Manager   •   about 8 years ago

Problem Statement 15-18: "Develop solutions to address seafood fraud across North America."

Both the United States and Canada are members of several regional fishery management organizations. The countries share three oceans and the Great Lakes (containing 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface water). Forty percent of the U.S.-Canadian border is water.
• Canada’s annual fish and seafood exports were $4.4 billion in 2013.
• The United States is the main destination for Canadian seafood exports (63% of exports in 2010 – latest open-source data). Next largest markets are the EU, China, Japan (2010 data).
• Canada’s commercial fishing industry employs 80,000 people domestically and is the economic mainstay of 1,500 rural and coastal communities.

Problem Statement
Develop solutions to the issue of seafood fraud discussed in the additional background.

Additional Background
• Seafood fraud. On March 15, 2015, the Obama administration unveiled sweeping new measures to prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing by better tracking where seafood is caught and shipped to the United States. Per the NOAA administrator, illegal “fishing and seafood fraud undermine economic and environmental sustainability of fisheries and fish stocks in the US and around the world.” A presidential task force drafted the plan, which has 15 measures to curb illegal fishing and fraud, including leaning on foreign governments to crack down on pirates stealing fish from other countries’ waters.
o Canada: The Canadian Government submitted comments on the plan, stating its full support and reiterating its position at the forefront of promoting sustainable fisheries management and aquaculture development. Canada has developed a number of initiatives for improved tracking and tracing of Canadian fish and seafood, including a Catch Certification Program. They also recommended (among other things) additional studies on seafood labeling and substitution fraud to identify its various forms, how it is conducted, who participates, who benefits, and potential risks, as well as global guidance on DNA testing and potential linkages between aquaculture/ranching and fish launder/fraud.
o Global impact: Ending IUU fishing requires collaboration with interested stakeholders and global partners. Global losses attributable to IUU fishing are estimated at $10 billion to $23 billion annually, and pirate fishing vessels take in fish without regard to the sustainability of ocean ecosystems. Not required to file trip plans or carry transponders, the ships also become vectors for human, drug, and arms trafficking. Black-market fishing distorts legal markets and displaces law-abiding fishermen. The challenges are then compounded by seafood fraud – mislabeling, misbranding, or falsification of product origins – which can occur at any point in the supply chain.

Core Category
Traceability; Conservation

Organization Name
US Embassy Toronto

Organization Address
US Embassy Toronto

Organization Point of Contact (Name)
Cynthia Wang

Organization Point of Contact (Title)
Pol/Econ Officer

Organization Point of Contact (Email Address)

Focus Area
Illegal Fishing

Solution Category


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