ELLSWORTH — President Barack Obama last week signed a new law aimed at preventing illegally harvested fish from entering the United States and supporting efforts to establish sustainable fisheries worldwide.
The bipartisan “Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU) Enforcement Act” includes a number of provisions blocking imports of illegally harvested fish. The United States now will join a global effort to ratify and implement the Port State Measures Agreement, which will prevent vessels carrying fish caught illegally from entering U.S. ports. Thirteen other nations already have ratified the port management agreement, which will become legally binding once at least 25 countries have ratified it.
Implementation of the agreement was the first recommendation of the IUU Action Plan, released last March by a presidential task force including representatives from the Commerce and State departments.
The task force also recommended strengthening domestic enforcement authorities to address illegal fish and fish products that already have entered the U.S. supply chain.