“U.S. aims at PRC in new illegal fishing policy framework” –Indo-Pacific Defense Forum

Fijian law enforcement officers and U.S. Coast Guard personnel from USCGC MUNRO board a Chinese-flagged vessel off the coast of Fiji in April 2022 during patrols to counter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. IMAGE CREDIT: PO1 Nate Littlejohn, U.S. COAST GUARD

Indo-Pacific Defense Forum passed along an Associated Press report on US efforts to forge an international consensus to combat Illigal, Unreported, Unregulated (IUU) fishing, including  poor labor and environmental practices, first by applying a standard nationally,

It was expected to be followed quickly by new rules from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expanding the definition of illegal fishing to include related labor abuses, a first step to the eventual blacklisting of flag states that fail to comply.

Followed by work on an international treaty.

Significantly subsidies are now seen as unfair trade practice with disasterous impact on fish stocks. China has used subsidies to build the world’s largest fishing fleet, and they use it for more than just catching fish.

President Biden’s administration’s announcement came as the World Trade Organization (WTO) heralded a historic agreement, reaching a deal during its June 2022 conference in Geneva, Switzerland, to curb IUU fishing, reduce the strain on dwindling fishing stocks, and ensure more transparency and accountability through improved conservation and management measures. The WTO deal explicitly prohibits subsidies, considered by environmentalists to be the biggest contributing factor to depleting fish populations globally.

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