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House Representatives introduce bipartisan legislation to combat illegal fishing and forced labor

by Katie Nelson

May 11, 2021

"Congress and US companies must support this bill and stop all illegally caught seafood, including forced labor-produced seafood, from being sold to US consumers.”

Washington, D.C. — Today, Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Garret Graves (R-LA) introduced the Illegal Fishing and Forced Labor Prevention Act in the US House of Representatives. [1] If passed, the bill would expand the authority of the United States government, giving it new power in the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU), forced labor, and other human rights abuses connected to the commercial fishing sector.

In response, Andy Shen, Senior Oceans Adviser at Greenpeace USA, said, 

“The Illegal Fishing and Forced Labor Prevention Act recognizes that illegal fishing and labor rights abuse are interconnected and provides critical, tailored solutions that address both. This bill, if adopted in its current form, could significantly improve conditions for fishers by placing pressure on seafood companies and fishing nations to meet higher labor and environmental standards in order to access the US market. It could also change the policies and practices of US brands and retailers that have profited from human rights and environmental abuse for far too long. Congress and US companies must support this bill and stop all illegally caught seafood, including forced labor-produced seafood, from being sold to US consumers.”

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is a top contributor to the loss of marine biodiversity and the depletion of the world’s fisheries, and as well is connected to human rights abuses of people around the globe. Greenpeace USA and its allies are calling on Congress to pass the Illegal Fishing and Forced Labor Prevention Act, an imperative step for the United States’ leadership in tackling illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and human rights abuses in the commercial fishing sector. 

Notes: 

[1] The press release from Huffman and Graves is available here

Contact: 

Katie Nelson, Strategic Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA +1 (678) 644-1681, [email protected] 

Katie Nelson

By Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson is a Senior Communications Specialist at Greenpeace USA.

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