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Weekly Overview: New US Seafood Traceability Programme a Step Towards Tackling IUU Fishing

9 February 2016, at 12:00am

ANALYSIS - A new proposal for creating a US seafood traceability programme has been announced, aiming to ensure that global seafood resources are sustainably managed and not fraudulently marketed.

The proposal has been set out by National Ocean Council Committee to Combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud.

The proposed system will collect data about harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products imported into the US identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and seafood fraud.

“Traceability is a key tool for combating illicit activities that threaten valuable natural resources, increase global food security risk and disadvantage law-abiding fishermen and seafood producers,” said Kathryn D. Sullivan, PhD, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

“We are asking the seafood industry, trade and consumer sectors, our international partners and the conservation community to help guide us in creating an effective, efficient programme.”

New research from the University of Delaware has found that useful predictions about sturgeon locations can be made using satellite measurements of ocean colour and temperature.

By studying sturgeon locations and seascape characteristics, the scientists found that sturgeon prefer some areas over others.

The scientists aren't sure why the sturgeon prefer certain areas. Sturgeon are typically bottom feeders, eliminating the idea that they may be chasing prey that is moving with the seascapes.

The findings bring researchers one step closer to developing an online map that would help Mid-Atlantic fishermen avoid accidentally catching Atlantic sturgeon.

In disease news, two outbreaks of hepatopancreatitis have been reported on prawn farms in Queensland, Australia.

The affected tiger prawns were farmed in a semi-closed systems in Bundaberg and Cardwell, which are both located on Queensland's coast.


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