USA Imported Seafood Marine Mammal Bycatch Criteria

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In August, NOAA Fisheries issued a final rule implementing import provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).

The rule implements aspects of the Marine Mammal Protection Act that aim to reduce marine mammal bycatch associated with international commercial fishing operations, by requiring nations exporting fish and fish products to the United States to be held to the same standards as U.S. commercial fishing operations.

The rule also establishes the criteria for evaluating a harvesting nation’s regulatory program for reducing marine mammal bycatch and the procedures required to receive authorization to import fish and fish products into the United States.

The rule also establishes a 5 year exemption period to allow foreign harvesting nations time to develop, as appropriate, regulatory programs comparable in effectiveness to U.S. programs.

According to NOAA, U.S. commercial fishermen abide by some of the world’s most robust conservation practices, including measures to reduce marine mammal bycatch-a global threat to many populations of marine mammals.

For more information, visit: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ia/slider_stories/2016/08/mmpafinalrule.html

source: NOAA Fisheries – Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management Division

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