Being the largest international group aimed at safeguarding aquatic natural habitats and closely monitoring fishing activities carried out in international waters, Oceana has long argued that seafood fraud is a problem which needs to be addressed by authorities and high officials as soon as possible.
The organization now congratulates United States Representatives Edward Markey and Barney Frank for having brought forth this most pressing issue.
Thus, said high officials have just introduced the Safety and Fraud Enforcement for Seafood Act (SAFE Seafood, in fewer words). Should this bill be approved, all seafood that enters the US market from that moment on will benefit from full traceability.
This basically means that consumers will know exactly where their meal comes from, and what it took for it to get on their plates.
As explained on Oceana's official website, it is of utmost importance to keep a close eye on these seafood trading operations, primarily because seafood fraud stands to affect local fishermen, public health and also the environment.
Speaking on behalf of the entire organization, Beth Lowell made a case of how, “Representatives Markey and Frank should be applauded for introducing this much-needed legislation to help stop seafood fraud."
Furthermore, "Seafood fraud is cheating customers, hurting honest fishermen and seafood businesses, putting our health at risk and undermining conservation efforts.”
For those unaware, seafood fraud refers to practices such as species substitution and false labeling. In other words, illegally caught fish is bound to enter the US market without anyone being even remotely aware of this. Apparently, this happens more often than not with species such as the red snapper, the wild salmon and the Atlantic code.
From where we stand, it is indeed a good idea to begin paying much more attention to how our planet's existing fish stocks are managed and exploited, especially because abuses can and will negatively impact both on the natural world and on human society.