Recommendation 7: International – diplomatic priority

Direct the Secretary of State to maintain combating IUU fishing and seafood fraud as a diplomatic priority in order to gain the support of senior officials in priority countries to enhance political will for combating IUU fishing and seafood fraud.


IUU fishing and seafood fraud are global problems, and no single nation alone can solve them. Diplomacy tools and public outreach can be used to build on key bilateral relationships and encourage our foreign government partners to enhance their efforts to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud. These issues must continue to be prioritized in our bilateral and multilateral work with other nations and in our public engagement. Building effective coalitions to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud will also require effective engagement through multilateral organizations and at high-profile, high-level international meetings. Diplomatic efforts will emphasize the negative impacts of IUU fishing and seafood fraud on food and nutrition security, economic security, peace and security, and rule of law.

Implementation Steps

Lead Agency: Department of State
Other Agencies Involved: NOAA, USTR, USAID, and other NOC Committee agencies as appropriate

The Task Force agencies will ensure that issues related to implementing a strong international framework to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud are featured in discussions between senior officials and their foreign counterparts, including those at the foreign affairs, fisheries, finance, trade, and justice ministries. Discussions at the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Under Secretary and ambassadorial levels will seek to advance specific priorities related to efforts to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud, such as ratification of the Port State Measures Agreement, and the overall implementation of the Task Force recommendations. This will facilitate collaboration between our respective technical and enforcement agencies to ensure that illegally caught or fraudulently labeled seafood does not enter U.S. commerce. 

Senior Department of State and NOAA officials will seek outcomes that prioritize action to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud at high-level events in the next 18 months, including:
  • The Boston International Seafood Show, March 2015
  • The Third World Ocean Summit, hosted by The Economist, June 2015
  • The 39th Session of the Conference of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, June 2015
  • The 70th Regular Session of the UN General Assembly, September 2015
  • The Second Our Ocean Conference, hosted by Chile, October 2015
  • The 32nd Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries, Spring 2016

The Department of State will coordinate with NOAA, USTR, USAID, and other relevant agencies to develop a strategy by June 2015 to strengthen embassy advocacy and public diplomacy to increase awareness of issues related to IUU fishing and seafood fraud, and build support for actions for addressing these issues at the national, regional, and global levels, particularly in developing countries. This strategy will include:

  • Training modules to prepare embassy officers to engage in IUU fishing and seafood fraud issue effectively.
  •  Guidance for developing diplomatic demarches and public outreach strategies, including engaging stakeholders and partners.  
  • Diplomatic demarches. 
  • A harmonized approach to public diplomacy and public outreach events in support of specific fisheries issues or high-level events over the next 18 months.


Flags of the United Nations. Photo Credit: Eferrante (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Actions and Announcements

USDA Department of Commerce Department of Defense Department of Health and Human Services Department of Homeland Security Department of the Interior Department of Justice Department of State  Federal Trade Commission USAID