SeaBOS welcomes Japan’s stance in IUU fishingSeaBOS chair Therese Log Bergjord. Photo: Skretting

A coalition that brings together more than a hundred leading seafood companies has congratulated the Japanese government on the introduction of new fisheries legislation designed to prevent distribution in Japan of seafood from IUU fishing, form both domestic and imported sources.

Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS), the Global Tuna Alliance (GTA), and the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) consider the legislative actions by Japan as key drivers towards eliminating IUU fishing, and a significant step towards further governmental and industry collaboration.

“Our organisations congratulate the Japanese government on the introduction of these new laws which are a positive step towards eliminating IUU fishing, globally,” said SeaBOS chair Therese Log Bergjord.

“Strong legislation and credible traceability programs help stop IUU seafood production and distribution. The new actions by Japan are in line with outcomes from the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy1 and this global seafood coalition remains committed to helping put an end to IUU fishing.”

The coalition remains committed to working with governments to ensure sustainable seafood production, which can only happen by stopping IUU fishing on a global scale. They recognise the importance of companies in the seafood supply chain demonstrating support for government actions such as the new laws introduced in Japan, by taking industry initiatives such as implementing traceability of the seafood they produce or purchase.

“We believe that if industry and governments act together, fishers engaged in IUU fishing activities will have nowhere to land or sell their catch,” said Tom Pickerell, Executive Director of GTA.

In an earlier statement, the coalition noted the importance of governments ratifying and implementing the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), or implement measures that are consistent with PSMA. Further, for governments to ensure that information on all vessels operating internationally is provided to the FAO Global Record, along with timely exchange of vessel data between flag and port States to enable an effective implementation of port measures is also needed.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Collaboration (APEC) 2021 meeting is recognised as a valuable opportunity to build consensus around the goal of eliminating IUU fishing.

“We hope the government of Japan will join with its partners on the High-Level Panel and with other governments in the Pacific at APEC, in a concerted effort to end the threat that IUU fishing poses to our seafood industry and to the economic and food security of the region” added ISSF President Susan Jackson.

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