Bill combating illegal fishing awaits president’s signature

Congress has passed a bill to combat pirate fishing.

The bill, called the “Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act” now goes to the president of his signature.

It puts in law the provisions of an international treaty aimed at denying illegal fishing vessels access to a country’s ports.

The bill was sponsored by all members of the Alaska delegation and supported by Alaska’s fishing industry. Its passage was also cheered by conservation groups like the World Wildlife Fund.

That group’s vice president for Ocean Policy, Michele Kuruc, says the bill and the treaty behind it provide practical ways to crack down on illegal fishing.

“Illegal fish are caught in a very widespread ocean, and they have to come into port somewhere,” she said. “So this is trying to be a cost-effective way to catch them when they come into port.”

The bill passed both houses of congress without opposition.

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at Read more about Liz here.

Previous article‘Head up, heart strong’ — Determination, hope and healing
Next articleWasilla lawmaker: Keep education spending in check, cut rural schools