The Seafood Ethics Common Language Group
The Seafood Ethics Common Language Group (SECLG) provides a safe meeting space to discuss the key ethical issues faced by the international seafood industry. The group looks at social welfare issues that affect the UK seafood supply chain, whether in the UK or seafood imported into the UK. This covers human trafficking, labour abuses, child labour, debt bondage, forced labour, migrant workers, and modern slavery. It is an opportunity to share new ideas or best practice case studies from around the world.
The group is led by our industry and we take responsibility for running the SECLG. The Group has met twice a year since 2014. The SECLG brings together seafood industry representatives from major supermarket chains, smaller retailers, processors, foodservice and the catching sector. Other people who attend are not-for-profit voluntary groups, welfare charities, consumer groups, government and social research scientists.
SECLG meetings and bite size meetings
There are generally two meetings a year. The presentations and minutes from the most recent meetings are below. Presentations and minutes from previous meetings are available from Karen Green.
Due to Covid-19 we are running shorter online bite-size SECLG meetings in 2020 and 2021
Thursday 25 March 2021. 2pm to 3.30pm GMT. Standards and at-sea labour practices.
Previous bite-size meetings
Increasing transparency on fishing vessels (28 January 2021). This meeting looked at initiatives and technological developments to improve our understanding of vessel activity and patterns of behaviour at sea. This sheds light on whether vessel operators are fishing responsibly, but also the likelihood that they are treating their crew and fishery observers fairly, and complying with recognised labour rules. See the presentations:
- Forced labour risk model. Courtney Farthing, Global Fishing Watch.
- Labour indicators for vessel tracking and risk assessments. Brad Soule, OceanMind.
- The impact of failures to underpin the safety, security and well-being of fisheries observers. David Hammond, Human Rights at Sea.
Facets underpinning a socially resilient seafood industry (12 November 2020). This meeting looked at some of the key factors underpinning a socially resilient seafood industry and focussed on the work of three organisations supporting the industry to drive behavioural change. See the presentations:
- Ending slavery. Jessica Sparks, the University of Nottingham Rights Lab.
- Gender equity. Marie Christine Monfort, Women in Seafood.
- Financial resilience. Tina Barnes, Seafarers UK.
Dynamics around setting and benchmarking at-sea baseline social criteria (2 September 2020). This meeting explored the principles that are helping to shape this conversation to see if it is possible to adopt one common way to assess at sea social criteria and agree what that includes. This looked at the initiatives currently underway; explored whether certification is the answer; if a simpler model can support the introduction of best practice and due diligence; and if benchmarking can bring all this into alignment. See the presentations:
- Social Responsibility Assessment Tool for the seafood sector. Charlotte Opal, FisheryProgress.org.
- MSC policies on forced and child labour. Leah Buckley, Marine Stewardship Council.
- The CGF Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI)/Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) social compliance criteria for At-Sea Operations. Thomas van Haaren, Consumer Goods Forum.
Contact Karen Green for presentations.
Terms of Reference and archive
- We have archived presentations from previous meetings. These are these are available from Karen Green.
- Notes and minutes on the meetings can be found below.
- Read the Seafood Ethics Common Language Group Terms of Reference (March 2019)
- To be added to the SECLG mailing list to receive our monthly news update and details on meetings please register here
SECLG meeting notes and minutes
SECLG monthly newsletters
- News alert February 2021
- News alert January 2021
- News alert December 2020
- News alert November 2020
- News alert October 2020
- For more information on this work and to download Seafish briefing papers, visit our Social Responsibility in Seafood webpage
Our social responsibility work
- Social responsibility is a key work area for us. As well as running the SECLG we also support the seafood industry in a number of key areas to help eliminate unethical practices from UK seafood supply chains. To find out more read our Social Responsibility in Seafood briefing note