NOAA Fisheries has announced a new public-private initiative—the Collaborative Accelerator for Lawful Maritime Conditions in Seafood, also called CALM-CS—which will promote legal and safe working conditions, including combating forced labor, in the fishing and seafood industry.
Illegal and inhumane working conditions in the seafood sector, such as forced labor are devastating for the victims and their families. They also contribute to destabilization of maritime security and supply chains, as well as the degradation of fisheries and broader marine ecosystems. Left unchecked, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and associated labor abuses undermine U.S. economic competitiveness, national security, fishery sustainability, and the livelihoods and human rights of fishers around the world.
In a recent National Security Memorandum on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Associated Labor Abuses, President Biden reinforced the commitment of the U.S. Government to fight labor abuses in the seafood sector. President Biden also called for agencies to increase their collaboration with non-governmental partners to develop comprehensive approaches to combat these conditions. CALM-CS responds to this call.