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NOAA accepting final comments on new illegal seafood rules

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Federal fishing regulators who are hoping to crack down on illegal fishing imports are closing the public comment period on proposed new rules.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has supported changes that would create a new system to collect data about commercial fishing catch. The new rules would also track trips ashore and the chain of custody of fish and fish products imported into the U.S.

NOAA says the information collected under the new standards would help authorities verify that imported fish was lawfully acquired.

A national group called the National Ocean Council Committee to Combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud proposed the rules in February.

NOAA is accepting comments from the public about the proposal until Tuesday.