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Feds: New Traceability Rules Would Cut Down Illegal Seafood

 PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Federal authorities want feedback from the public about new rules they hope will take a bite out of the illegal fishing imports that jeopardize the country's multibillion-dollar commercial fishing industry.

    A national council proposed the rules this month. They would create a new system to collect data about harvest, docking and chain of custody of fish and fish products imported into the U.S. The system would apply to key food fish like cod and tuna.

    A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official says the rule changes are critical to combat illegal fishing activities that harm food security and negatively impact law-abiding fishermen.

    The proposal will be the subject of a public information presentation in Boston on March 7 at the Seafood Expo North America. NOAA also is accepting public comments.