The Security Impacts of IUU Fishing

September 12, 2018
The Security Impacts of IUU Fishing

The Oceans Caucus Foundation and the Stimson Center co-hosted a panel briefing on Capitol Hill on the security implications of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The panelists included RADM Meredith L. Austin, U.S. Coast Guard Deputy for Operations, Policy, and Capabilities; VADM Michael T. Franken, U.S. Navy (Ret.); and, Dr. David Veal, Executive Director of the American Shrimp Processors Association.

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Panelists spoke about the varied security impacts of IUU fishing, from its national security implications to its impact on the economic and food security of communities, both in the U.S. and around the world, that rely on fisheries for revenue, jobs, and food.

"Traditionally viewed as an environmental and conservation challenge, IUU fishing is a risk that threatens national security, economic security, as well as food and environmental security. IUU fishing also contributes to lawlessness out at sea and breeds the opportunity for slave labor and human trafficking," said Sally Yozell, Director of Stimson’s Environmental Security Program, who moderated the panel.

Senator Chris Coons and Senator Roger Wicker introduced The Maritime SAFE Act in September 2018, which creates a whole-of-government approach to tackling IUU fishing and will allow U.S. government agencies to coordinate and better respond to this issue. Senator Coons attended the panel briefing and spoke about the impact of IUU fishing and the paths that the Maritime SAFE Act lays out to strengthen the U.S. government’s ability to combat IUU fishing with its international partners.

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