When people talk about illegal trafficking in wildlife, the glistening merchandise laid out on crushed ice in the supermarket seafood counter — from salmon to king crab — probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But 90 percent of U.S. seafood is imported, and according to a new study in the journal Marine Policy, as much as a third of that is caught illegally or without proper documentation.
The technical term is IUU fishing, for illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. But such improbable allies as
members of the U.S. Senate now refer to it as “pirate fishing.”
And it ensnares seafood companies, supermarkets, and consumers alike in a trade that is arguably as problematic as trafficking in elephant tusks, rhino horns, and tiger bones.