Senate Vote on the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 23, 2015

The U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval of the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015 demonstrates clear leadership in the fight to protect global fish stocks and the millions of people who depend on them.

Upon President Obama’s expected signing of this legislation, the United States will ratify the Port State Measures Agreement. Global implementation of robust and coordinated port state measures will make it harder and more expensive for criminals to evade the rules by reducing the number of ports worldwide where IUU fishing products can be landed. Billions of dollars are lost each year to IUU fishing, and we must take action now to level the playing field for honest fishermen and women in the United States and around the world.

The passage of this legislation is a critical step forward, but our fight against IUU fishing doesn’t stop here. I will continue working with nations around the world and urge them to join the Port State Measures Agreement as well. And, because we know that no single nation can possibly police the entire sea, we’ll also begin to implement Sea Scout, an initiative I announced earlier this month at the Our Ocean conference in Chile. Sea Scout is aimed at enhancing global coordination, information sharing, and ultimately enforcement on IUU fishing from pole to pole and across the equator, to help ensure that no patch of it is beyond the law. Working together, we can safeguard a healthy ocean – and its bountiful resources – for future generations.