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.
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.
We are running a mix of in person meetings and shorter online bite-size SECLG sessions at the moment.
The next meeting will be an online bite-size session in October or November 2022. For further information please contact: Karen Green
Previous two meetings
SECLG in person meeting. Driving improvement through effective implementation of ILO 188 (5 July 2022). The International Labour Organization Work in Fishing Convention (C. 188) sets out basic standards of decent work in the fishing industry. It came into force in November 2017. The UK ratified the Convention in January 2019. To date it has been ratified by 20 countries. This meeting explored what ratification and implementation means for workers and seafood businesses, and how we can work towards wider adoption of this convention and other key instruments. The afternoon session focussed on the UK and the role of different supply chain actors in supporting effective implementation of C.188. See the presentations:
- ILO C.188 - the international context. Brandt Wagner and Christine Bader, ILO.
- Implementing social sustainability and C.188/AENOR labour standards in the Spanish fishing industry. Juan Manuel Trujillo Castillo, Workers' Commissions (Comisiones Obreras, CCOO).
- The AENOR standard for tuna fisheries. Dr. Julio Morón, OPAGAC.
- The Spanish experience of ratifying and implementing ILO C. 188. Víctor Jiménez Fernández, Counsellor for Transport and Representative of Spain to the IMO (Spanish Embassy in London).
- Implementation of ILO C. 188 in the UK. Julie Carlton, Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
- New campaign to achieve Fairness in Fishing. Tina Barnes, Seafarers' Charity.
Working conditions in UK fishing (24 May 2022). A recent survey, conducted by the University of Nottingham, has looked at the working conditions of fishers who commercially fish in UK waters, and/or on UK flagged vessels, and tried to identify ways to help improve them. The survey focused on all crew working in the UK fishing fleet, including the local workforce and those from overseas, share fishers, and contracted employees. This meeting presented the key findings from two new reports (the second on transit visas), and provided a forum for a broader discussion of working life within the UK fishing industry. See the presentations:
- Letting exploitation off the hook? Evidencing labour abuses in UK fishing. University of Nottingham Rights Lab.
- One way ticket to labour exploitation. International Transport Workers Federation (ITF).
Terms of Reference and archive
- We have archived presentations from previous bite-size meetings. These are available from Karen Green.
- Notes and minutes on the bite-size meetings can be found below.
- Presentations from our face-to-face SECLG meetings are available from Karen Green
- 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 bite-size meeting notes
- Working conditions in UK fishing. 24 May 2022
- Driving improvements in labour standards. 1 March 2022
- The impacts of climate change on human rights in fisheries. 30 November 2021
- Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence (mHRDD). 14 September 2021
- Recruitment challenges for the seafood sector. 10 June 2021
- Standards and at-sea labour practices. 25 March 2021
- Increasing transparency on fishing vessels. 28 January 2021
- Facets underpinning a socially resilient seafood industry. 12 November 2020
- Dynamics around setting and benchmarking at-sea baseline social criteria. 2 September 2020
- At-sea social criteria. 8 July 2020
- ILO 188 compliance: best practice. 27 May 2020
SECLG monthly newsletters
- 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 access our Social Responsibility in Seafood briefing note
For further information, please contact: Karen Green