By Catherine Simons, Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Officials from the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Homeland Security (DHS) co-hosted a workshop, June 11, to examine opportunities and challenges across federal agencies for application to the combating of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
As the Director of the Office of the DoD Executive Agent for Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) and Oceanographer/Navigator of the Navy, Rear Adm. Jonathan W. White, along with DHS counterparts hosted the all-day workshop at the historic U.S. Naval Observatory.
Key stakeholders from across the federal family gathered to discuss enterprise tools relevant to the combating of IUU fishing & seafood fraud.
Subject-matter experts, technical analysts, and policy advisers were among those in attendance, each carefully selected for their unique perspectives and contributions to the identification and examination of enterprise tools used by the interagency MDA and fisheries communities in combating IUU fishing and seafood fraud.
IUU fishing and seafood fraud represents significant losses to both domestic and international economies to the order of $10 to $25 billion annually. In addition, IUU fishing fuels trafficking operations and undermines the legal fishing industry.
To address this pressing issue, the Obama Administration released a presidential memorandum entitled, "Establishing a Comprehensive Framework to Combat IUU Fishing & Seafood Fraud," in June 2014.
As a result, the Presidential Task Force was stood up and directed to provide the president with implementation recommendations. Following a public engagement process, the IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud Task Force released its recommendations and later an implementation action plan outlining 15 recommendations to achieve the comprehensive framework.
This MDA workshop was one of several implementation steps outlined in the action plan's recommendation #3: Maritime Domain Awareness.
Working group members included representatives from DoD, DHS, Department of State and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Participants in the workshop included representatives from the Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Intelligence, Naval Research Laboratory, U.S. Coast Guard, National Maritime Intelligence Integration Office, Information Sharing Environment, U.S. Agency for International Development, National Security Agency and the Department of Transportation.