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RCP Congressional Bill Tracker - H.R. 3282


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H.R. 3282: Protecting Honest Fishermen Act of 2015

Title: Protecting Honest Fishermen Act of 2015

Introduced: Jul 29, 2015 (114th Congress)

Sponsor: Rep. Blake Farenthold [R-TX27]

Status: Referred to Committee - Referred to the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans.

Summary: Protecting Honest Fishermen Act of 2015 This bill requires the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to ensure that its seafood inspection activities are coordinated with the national sea grant college program to provide outreach on seafood safety to states, local health agencies, consumers, and the seafood industry. The Department of Commerce and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must ensure that seafood inspections and tests collect information for seafood fraud detection and prevention. "Seafood fraud" is defined as the mislabeling or misrepresentation of seafood information. Seafood imported into the United States or distributed or offered for sale in interstate commerce must display (on its packaging or otherwise accompanying the seafood) through processing, distribution, and final sale: (1) the market and scientific species names, (2) whether the seafood was harvested wild or was farm-raised, (3) the harvest method and date of the catch, and (4) the weight or number of product for an individual fish or lot. Additional information is required for seafood that was: (1) previously frozen, treated with substances affecting weight, or processed in a country other than that in which it was landed or harvested; or (2) farm-raised. The bill exempts importers, processors, distributors, or retailers from violations for unknowingly selling a product that was already mislabeled upon receipt, provided that such entities can produce the appropriate product traceability documentation. As an alternative to the disclosure requirements for certain categories of information, an importer, processor, distributor, or retailer (including a restaurant) may make the information available upon request to federal, state, or local officials authorized to conduct inspections of: (1) seafood, or (2) any facility that processes or sells seafood. Persons engaging in fishing on a U.S. vessel in the exclusive economic zone under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act are deemed to be in compliance with traceability requirements if they disclose data required for a fishery management plan. Seafood imports from an exporter shall be refused admission if any shipment of such seafood appears to be in violation of such seafood traceability requirements or other applicable federal laws or regulations. An exception is provided for individual shipments if the exporter presents evidence of compliance from an accredited laboratory. HHS and Commerce must post on their public websites a list that: (1) includes, by country, each exporter whose seafood is imported or offered for import into the United States; and (2) tracks, for each exporter, the timing, type, and frequency of violations. Commerce is required to: (1) increase the number of shipments inspected for seafood fraud by NOAA inspectors and authorized officers, (2) prevent the percentage of seafood shipments inspected from declining in a subsequent year, and (3) ensure that inspections for fraud prevention also collect seafood safety information. The bill also authorizes states to bring civil actions for seafood fraud violations.


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