With a single piece of legislation, we have an opportunity to protect the oceans and our own health, level the playing field for honest fishermen and businesses, and make sustainable choices.
That’s an opportunity I’d hate to see wasted.
The Protecting Honest Fisherman Act of 2015, introduced by Reps. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA), could deliver this progress for our oceans by requiring seafood to be traced from bait to plate. But the bill needs our support and the support of Congress if it’s going to pass.
This bill would require all seafood sold in the United States be accompanied by basic information, including the species name and where and how it was caught or farmed. That would help put an end to illegally caught or fraudulent seafood entering our markets, such as imperiled species swapped for more sustainable options, directly threatening our health and the health of our oceans.
More than 1,800 different seafood species are listed on the Food and Drug Administration’s Seafood List – that leaves a lot of opportunity for fraud. The Presidential Task Force on Combatting Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud is planning to phase in traceability requirements starting with a few “at risk” species.
That’s just a Band-Aid approach. We need comprehensive traceability that covers all species and requires the information to get to the consumer to truly make a difference.
Members of Congress and their staffs are making their way back to D.C. from August recess this very moment. I plan on knocking on office doors and hand-delivering this petition to your representative to recruit co-sponsors for this important piece of legislation.
Thank you for speaking up for our oceans.
For the oceans,
Oceana | 1350 Connecticut Ave. NW, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20036 USA p: +1 877.762.3262