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Protecting Mississippi’s Fishing Jobs: U.S. Senate Takes Action on Treaties

WASHINGTON, D.C.–You may not know it, but Mississippi is the sixth  largest seafood producing state in the country in terms of pounds of seafood harvested. Now action from the U.S. Senate taken this week is expected to help protect jobs in Mississippi and all of the coastal U.S. from illegal pirate fishing.

The Senate approved four treaties that would protect American fishermen from  illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices. The measures now goes to President Obama for his approval.

“Pirate fishing is a global problem with very local consequences,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). “Mississippi is home to many hardworking fishing communities that depend on the ocean for their livelihoods. Ratifying these treaties show that the United States is committed to enforcing fisheries laws and protecting American workers.”

Wicker said estimates show that IUU fishing costs as much as $23 billion a year globally and poses a serious threat to the sustainability of marine habitats.  In some parts of the world, it accounts for up to 40 percent of the wild marine fish caught.

Nationally, commercial and recreational fishing industries are responsible for 1.7 million American jobs and countless more at docks and facilities for processing and distribution, a portion of that in your state.

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