The newly announced Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) will offer increased protections to consumers and the environment by cracking down on unverifiable seafood products imported into the US. Seafood imports into the US have been growing yearly, and with higher levels of import come more opportunities for seafood fraud and illegally caught seafood to enter the country.
The goal of SIMP is to hit illegal fishing where it hurts-in the pocketbook. By increasing identification standards, it will be more difficult for illegally fished and misidentified seafood to hit the US market. The new program is possible because of the Executive Order in 2014-Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses by President Obama. This program came into being partially to stop instances of seafood fraud by mislabeling which have been widely reported.
As the project is still in its early stages, it is uncertain how exactly it will work when compared to other international programs such as the Catch Certification Program which is used by both the EU and Canada.
SIMP will start with high value fish such as tuna and swordfish, later expanding to other species.