I am always excited to report positive news (reported at length here).  Starting in the new year, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will require countries exporting seafood to the United States to demonstrate that their fisheries comply with the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).  The US is the world’s largest seafood importer and the MMPA is among the world’s strongest marine mammal protection laws (most of the world’s ∼125 marine mammal species are affected by fisheries bycatch). Because of our far-reaching importance for the marine fisheries, this regulation could have very significant conservation benefits, potentially spilling over to other areas of marine governance. A key aspect many of the smaller (and poorer) countries that rely on exporting fisheries to the US will require additional substantial investments to boost scientific and compliance capacity in order to minimize economic hardship on already poor communities.  This looks like a big win for marine mammals and fisheries sustainability in general.




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