During a Commerce Department oversight hearing today, Senator Ted Stevens asked Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez about combating International Unregulated, Unreported (IUU) fisheries. Stevens says fishing vessels operating under flags of convenience from foreign nations are engaging in the IUU fisheries in the North Pacific, taking immature salmon illegally. Stevens expressed frustration that he couldn’t earmark money for what he called a crisis situation and he asked Gutierrez for help.
Gutierrez said illegal fishing will be on every agenda going forward. He says they will be calling for commitment from China to help stop the IUU fishing vessels. Stevens said he hopes the Bush administration will raise the issue with the UN. He also said any vessels off loading fish should be required to record what they caught and where they caught it.
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage