Trade commission initiates investigation on “IUU” caught seafood

U.S. agency will hold a public hearing on seafood obtained via illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in May; report on findings will be released in December.

NATIONWIDE—The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means has directed the U.S. International Trade Commission to initiate an investigation on seafood obtained through illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Officials with the International Trade Commission announced the planned investigation – and associated timeline – on Jan. 31.

A report on the commission’s findings will be submitted to the House of Representatives later this year.

The commission’s investigation is entitled, “Seafood Obtained via Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing: U.S. Imports and Economic Impact on U.S. Commercial Fisheries.”

Members of the Committee on Ways and Means hope to find out to what extent seafood is caught from IUU fishing and the economic effect such catches have on U.S. anglers.

“The investigation will cover the extent to which seafood products obtained from illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing are imported into the United States and the potential economic effects on U.S. fishermen of competition with such imports,” International Trade Commission staff said in its Federal Register announcement. “IUU seafood includes products obtained in contravention of fisheries management regulations or in violation of labor laws.”

The commission will review existing data and literature to determine the extent of IUU products entering into the U.S. market, as well as the international mechanisms in place to monitor IUU fishing and implement enforcement.

Also to be reviewed by the commission: a qualitative analysis of the economic effects of IUU seafood imported into the United States and a review of the major producers of illegal, unreported and unregulated products.

The public hearing on the investigation is set for May 12. All requests to appear at the May 12 public hearing on the investigation must be made by April 21; pre-hearing briefs and statements must be filed by April 30.

Post-hearing briefs and statements must be filed by May 22; all other written submissions must be filed by June 26.

The commission will submit its report to the Ways and Means committee on Dec. 21.

Contact project leaders Renee Berry (202-205-3498, renee.berry@usitc.gov) or Daniel Matthews (202-205-5991, daniel.matthews@usitc.gov) for more information about the hearing, investigation and ways to submit comments.

Written statements should be submitted to the commission via snail mail: Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20436.

The public hearing will be held at the same address.

The Log and FishRapNews will track this investigation and report on its findings as soon as the commission makes its report available.

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