New US fish import restrictions could affect food supply

President Barack Obama has ordered the National Marine Fisheries Service to create new fish importation standards. The new rules come as the federal government settled a lawsuit with environmentalist groups who sued over the importation of fish from countries that do not have protections for whales and dolphins. At times when fishermen accidentally catch one of the two sea mammals in their nets that results in serious injury or even death.

According to the Environment News Service, environmentalist groups sued citing a section of the Marine Mammal Protection Act that bans the United States from importing seafood unless it meets U.S. whale and dolphin requirements. The new regulations will put foreign fish importers on par with US companies since domestic fish companies since the sea mammals are protected species. Never mind that whales and dolphins can be caught by accident and companies will most times do their utmost to ensure their release since incidents involving sea mammals being caught is usually by accident.

However, the intent of the implementation of such rules will put foreign countries at a disadvantage. It not only will they give US fish companies a slight advantage since they have an easier time following such rules but the regulations will make it harder for foreign companies to import to the US. Consequently, that means foreign fishing company’s profits are effected which also can jeopardize people’s jobs. The new importation rules are a form of protectionism and this, in turn, can lead to fewer choices for fish products for US consumers.

This is another manner that environmentalist groups attack the human food supply. Not only do these fish importation regulations affect people’s lives overseas, they also affect ours here. People are thrown out of work in the countries affected by these new rules and consumers in the US are be left with fewer choices of fish products with price increases to boot. Should protections should be put on whales and dolphins over the needs of human beings to sustain themselves by consuming fish? I think not.