I am writing because you have undertaken research in illegal fishing or seafood species substitution in the market place or seafood supply chain. The U.S. government is currently soliciting comments on how to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and seafood fraud and trying to document the extent of the problem. Please consider signing the attached comment letter in support of full seafood supply chain traceability and respond by August 29, 2014 with your name, title and organization/institution (if applicable). Please forgive cross postings and forward to your colleagues.
Background: On June 17, 2014, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum entitled, “Establishing a Comprehensive Framework to Combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud.” Among other actions, the Memorandum established a Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud (Task Force), co-chaired by the Departments of State and Commerce. The Task Force must report to the President within 180 days with recommendations to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud that emphasizes areas of greatest need.
On July 31, 2014 Department of Commerce published a notice for public meetings and a request for comments (due September 2, 2014) in the Federal Register aimed at gaining broad input and expertise from key stakeholders and interest groups to inform and advise the Task Force. The attached letter with scientist’s signatures would be submitted to Federal Register under this notice. You may also wish to submit your own comments directly to the Federal Register.
As you are likely aware, seafood mislabeling and species substitution is a global problem which has been documented in all continents except Antarctica. Oceana has compiled an interactive Google map of seafood fraud and mislabeling found around the world which cites your or your colleague’s research, in addition to the recent work that Oceana has undertaken in this area. While the weighted level of species substitution of over 100 studies is 22%, these levels range higher for many popular seafood species.
As a researcher who has demonstrated evidence of the extent of this problem, you can join your colleagues by signing on to the attached letter in support of seafood traceability in the U.S. If you would like to sign onto the letter, please provide us with your name, title and organization/institution by August 29, 2014. And please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
Thanks and Best Regards,
Kimberly Warner, Ph.D. | Senior Scientist
OCEANA | Protecting the World's Oceans
1350 Connecticut Ave. NW, 5th Floor | Washington, DC 20036 USA
D +1.202.467-1932 | T +1.202.833.3900 | F +1.202.833.2070
Robert Hanner, Ph.D. | Associate Professor
Biodiversity Institute of Ontario | Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 Canada
T +1 (519) 824-4120 x.53479