SSI Review: Standards and Blue Economy Press release

The sustainable seafood market is surging. In 2015, demand from big retailers and restaurant chains pushed suppliers to certify a catch valued at $11.5 billion USD, a study found.

Geneva/Bonn 11th of May 2016

Sustainable seafood now accounts for 14 per cent of global production, a dramatic rise from just 0.5 per cent in 2005, according to The State of Sustainability Initiatives (SSI) Review: Standards and the Blue Economy, which was produced by an alliance of international organizations.  

In one of the first studies of its kind, SSI researchers took a deep dive into the market and performance trends of the nine most prevalent seafood certification schemes, including the Marine Stewardship Council, GLOBAL G.A.P. and Friend of the Sea.  

The SSI Review documents that, globally, certified seafood production grew 35 per cent per annum over the last decade, nearly 10 times faster than conventional seafood production over the same period.  

"The rapid expansion of sustainable seafood practices is helping to address decades of mismanagement, which has led to the collapse of fisheries and destruction of fragile marine ecosystems,” said lead author Jason Potts, a senior associate at the International Institute for Sustainable Development.  

The seafood industry represents a critical source of both protein and employment globally. The overall trade value of the seafood sector was estimated at US$140 billion in 2014, making it one of the most valuable non-petroleum products traded internationally.   

Growing global demand for seafood products has continued to put pressure on global fish stocks, with an estimated 88 per cent of natural fish stocks being either fully exploited or overexploited.  

While farmed fish has the potential to relieve the burden on wild fish stocks, it too faces a number of sustainability challenges, like ecosystem destruction associated with the use of synthetic inputs, feed and waste management.  

The SSI Review maps the requirements of major seafood standards across environmental issues such as biodiversity, ecosystems, waste, greenhouse gas, energy, water, synthetic inputs and GMO prohibition. The review concludes that, while voluntary standards have established a strong foundation for enabling a transition to sustainable production practices across the global seafood industry, full integration of such practices will require the involvement of governments.  

Need for labour rights and worker protection

The report found that the majority of certified seafood is not required to demonstrate compliance with universally accepted core ILO labour conventions. Nor do they ensure that fishermen get paid a living wage for their catch.  

The recent controversy over slavery-like conditions in the Thai shrimp industry – and the resulting call for change from consumers and retailers – highlights the importance of worker protection in the global seafood supply chain.  

Standards could spur much-needed economic development, but not alone

An estimated 3 billion people depend on seafood as their primary source of protein, while an estimated 10–12 per cent of the world’s population is either directly or indirectly dependent on seafood for their livelihoods. An estimated 80 per cent of fishermen are located in the developing world.

But Asia – which accounts for 69 per cent of global seafood production and is associated with some of the most important environmental impacts from fishing – only accounts for 11 per cent of certified production. Meanwhile, the five countries that account for 64 per cent of global certified production only account for 14 per cent of global seafood production.


Overall, The SSI Review concludes that the opportunities for voluntary standards to enable positive transformational change in seafood markets are now well established and continue to grow within developed country markets.

Securing transformative change in global production, however, will require a simultaneous and concerted movement towards the integration of certification within national policy and investment decision-making, particularly as these apply to developing country producers.


Website: www.iisd.org/ssi/standards-and-the-blue-economy/
Photo (shoal): Nico  / pixelio.de



Tags: Biodiversity Management | Fisheries | Food Industry | Water


Other articles you might be interested in:

Vorschau
Ocean Health Index 2013: Low Score in Food Provision
The Ocean Health Index is the first assessment tool that scientifically compares and combines key elements from all dimensions of the ocean’s health - biological, physical, economic and social - to measure how sustainably people are using the ocean. It reveals that the Pacific Islands and Europe lead the way with healthy oceans, while coastal protection becomes a major concern for the future.


Vorschau
Expert Round Table "Biodiversity in standards and (environmental) management systems"
The Expert Roundtable took place on 9th of November 2015 in Brussels, Belgium. Various Experts from ENGOs, the EC and standardisation institutes gave brief inputs on the current situation and experiences so far regarding the integration of biodiversity/natural capital/ecosystem services into standards, environmental management systems and other certification systems.


Vorschau
Recommendations for Biodiversity Criteria in Standards and Quality Labels for the Food Industry
The initiative "Biodiversity Criteria in Standards and Quality Labels of the Food Sector” seeks to motivate standards and quality labels in the food industry to better integrate the conservation of biodiversity in their standard policy and criteria for products or production processes. A guide with recommendations is now available online.


Vorschau
Recommendations for Biodiversity Criteria in Standards and Quality Labels for the Food Industry
The initiative "Biodiversity Criteria in Standards and Quality Labels of the Food Sector” seeks to motivate standards and quality labels in the food industry to better integrate the conservation of biodiversity in their standard policy and criteria for products or production processes. A guide with recommendations is now available online.


Vorschau
Healthy Seas socks available in Kaufland stores
The European retailer Kaufland will be the first partner to sell Healthy Seas socks. The socks are unique and produced with regenerated yarn made from waste, such as fishing nets also recovered by the Healthy Seas initiative.

Twitter Xing Facebook LInkedIN



A Simple Explanation of Business & Biodiversity!

Featured video

Newsletter



Media Partners