"NOAA Proposes to Task Foreign Fisheries"

"WASHINGTON - A proposed regulation would prohibit imports from foreign fisheries that do not meet U.S. standards for protecting whales and dolphins under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The action, published Tuesday, 'aims to level the playing field for American fishermen who comply with U.S. marine mammal conservation standards, and is intended to help foreign fisheries support a healthy and diverse marine ecosystem,' the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. The estimated global bycatch of marine mammals (such as whales and dolphins) is more than 600,000 animals per year.
The U.S. is the third largest consumer of seafood, after China and Japan. In 2009, the most recent year for which complete data is available, 4.8 billion pounds of seafood were consumed by Americans, with 91 percent of it imported from foreign countries.
'This rule proposes a system that would lead many foreign nations to improve their fishing practices to protect marine mammals,' said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA Fisheries. 'Those changes to current practice across the world will mark one of the most significant steps in the global conservation of marine mammals in decades, and could save substantial numbers of these vulnerable animals from injury and death.'"

Ramona Young-Grindle reports for Courthouse News Service April 11, 2015.

Source: Courthouse News Service, 08/12/2015