We appreciate Congress’ support for the Seafood Import Monitoring Program in the FY2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. The Seafood Import Monitoring Program is critical to curbing Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing and ensuring that seafood imported into the United States is legally harvested and truthfully represented - leveling the playing field for U.S. fishermen and aquaculture producers, and those around the world who play by the rules.
The action by Congress to lift the stay on shrimp and abalone inclusion in the Seafood Import Monitoring Program, and to establish a domestic aquaculture traceability program, gives both the mandate and the mechanism to address the data gap between domestic traceability reporting for aquaculture and the requirements that the Seafood Import Monitoring Program imposes on international imports, which led to designation of the stay.
We will work swiftly to promulgate regulations, establish reporting systems, and engage with foreign governments, exporters, importers, the U.S. aquaculture industry, and public stakeholders in support of an orderly and timely implementation of these important initiatives.
Director, Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection