On November 5, 2015 H.R. 774 was signed into law as the “Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act.” This legislation advances U.S. efforts to prevent illegally harvested fish from entering our ports and market and achieve sustainable fisheries globally. It also helps address key priorities in the action plan for combatting illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud. Per the Presidential Task Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud, the full extent of seafood fraud is difficult to determine, particularly as it often happens at the retail level. Cooperation with state and local authorities on addressing seafood fraud is essential in strengthening links of the supply chain that occur intrastate, or at the local level, and are sometimes outside federal jurisdiction.
There is a need for technology development to design, test, and make commercially available methods to rapidly detect IUU in the market place. Applications in this subtopic might include innovative technologies that develop rapid methods or technologies to check on more of the U.S. seafood supply than is currently available. These include, but are not limited to:
- Methods/Technologies to preventing aqua-cultured imports with banned pharmaceuticals from entering the U.S.
- Development of rapid species identification methods in restaurants, markets, etc.
- Methods/Technologies to efficiently monitor the U.S. market supply for product quality and safety.
- Methods/Technologies to conduct rapid and cost effective surveys to see if restaurants are substituting high-quality seafood for cheaper imported seafood.
- Methods/Technologies that support monitoring efforts of imports to prevent IUU fish from entering the U.S. market, allowing consumers to have confidence that the seafood they purchase was harvested legally and responsibly.