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US-EU Pledge Will Protect Massachusetts' Fishermen From Illegal Fishing

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) today applauded the United States and the European Union for signing a historic, bilateral pledge to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The deal, signed by Dr. Jane Lubchenco, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator, and Maria Damanaki, European Union Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, will help protect fishermen in Massachusetts who share fish stocks with other countries and must compete in the global marketplace against illegal products.

"Illegal foreign fishing kills jobs in Massachusetts and this is a gut punch to those who break the rules," said Sen. Kerry. "It's wrong to expect Massachusetts law-abiding fishermen to compete on an unlevel playing field in the global market and today's move will help even the score for the entire industry and fishermen up and down New England. By joining forces, the United States and the European Union have taken a strong stand in the fight to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing."

Kerry is a co-sponsor of the International Fisheries Stewardship and Enforcement Act, legislation aimed at closing gaps in U.S. law to prevent IUU fish products from entering the country, strengthening IUU enforcement programs, and providing capacity building to other countries to address IUU fishing.

Globally, IUU fishing robs law-abiding fishermen and coastal communities of up to $23 billion of seafood and seafood products each year.

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