|© Doug Perrine/Seapics.org|
STRP has gained 14 influential allies on Capitol Hill in our campaign to get the U.S government to enforce one of our nation's most critical environmental laws, the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Fourteen members of Congress signed our letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service demanding the immediate prohibition of swordfish imports until foreign countries meet the same environmental standards as our own U.S. swordfish fleet.
Click here to see the letter.
In 1972, Congress recognized that fishing posed a grave threat to marine mammal species when it passed the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Congress also realized that marine mammal conservation could not be accomplished through regulation of U.S. fishers alone. Therefore, Section 101 of the MMPA states that the U.S. government "shall ban the importation of commercial fish or fish products that have been caught with commercial fishing technology that results in the incidental kill or incidental serious injury of marine mammals in excess of United States standards."
For the last 35 years, the U.S. has failed to enforce section 101 of the MMPA. Poorly regulated foreign fisheries have sold their catch alongside that of U.S. fishers, effectively subverting the intent of the MMPA, promoting the destruction of marine mammal populations, and harming U.S. fishermen who have adopted protective measures to reduce marine mammal bycatch.
The global decimation of marine mammals has to stop. Scientists estimate that over 300,000 marine mammals die every year in global fisheries. Controlling access to the U.S. marketplace is one of the most effective tools we have to influence foreign fishermen. Thanks to our petition, we are one step closer to this reality. Please donate to STRP to help us stop the importation of swordfish imports until foreign fishing fleets meet our own environmental standards.