[MARMAM] Swordfish imports and the MMPA

Michael Milne michael at tirn.net
Mon Jan 26 15:02:31 PST 2009

NMFS has an important public comment period open until Jan. 29th that
greatly affects cetacean (and indirectly sea turtle) conservation:
enforcement of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
As you are aware, the Marine Mammal Protection Act requires any country
wishing to import fish products into the United States to provide proof that
the country¹s fishing practices do not harm or kill marine mammals in excess
of U.S. standards.  Recent information, obtained from a Freedom of
Information Act request, has revealed that the U.S. government has ignored
the mandatory duty of Section 101(a)(2) for decades.  Section 101(a)(2) of
the MMPA states, ³The Secretary of the Treasury shall ban the importation of
commercial fish or products from fish which have been caught with commercial
fishing technology which results in the incidental kill or incidental
serious injury of ocean mammals in excess of United States standards.²
NMFS is soliciting comments regarding how they should proceed with a
petition requesting that the U.S. government immediately comply with MMPA
Section 101(a)(2). See the Federal Register Notice here:
+0+2+0&WAISaction=retrieve>.  The Center for Biological Diversity and Sea
Turtle Restoration Project have requested NMFS immediately comply with the
requirements of the MMPA and ban the imports of foreign swordfish until
exporting countries can provide proof that their fishing practices are
equally protective of marine mammals as methods used by U.S. fishermen.
Please consider adding your organization to our sign-on letter:
Individuals, go to:  http://www.seaturtles.org/article.php?id=1262 to tell
the Secretary of Commerce to enforce Section 101(a)(2) of the MMPA and
restrict imports from countries that don't comply with the law.
Go to: http://www.seaturtles.org/downloads/Swordfish%20Import%20Petition.pdf
to see a full copy of the petition to the Secretary of Commerce.
Thank you, 
Mike Milne

Leatherback Campaign Coordinator
Sea Turtle Restoration Project
415-663-8590 ext. 106


Mike Milne
Leatherback Campaign Coordinator
Sea Turtle Restoration Project
415-663-8590,  ext. 106
415-250-4006 (cell) ***new number***
Check our blog! http://blog.seaturtles.org

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