US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced Friday that the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ordered seafood from a Chinese company be detained after the agency found reasonable evidence it was harvested and produced with forced labor.
The CBP announced it had issued a "withhold release order" -- essentially an instruction to seize goods at US ports -- for product harvested or processed by harvesting group Dalian Ocean Fishing Co. after investigations found the company's distant-water fishing operations may be using forced labor.
Importers of any products from the company, meanwhile, are required to submit an array of evidence to prove the goods were not produced with forced labor, according to the CBP.
Federal statute prohibits the importation of merchandise produced, wholly or in part, by convict labor, forced labor or indentured labor.
Dalian Ocean Fishing Co. is based in China's Liaoning Province, and targets primary bigeye and yellowfin tuna. The company operates over 30 longline fishing vessels, according to its website.