Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global threat facing the achievement of sustainable fisheries. While not a new phenomenon, this great ocean heist accounts for estimates of between $10 and $23 billion annually in revenue losses worldwide. IUU fishing leads to environmental degradation, political instability, corruption, slave labor, and smuggling of illicit cargo. Acknowledging the often-opaque nature of fishing enforcement and prosecution, illegal fishermen are adept at skirting the laws and evading authorities.As a result, the main goal of this fellowship with the Marine Conservation Institute was to affect policy change within the current Congress to pass three pieces of IUU legislation (H.R. 69, S. 267, and S. 269) – all aimed at streamlining current laws, strengthening enforcement, and denying IUU imports from entering the United States. Campaign tactics to move these bills out of Congress included lobbying and educating Congressional staff about IUU fishing and the impacts of the bills, identifying Republican and Democratic ocean champions, engaging in outreach through various platforms, attending Congressional hearings and meetings, and developing recommendations to deliver to federal agencies. While the campaign’s ultimate goals to pass all three bills are still in progress, the Marine Conservation Institute has been successful in moving H.R. 69 forward for a final vote by the House of Representatives, opening dialogue with new Congressional ocean champions, and positioning the bills to move out of Congress to later be signed into law by the President, ideally before the 114thCongress is sworn into office.
Jennings, Lindsay, "Priate fishing and politics: Getting Congressional support for illegal fishing legislation" (2014). Internship Reports (Restricted). 141.
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