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house Bill H.R. 774

Using International Fishing Agreements to Stop Illegal Fishing

Argument in favor

Illegal fishing jeopardizes the sustainable future of our planet’s fisheries by depleting local fish stocks and destroying sensitive marine habitat. Also, it hurts the U.S. fishing industry economically, which damages coastal communities.

Curmudgeon's Opinion
···
07/03/2015
If they are agreements then they are enforceable. If they are unenforced than what was actually agreed upon? We do have assets on the high seas already so budgeting is not necessarily impacted.
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Dan's Opinion
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07/17/2015
Anything we can do to ensure or promote a sustainable US and world fishery has my YES vote!
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Sam's Opinion
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04/12/2016
Overfishing is a serious problem. We are fishing the same fish despite the vast diversity in the ocean. These super nets catch everything including dolphins, sharks, etc and it all gets reeled in. Not to mention the amount of fish that are caught simply to feed fish in "fish farms". The U.S. making a statement against illegal fishing is a good start as well as a powerful statement to the international community.
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Argument opposed

Even if the U.S. decides to fully implement this legislation and enforce these international agreements, there’s no guarantee other nations or individual vessels will cooperate.

John's Opinion
···
06/30/2015
The penalty is to ONLY prevent them from using US port services? What is the point of that? If you are going to confiscate their ship and cargo like you would for drugs, then let's do it. Otherwise, they will simply take their illegal bounty to another country and continue to poach from legal fishermen...
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SherryTX's Opinion
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07/08/2015
This may look all warm and fuzzy on paper, but we cannot regulate the world's fishing practices.
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Cynthia's Opinion
···
07/15/2015
NO MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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What is House Bill H.R. 774?

This bill would implement laws from eight existing international fishery agreements aimed at combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing operations.

It would impose the sanctions of the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act and apply civil penalties, criminal offenses, and civil forfeitures against persons violating new enforcement provisions. $450,000 in appropriations would be authorized in each fiscal year between 2016 and 2020 to implement enforcement provisions of this bill.


The newly implemented agreements include:


This bill implements the Port State Measures Agreement that seeks to prevent illegally caught fish from entering the world ports and global seafood market. Vessels would be required to provide information specified in the Port State Measures Agreement to the Secretary of Commerce prior to entering port.


Based on the information supplied, the Secretary could allow or deny port entry, and can deny entry if it is listed as an IUU vessel, if there is reasonable suspicion that it has engaged in IUU activities in violation of this act. Notice of the denial would be sent to the vessel’s flag nation, international organizations, and relevant coastal nations. If a suspected IUU vessel has already entered port, it would be denied the ability to use the port for processing and packing of fish, refueling, resupplying, maintenance or repairs.


The Department of Commerce and the Coast Guard would be required to conduct vessel inspections, and authorized officers could make arrests; board, search, or inspect vessels; seize gear; execute and serve subpoenas; and perform other activities if there is probable cause that violations of this act have occurred.

Impact

The U.S. fisheries industry, fishing vessels conducting IUU activities, the Coast Guard, the Department of Commerce, the Secretary of Commerce.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 774

$2.00 Million
The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would cost $2 million over the 2016-2020 period. Further, it projects that increases in spending and penalties would cost less than $500,000 per year and would offset each other in most years.

More Information

In-Depth: Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) said that her bill:
“Provides much-needed enforcement tools to the Coast Guard and NOAA to combat IUU fishing, and it implements a treaty ratified by the Senate last year to deny vessels port entry and services if they engage in IUU fishing.”

This bill was passed unanimously by the House Committee on Natural Resources. Identical legislation was also passed by the Committee on December 22, 2014, but it did not receive a vote before the end of the 113th Congress.


Other provisions of this bill include:

The Secretary of Commerce would be directed to participate in and provide assistance to international efforts addressing IUU fishing activities, bycatch concerns, fisheries monitoring, and other efforts to achieve sustainable fisheries. Additional enforcement authority related to illegally harvested or imported fish products would be provided by this legislation -- in addition to provisions for information sharing with international fishing agreement partners.

The Secretary would be required to notify the President and any nation whose vessel has been identified engaging in IUU fishing activities or practices within the past three years, and would be authorized to take actions against nations that fail to address or regulate the illegal activity.


Of Note: According to NOAA, illegal, unreported, or unregulated (IUU) fishing results in global economic losses between $10 billion and $23 billion each year, and produces between 11 and 26 million tons of illegal seafood -- representing as much as 40 percent of the total catch in some fisheries.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Coast Guard News)

AKA

Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015

Official Title

To strengthen enforcement mechanisms to stop illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, to amend the Tuna Conventions Act of 1950 to implement the Antigua Convention, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • EnactedNovember 5th, 2015
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed October 21st, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • The house Passed July 27th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Water, Oceans, and Wildlife
      Committee on Natural Resources
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
    IntroducedFebruary 5th, 2015

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    If they are agreements then they are enforceable. If they are unenforced than what was actually agreed upon? We do have assets on the high seas already so budgeting is not necessarily impacted.
    Like (7)
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    Our fishing waters are ours and we should move to protect our waters from damage and over fishing by others countries that don't live by or respect our fishing laws and restrictions.
    Like (3)
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    Overfishing is a serious problem. We are fishing the same fish despite the vast diversity in the ocean. These super nets catch everything including dolphins, sharks, etc and it all gets reeled in. Not to mention the amount of fish that are caught simply to feed fish in "fish farms". The U.S. making a statement against illegal fishing is a good start as well as a powerful statement to the international community.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    The penalty is to ONLY prevent them from using US port services? What is the point of that? If you are going to confiscate their ship and cargo like you would for drugs, then let's do it. Otherwise, they will simply take their illegal bounty to another country and continue to poach from legal fishermen...
    Like (3)
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    Share
    Anything we can do to ensure or promote a sustainable US and world fishery has my YES vote!
    Like (3)
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    This would be a big step in insuring plentiful fish stock for future generations.
    Like (2)
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    Making a commitment to fighting illegal fishing is the first step.
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    Illegal fishing can devastate local fisheries and cause damage long-term. This bill will save us money in the long run as well as preserving endangered species.
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    I just read a NY Times article about this issue: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/07/27/world/outlaw-ocean-thailand-fishing-sea-slaves-pets.html?_r=1&referrer= This needs to stop!
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    unless we want maine and other fishery-dependent economies to turn into a sad, rural abstraction of detroit.....? maybe we can't control what others do on the water, but how could we not at least stand up for our own?
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    Illegal fishing should be stopped, this is a good step forward.
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    NO MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    This is harmful to the ecosystems!
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    Illegal fishing is a plight on our oceans, and is slowly killing off precious marine life. If our oceans die, we die with it.
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    Seems like the amount this would cost is too low to justify a Nay vote on such a crucial issue as our global overfishing crisis.
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    This may look all warm and fuzzy on paper, but we cannot regulate the world's fishing practices.
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    Overfishing as a result of illegal fishing will put the earth's fish supply at risk
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    No mo fish boy!!!
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    There needs to be stricter fishing policies to protect the environment.
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    Illegal fishing not only hurts the fish population but are putting endangered sharks at risk by murdering them. Sharks are so important to the ecosystem of the ocean. They are the largest predators therefore maintaining ecological balance. If we allow illegal fisheries to continue to break the law we are condemning our oceans to destruction and doom
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