End Illegal Pirate Fishing

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Target: Speaker of the House John Boehner

Goal: Ban illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, also known as “pirate fishing”

Illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, also known as “pirate fishing,” has damaged the global economy and our marine ecosystem. It occurs in both small and large-scale operations and accounts for about 20% of the world’s total catch.  Since pirate fishers do not report the actual amount of their catches, this number could be even higher.

Economically, pirate fishing accounts for an estimated $10 billion to $23 billion in global losses annually, with local, honest fisherman taking a major hit.  The governments of these countries lose money from licensing fees, landing fees, and unpaid taxes.  Environmentally, the effects are just as damaging.  Areas with the most ecological damage are the Gulf of California, coastal east Africa, the Mesoamerican Reef, and the Galápagos Islands.  Coral reef, tuna, and sea turtles have taken a major blow; in fact, one of the primary reasons for the endangerment of sea turtles is pirate fishing.

Luckily, there is a solution.  U.S. Senators Rockefeller (D-WV) and Murkowski (R-AK) introduced two bills: the International Fisheries Stewardship Act and the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act.  If passed, strict measures to prevent and deter illegal fishing would be upheld.  Also, misidentifying market fish and fish products would become illegal, which would help keep fish for consumption at top-quality.  Please petition Speaker of the House John Boehner and ask him to co-sponsor these acts to protect our economy and those of developing countries, as well as to protect our marine life.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Speaker John Boehner,

Our economy and marine ecosystem are in turmoil.  Illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing, or “pirate fishing,” is a major international issue.  Ecological damage to various marine life, including sea turtles, coral reef, and tuna are some of the species that have been affected, with areas of major ecological damage including east Africa, the Mesoamerican Reef, the Gulf of California, and the Galápagos Islands.

As for the economy, an estimated $10 billion to $23 billion are lost annually from pirate fishing.  Our own economy is affected, and the U.S. cannot afford any more economical damage.

U.S. Senators Rockefeller (D-WV) and Murkowski (R-AK) introduced two bills (the International Fisheries Stewardship Act and the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act) which will help to put an end to pirate fishing.  I ask that you please support our marine ecosystem, our economy, and the economy of developing countries by co-sponsoring these acts.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pål Julius Skogholt via Wikimedia Commons

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