Advice on ‘which fish to eat or avoid’ is currently available from many sources (notably from the NGO sector) allied with scoring systems. This advice can vary and be at differing levels of detail.
Varying or conflicting advice has created confusion for the supply chain and consumers alike. There is a need from seafood buyers for robust, up-to-date, and structured information on the environmental risks when sourcing seafood. Depending on a buyer’s needs this may encompass the risks to the health of a particular stock, or the risks associated with the wider environmental impacts of different fisheries.
The UK Seafish Industry Authority’s Risk Assessment for Sourcing Seafood (RASS) will provide UK seafood buyers and processors with information on the biological status of fish stocks from which fish are either landed or imported into the UK, and the environmental impacts of fisheries catching these stocks. A key feature of RASS is that it will present risk scores for four themes:
Seafish have developed the RASS scoring mechanisms and an online tool for disseminating this information to our key stakeholders. In addition to informing the UK seafood industry’s sourcing policies, it is envisaged that RASS will facilitate dialogue between the scientific community and industry, allowing prioritisation of future research to address high-risk uncertainties.