Direct the Task Force to establish a regular forum with harvesters, importers, dealers, retailers, processors, and non-governmental organizations to enhance collaboration in combating IUU fishing and seafood fraud and to improve understanding of the levels and nature of IUU fishing and seafood fraud and related criminal activities.
Just as one federal agency alone cannot combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud, these issues cannot be addressed only by the federal or state governments. It is important that the federal agencies join forces and take strong steps in partnership with the non-federal entities such as harvesters, importers, dealers, retailers, processors, academia, and non-governmental organizations. In particular, the wide range of entities that provided public comments on both the establishment of the Task Force and the implementation of its recommendations demonstrates a broad knowledge and investment made in addressing these issues across the seafood supply chain. As federal efforts to address issues related to IUU fishing and seafood fraud continue, it is crucial to bring together all relevant stakeholders so that the NOC Committee has a range of experience and collaborative resources to draw upon and inform federal policy. From this regular forum, areas of collaboration between federal agencies and stakeholders can be identified to address IUU fishing and seafood fraud concerns in the supply chain. A number of initiatives and professional fora external to the federal government already exist to bring together various stakeholders and collaborate on a wide range of fisheries issues. It is important to build upon and engage in these venues as an opportunity to continue robust dialogue and engagement with interested stakeholders.
Taking this context into account, the NOC Committee will establish a regular forum open to all interested stakeholders to facilitate discussion and exchange information on combating IUU fishing and seafood fraud. Comprised of both virtual and in-person components, this forum would, among other things, enhance public awareness of NOC Committee activities, as well as highlight non-government efforts to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud, and develop public-private partnerships. This forum would not supplant formal comment periods for specific regulatory proposals or policies that are developed in response to other Task Force recommendations, but could serve as a feedback loop as the NOC Committee implements recommendations as well as help provide innovative ideas and solutions moving forward.