Pew Congratulates U.S. Senate Panel on Votes to Crack Down on Pirate Fishing

Pew Congratulates U.S. Senate Panel on Votes to Crack Down on Pirate Fishing

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, or IUU fishing, is a global problem that poses significant environmental, economic, and security concerns for the United States. These fishermen steal up to 26 million tonnes of fish from the ocean each year—three to six times more than the U.S. commercial fishing fleet catches annually. IUU fishing is estimated to cost the global economy up to $23 billion a year.

Two bills making their way through Congress would help combat IUU fishing. On July 30, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved the International Fisheries Stewardship and Enforcement Act (S. 269) and the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act (S. 267). Both now move to the full Senate for consideration. These measures would strengthen enforcement mechanisms against foreign IUU fishing operators who damage ocean ecosystems, undermine international fisheries conservation efforts, and undercut the interests of U.S. fishermen and consumers.

"We urge the Senate to immediately pass these bills and demonstrate leadership in protecting U.S. ports, coastal economies, and the health of our oceans."

-Tony Long

Tony Long, who leads The Pew Charitable Trust's global project to end illegal fishing, welcomed the actions by the Senate panel and praised its chairman, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and ranking member, Senator John Thune (R-SD).

“We appreciate the efforts of Senators Rockefeller and Thune and the rest of the Commerce Committee for advancing these critical pieces of legislation,” says Long. “There are a growing number of countries around the world taking concrete action to end illegal fishing. We urge the Senate to immediately pass these bills and demonstrate leadership in protecting U.S. ports, coastal economies, and the health of our oceans.”

The International Fisheries Stewardship and Enforcement Act would amend statutes dealing with international fisheries to simplify and streamline enforcement protocols. It would improve interagency coordination to boost efficiency and increase capacity for international enforcement. The measure complements other pending legislation addressing illegal fishing, most notably the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act.

This legislation would also implement the Port State Measures Agreement adopted in 2009 by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. It would take the steps required by the pact to deny port access and services to foreign vessels engaged in illegal fishing activity.

The front facade of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.
ian-hutchinson-U8WfiRpsQ7Y-unsplash.jpg_master

Agenda for America

A collection of resources to help federal, state, and local decision-makers set an achievable agenda for all Americans

Quick View

Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest. In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.

Lightbulbs
Lightbulbs

States of Innovation

Data-driven state policy innovations across America

Quick View

Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for difficult challenges. When states serve their traditional role as laboratories of innovation, they increase the American people’s confidence that the government they choose—no matter the size—can be effective, responsive, and in the public interest.