Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Tuesday released the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s announcement that he will direct federal agencies to develop a comprehensive program aimed at deterring illegal fishing, addressing seafood fraud, and preventing illegally caught fish from entering the marketplace by increasing seafood traceability and transparency:
“I commend the president for taking action today to combat seafood fraud and illegal fishing, which is putting Central Coast consumers at risk and undercutting our local fishers who follow the rules.
"Seafood fraud directly impacts Central Coast consumers, small businesses, and fishers, and action is needed. That is why I led my colleagues in pushing the administration to take action on this important issue. Central Coast fishers, conservation groups and the federal government have worked together in recent years to increase the sustainability of Central Coast fisheries, and today’s announcement will help support and protect that effort going forward.”
Capps spearheaded a letter last fall urging the president to initiate an interagency rulemaking that “improves agency coordination and communication, strengthens border inspections to detect mislabeled seafood, establishes a standard for national traceability of seafood products, and ensures that consumers have access to information about where their seafood comes from.”
Capps is also the lead sponsor of bipartisan legislation (House Resolution 1012) that would establish traceability standards and strengthen interagency coordination and enforcement to combat seafood fraud.
— Chris Meagher is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.