Three environmental and conservation advocacy groups have moved to intervene in a lawsuit filed by a group of seafood processing, distribution and retail companies to block implementation of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program. Alfa Int’l Seafood, Inc. v. Sullivan, No. 17-0031 (D.D.C., motion filed March 7, 2017).
Natural Resources Defense Council, Oceana and the Center for Biological Diversity are asking to defend the oversight program, known as the Seafood Traceability Rule, which gives the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration power over stringent reporting and recordkeeping of fish catches, vessel and species identification, names of buyers and other chain-of-custody information. The National Marine Fisheries Service published the rule in December 2016 to combat U.S. imports of seafood alleged to be the product of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, along with fraudulent practices such as mislabeling of species.