Rashid Sumalia Participated in Congressional Briefing on Pirate Fishing (Pew Marine Fellow, 2008)

On 13 December 2011, U.S. Senators Inouye, Begich, Snowe, Whitehouse, and Murkowski held a briefing in which they discussed a piece of legislation, the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act, they planned to introduce. Rashid Sumaila, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia, participated as a panelist at the briefing. The panelists discussed illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing, commonly referred to as IUU or pirate fishing, as a global problem that threatens healthy ocean ecosystems and sustainable fisheries. It is estimated that annual lost revenues from pirate fishing activities can be as much as $23 billion worldwide and that as much as 40 percent of the total catch for some fish stocks is caught illegally. The impacts of these activities are felt throughout the fishery supply chain, from the fisherman through the consumer, and affect food security and socio-economic stability in many parts of the world. This includes the United States where sustainable fisheries and markets may be undermined through unfair competition with illegally caught product. To combat this threat, the United States has worked to secure an agreement that would raise global standards for seafood markets to levels similar to those that we set domestically. The agreement would bar illegal fishing vessels from entering ports and bringing their goods to market and would establish a regime to ensure compliance.