US/Europe Sign On To Sink IUU
by Rich Ruais
On September 7, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, and Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, met in Washington, D.C and signed a landmark statement to accelerate joint efforts to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
In 2009 the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization emphasized their finding that “increasing IUU fishing undermines national and regional efforts to manage fisheries sustainably.”
The signing ceremony was chaired by U.S. Federal Commissioner to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Russell Smith III, who also holds the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Fisheries, NOAA. Commissioner Smith was the head of the U.S. delegation to ICCAT in Paris in 2010. On January 12 this year, in a NOAA press release, Commissioner Smith was quoted as saying: “Illegal fishing must be stopped as it subjects our fishermen to unfair competition and undermines efforts to sustainably manage the valuable fish stocks around the world that so many communities depend on for food and jobs.”