In a victory for sustainable seafood advocates everywhere, President Obama announced this week the first major piece of legislation that would make total transparency attainable in the fishing industry. The Seafood Import Monitoring Program would inspect at-risk seafood products at each step of the way, from the fishing boat to U.S. shores, in order to combat fraud and illegal fishing.
Over the past year, investigative journalism has uncovered slavery within the fishing industry in Indonesia, one of the major exporters of seafood internationally to major Western markets. This week, Bumblebee Tuna executive Walter Scott Cameron, the senior vice president of sales, pled guilty to price fixing, according to CNN Money.
“Today’s announcement is a groundbreaking step towards more transparency and traceability in the seafood supply chain,” said Beth Lowell, a senior campaign director for seafood sustainability nonprofit Oceana, in a statement. “We applaud President Obama for his ambitious plan to require traceability for imported seafood ‘at-risk’ of illegal fishing and seafood fraud.”