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Friday, 09 September 2011

EU and USA agree to strengthen cooperation to combat illegal fishing

Brussels/Washington, 7 September 2011 – A historic statement pledging bilateral cooperation to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, known as IUU fishing, will be signed today in Washington by Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Dr. Jane Lubchenco, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator. This statement is the first of its kind in the longstanding partnership between the EU and the US on fisheries management. The EU and US rank first and third, respectively, as the world’s top seafood importers (Japan second), and have agreed that the seafood they import will not be caught illegally. Globally, IUU fishing deprives legal fishermen and coastal communities of up to $23 billion of seafood and seafood products annually. "IUU fishing is a criminal activity, and we have the duty to make everything possible to stop this practice,” said Commissioner Damanaki. “Today's agreement will do just that. By joining forces, we make it harder for culprits to get away with their dirty business." “Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is one of the most serious threats to sustainable fishing and to marine biodiversity in the world’s oceans,” said Dr. Lubchenco, who is also under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. “International cooperation across oceans will help us strengthen enforcement and prevent legal fishing industries from being undermined in the global marketplace by illegal fishing.”

Source: European Commission

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