What We Do
With the goal of sustainable global resources and a “level playing field” for U.S. fishermen and seafood producers, the Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection (IASI) engages other countries bilaterally and through various multilateral international fisheries organizations to promote sound management and conservation of global fisheries resources in a manner consistent with U.S. domestic fisheries policy. IASI has a broad mission in the areas of policy, regulation, seafood safety, and trade.
Because fish and other marine wildlife cross national boundaries, the United States shares living marine resources with other countries. The way other countries manage these shared marine resources can therefore directly affect the status of fish stocks and protected or endangered species of importance to the United States. The Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection participates in various international fisheries organizations to achieve effective and responsible marine stewardship and ensure sustainable fisheries management.
Successful fisheries management and conservation practices can only be achieved through international cooperation and collaboration. Working with our international partners, the Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection works to combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, promote comprehensive research on fish and other marine animals that travel through international waters, and preserve endangered species that share our oceans.
The seafood sector plays an important role in the U.S. economy, generating approximately 1.5 million jobs and providing a nutritious source of protein to the American public. As the largest importer and fifth largest exporter of seafood, trade in this sector plays a vital role in the United States.
Combating IUU Fishing
Because the United States imports more than 90 percent of its seafood, NOAA Fisheries works to ensure that high demand for imported seafood does not create incentives for illegal fishing activity. Working in partnership with other U.S. Government agencies, foreign governments and entities, international organizations, non-government organizations, and the private sector is crucial to effectively combating IUU fishing.
Commerce and Certification
The Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection’s Commerce and Certification division works to ensure confidence in US seafood by protecting and strengthening the seafood market through global trade, establishing partnerships with industry and consumer groups and providing voluntary seafood inspection services.
John Henderschedt serves as the Director of the Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection (IASI). In this role, he manages the execution of the office’s broad portfolio which includes international fisheries and conservation engagement (regional fisheries management organizations, multilateral conservation agreements, bilateral consultations), administration of internationally-focused statutory authorities addressing IUU fishing, bycatch, and protection of marine mammals, delivery of NOAA’s Seafood Inspection Program services.