 28, 2014 - In-Person Meeting, Washington, DC: Transcript