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NOAA Trade Monitoring Programs to go Electronic – Another Tool for Combatting IUU Fishing

View slideshow U.S. imports of fisheries products have increased steadily for many years. Credit: Data analysis by Linda Chaves, NOAA Fisheries import1.png import2.png export1.png export2.png

July 8, 2013

NOAA Trade Monitoring Programs for seafood and fisheries products will be going electronic. NOAA Fisheries is working with U.S. Customs & Border Protection on the International Trade Data System (ITDS), a single U.S. government system for electronic submission of trade data. The new system will make it easier for industry and seafood suppliers to import/export seafood products and will enhance our ability to ensure only legally caught seafood enters the U.S. market.

As part of its mission to sustainably manage fishery resources, NOAA Fisheries implements international trade monitoring programs initiated by international fishery management organizations or required by domestic law.  With seafood imports currently representing approximately 90 percent of U.S. seafood supplies, these trade monitoring programs are a crucial tool for NOAA to stop illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishery products from entering the United States.

Interested in learning more about the seafood the Unites States important and exports? Click on the graph (right) to view the slideshow.  

How will ITDS work and what does it mean for U.S. industry and consumers?

Today seafood traders must submit information to multiple agencies multiple times through processes that are largely paper-based and manual. Under ITDS, traders will submit their import and export data only one time to a single electronic system.  This will reduce the costs of documenting shipments for both the private sector and government agencies.

In addition, U.S. consumers will have even greater confidence that their seafood is legally caught as ITDS will allow NOAA Fisheries to identify and stop shipments of illegally caught seafood faster and more effectively. In line with the President’s National Export Initiative, ITDS will also facilitate the flow of U.S. seafood exports thus strengthening the economy and supporting U.S. jobs. .

“We are really looking forward to seeing this new electronic trade system go live”, said Chris Rogers from NOAA Fisheries International Affairs. “We have been working on this system for over 5-years and believe it will make it much easier for traders to import and export seafood products, as well as help our global fight against IUU fishing.”

Under ITDS, NOAA plans to establish a single international trade permit with electronic entry filing for three of its trade monitoring programs: the Tuna Tracking and Verification Program, the Highly Migratory Species International Trade Permits, and the Antarctic Marine Living Resources Trade Permits.Stay tuned as NOAA releases proposed regulations detailing its ITDS implementation plans in the near future. 

Picture Caption (above): Workers processing skipjack tuna for canning at a processing plant in Nigbo, China.