May 23, 2022 – This week in Tokyo, an unusual and influential collection of 17 seafood industry and civil society groups issued a powerful joint statement urging the government of Japan to strengthen its policies and actions against IUU fishing. Among the key recommendations was the implementation of a national seafood traceability system based on the GDST seafood traceability standards. Led by the Anti IUU Forum Japan, the statement was delivered in person at a meeting with the Director General of the Japanese Fisheries Agency and the Senior Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Noting the forward-looking steps already taken by Japan in the fight against IUU, the groups also called for the implementation of electronic catch documentation, full participation in the FAO Global Record of Fishing Vessels, and expansion of current Japanese anti-IUU import controls to cover major commercial species such as tuna and eel. The statement further noted the need for import controls against products associated with human rights abuses. The inclusion of GDST implementation among the recommended actions is a further indication of the strong and growing momentum behind the global adoption of the GDST standards.