Oceana recently released a poll revealing that 83 percent of Americans support new requirements focused on eliminating seafood fraud in the U.S. Key findings from the poll include:
• Support for new seafood traceability requirements is consistent across demographic (gender, age, education and region) and political lines (Democrat-87 percent and Republican-81 percent).
• Seventy-one percent of Americans believe that seafood fraud is a problem in the U.S.
• Seventy-six percent would pay more to know that their seafood is legally caught and honestly labeled.
• Eighty-eight percent think it is important to know what type of seafood they are eating.
The Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud, which originally was established in June 2014, released a proposed rule in February that would require increased documentation and traceability for 13 at-risk seafood types from the boat to the U.S. border. The Obama administration is expected to soon issue its final traceability rule to address seafood fraud in the U.S.
“From our investigations, we know that seafood fraud is a pervasive issue in the United States, but now it’s clear that Americans want a solution,” said Beth Lowell, senior campaign director at Oceana. “President Obama has a legacy-building opportunity to protect Americans from seafood fraud and illegal fishing. While the proposed seafood traceability program is a great step in the right direction, it’s critical that the Obama administration and Congress commit to expanding it to include all seafood and extending it from boat to plate. American consumers have a right to know more about their seafood, including what kind of fish it is, and how and where it was caught or farmed. Without full-chain traceability for all seafood, consumers will continue to be cheated; hardworking, honest fishermen will continue to be undercut; and the long-term productivity of our oceans will continue to be in jeopardy. All seafood sold in the U.S. should be safe, legally caught and honestly labeled.”