Role of Fisheries Enforcement in the U.S. Asia-Pacific Rebalance

  • Commander Gregory H. Magee, Jr.

Creating sustainable commercial fisheries in the Asia-Pacific is crucial to regional stability and protecting U.S. interests. This requires enforcement mechanisms to protect the fisheries. As part of the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, supporting regional efforts to improve fisheries enforcement not only protects fish stocks, but serves to increase regional stability and provides a means to engage nations that don’t normally work with the U.S.. The U.S. Coast Guard is the best agency to lead this initiative with considerable expertise in fisheries enforcement in the U.S. and through their leadership role in international engagement. Ways to improve fisheries enforcement include expanding regional forums, utilizing DOD assets for fisheries patrols and working to expand regional partners’ law enforcement capacity. Through these efforts, the U.S. will protect regional fisheries, create a means of engagement, and develop multimissioned forces capable of missions like search and rescue, combatting transnational crime, and humanitarian assistance.