U.S. Chefs Call on Government to Crack Down on Illegal Fishing, Seafood Fraud, and Human Rights Abuses
Our oceans are under threat from illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. IUU fishing is off the books, ignores domestic and international fisheries laws, and can include fishing in closed areas, with prohibited gear, or for protected or unmanaged species. IUU fishing jeopardizes the health of ocean ecosystems, undermines sustainably managed fisheries, and is often associated with forced labor and human trafficking. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimated that the U.S. imported $2.4 billion in seafood products derived from IUU fishing in 2019 alone. IUU fishing, paired with seafood fraud (specifically species substitution), means that U.S. consumers are unwittingly eating illegally caught or mislabeled seafood, falling victim to a bait and switch. The large volumes of illegally caught and fraudulently labeled seafood that enters U.S. markets every year make it difficult for chefs to verify that the seafood they serve is legally caught, sustainable, ethically sourced, and honestly labeled.
Chefs nationwide are banding together to call on Congress to crack down on illegal fishing, seafood fraud, and related forced labor and human rights abuses. By collecting key information about seafood — including the species, and where and how it was caught — eliminating loopholes in the United States’ traceability rules, making seafood traceable from boat (or farm) to the consumer’s plate, and taking a stronger stand against countries that ignore illegal fishing within their fleets, the U.S. can leverage its buying power to eliminate illegal fishing, seafood fraud, and forced labor practices from our markets. These measures will allow chefs to feel confident in the seafood they serve.
Join other chefs in standing up for safe, legally caught, responsibly sourced, and honestly labeled seafood today. Complete the form below to sign our letter asking Congress to crack down on illegal fishing, seafood fraud, and forced labor practices.