U.S. Interagency Working Group on IUU Fishing
The efforts of the U.S. Interagency Working Group on IUU Fishing now sit at the heart of our government’s coordination on tackling IUU fishing practices and setting the conditions where IUU fishing is neither accepted nor commonplace in the future.
Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global problem that threatens ocean ecosystems and sustainable fisheries. It also threatens our economic security and the natural resources that are critical to global food security, and it puts law-abiding fishermen and seafood producers in the United States and abroad at a disadvantage.
The Maritime Security and Fisheries Enforcement (SAFE) Act provides a whole-of-government approach to counter IUU fishing and related threats to maritime security. Section 3551 of the Act requires the establishment of an Interagency Working Group to strengthen maritime security and combat IUU fishing.
Combating IUU fishing is a top priority for the United States, and communication, collaboration and strategic coordination will be key in bringing about tangible results. The efforts of the U.S. Interagency Working Group on IUU Fishing now sit at the heart of our government’s coordination on tackling IUU fishing practices and setting the conditions where IUU fishing is neither accepted nor commonplace in the future.
View recent message from member agencies about our work.
The working group brings together twenty-one agencies for an integrated, federal government-wide response to IUU fishing globally. The group's chair and deputy chair positions rotate among NOAA, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Coast Guard. NOAA is serving as the first chair. Additional members of the working group include representatives from:
- National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration
- U.S. Department of State
- U.S. Coast Guard
- Council on Environmental Quality
- Director of National Intelligence, Representative of
- National Security Council
- Office of Management and Budget
- Office of Science and Technology Policy
- Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
- U.S. Agency for International Development
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- U.S. Department of Defense
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- U.S. Department of Justice
- U.S. Department of Labor
- U.S. Department of the Treasury
- U.S. Federal Trade Commission
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- U.S. Navy
Dr. Kelly Kryc, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Fisheries, is the current Chair of the Working Group in coordination with Deputy Chairs, Professor Maxine Burkett, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans, Fisheries and Polar Affairs from the Department of State, and Rear Admiral Jo-Ann F. Burdian, Assistant Commandant for Response Policy from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Since its inaugural meeting on June 24, 2020, the working group has been discussing priority activities, as well as processes for identifying priority regions and priority flag states, engagement with stakeholders, reports to Congress, and working group structure. Tasks also include the implementation of Section 5 of the Executive Order on Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth, issued on May 7, 2020.
Comments on Interagency Work Plan
The working group has developed a Work Plan—a living document to guide its day-to-day work, as well as serve as the foundation for the 5-year Strategic Plan. It contains a brief background, identifies subworking groups and task groups, lists the range of activities and associated tasks to combat IUU fishing, and describes areas for interagency collaboration.
Interagency Working Group on IUU Fishing: Work Plan
Public Listening Sessions
The working group continues to host public listening sessions to engage with the public on its work. The listening sessions consist of brief presentations followed by an opportunity for listeners to provide verbal comments to the working group.
July 15, 2021 listening session: Transcript
Resources and Reports
- National 5-Year Strategy for Combating IUU Fishing, (pdf)
- Priority Regions At Risk of IUU Fishing Activities (pdf)
- Report to Congress on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement (pdf)
- Report to Congress of the Gulf of Mexico Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Subworking Group (pdf)
- Report to Congress on Forced Labor and the Seafood Supply Chain (pdf)
Joint Message – U.S. Interagency Working Group Marks International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing
- Executive Order on Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth (pdf)
- Memo on Opening of the U.S. Interagency Working Group on IUU Fishing (pdf)
- Subtitle C: Maritime SAFE Act (pdf)