US issuing new rules to curb illegal fishing, seafood fraud

The Obama administration is issuing new rules it says will crack down on illegal fishing and seafood fraud.

The new protections are called the Seafood Import Monitoring Program. They are designed to stop illegally fished and misidentified seafood from getting into stores and restaurants in the U.S.

An arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will administer the program. The government says the rules will require seafood importers to report information and maintain records about the harvest and chain of custody of fish.

The government says the program will start by focusing on "priority species" that are especially vulnerable to illegal fishing. Those include tuna, swordfish and grouper.

The rules go on the books in January 2017 and compliance is expected a year later.