Reps. Farenthold and Lynch Introduce Bill to Fight Seafood Fraud and Illegal Fishing

Jul 29, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Blake Farenthold (TX-27) and Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08) introduced H.R. 3282, the Protecting Honest Fishermen Act of 2015.  This bill will level the playing field for honest American fishermen who are playing by the rules and competing with illegal and mislabeled products. This bill will require important information to accompany the seafood from the boat to the end consumer.  Currently, U.S. fishermen already provide this information, but out of country seafood suppliers do not have to follow the same disclosure requirements. This bill will also help improve systems for seafood safety, legality, traceability, and consumer information.

“Every day American fishermen are out on the water complying with an abundance of Federal regulations,” said Congressman Farenthold. “While international fishermen simply pull into American ports and off load their catches without following the same rules. It’s time to level the playing field and require all seafood sold in the U.S. to supply the same information. It’s about transparency and protecting our hardworking men and woman in the seafood industry.”

“The fishing industry shapes the economic and cultural history of Massachusetts’ coastal communities. Seafood fraud puts the health of consumers and the livelihood of fishermen at risk. The Protecting Honest Fishermen Act of 2015 will improve seafood safety and traceability so consumers are purchasing seafood products that are legal and safe to eat,” said Congressman Lynch. “I am pleased to partner with Congressman Blake Farenthold on this important legislation, which will increase transparency and protect U.S. fishermen from the damaging economic impact of seafood fraud.”

The Protecting Honest Fishermen Act of 2015 expands seafood traceability to all species, requiring “bait to plate” traceability for consumers, authorizes import refusal of mislabeled seafood, improves interagency cooperation and tracks perpetrators of seafood fraud.  The full text of H.R. 3282, the Protecting Honest Fishermen Act of 2015, can be viewed here.