NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seeks to expand Seafood Import Monitoring Program

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NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seeks to expand Seafood Import Monitoring Program


Recently, NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries announced a proposed rule to expand the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), a risk-based Program for targeted species of seafood imported into the United States. Expanding SIMP might increase the number of species included in the Program from approximately 1,100 individual species to approximately 1,670 individual species.

SIMP currently establishes reporting and recordkeeping requirements for nearly half of all United States. seafood imports to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and misrepresented seafood from entering United States. commerce. By providing a screening and deterrent tool for IUU fish and fish products, and misrepresented seafood products entering the United States., SIMP strengthens our national economy, global food security and the sustainability of our shared ocean resources. 

“By proposing to expand the Seafood Import Monitoring Program to additional at-risk species, we aim to increase our ability to identify IUU fish and fish products and deter them from entering the United States. market,” said Janet Coit, assistant administrator for NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, acting assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, and deputy NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration administrator. “The Program is one of several tools NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries utilizes to combat IUU fishing and ensure the United States. remains a global leader in the effort to safeguard the sustainability of marine species worldwide.”

The rule proposes to expand the species currently subject to SIMP, including red snapper and tuna, to include all species in the snapper family and additional tunas, to minimize the risk of mislabeling and product substitution that is used to bypass SIMP requirements. In addition, the rule proposes to add cuttlefish and squid, eels, octopus, queen conch and Caribbean spiny lobster to the Program. The rule also proposes to make additional program modifications and improvements.

NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries uses a risk-based framework to target species that are most vulnerable to IUU fishing and seafood fraud. This risk-based approach allows for efficient use of government resources for screening and implementation, while minimizing industry burden and trade impact.

The agency welcomes feedback on the potential addition of these species and other elements in the proposed rule to clarify the responsibilities of International Fisheries Trade Permit holders, electronic recordkeeping requirements and provisions to accommodate small-scale fisheries. NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries also seeks feedback from stakeholders on program improvements, such as interest in a standardized form for compliance. 

The comment period for the proposed rule will close on March 28, 2023. NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries will consider all public comments before issuing a final rule. 

NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries is committed to the ongoing development and enhancement of SIMP as part of the agency’s comprehensive approach to combating IUU fishing and seafood fraud. NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is part of the United States. Interagency Working Group on IUU Fishing. Together with other governments and authorities, seafood industry, academia, philanthropies and nongovernmental stakeholders, the working group provides a whole of government approach to combating and deterring IUU fishing.

 


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