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 SECLG will be an in person meeting in London on Wednesday 5 July 2023. The topic will be: Opportunities to drive improvements in human rights and labour standards – global and UK. For further information, please contact: Karen Green
Previous two meetings
SECLG online session. Worker-Driven Social Responsibility (WSR) (19 April 2023). Worker-Driven Social Responsibility (WSR) is a new and evolving model for tackling workplace abuse and exploitation in corporate supply chains. The defining feature of WSR, compared to other models for tackling labour abuse and exploitation in corporate supply chains, is that it provides a way of addressing the power imbalance not only between workers and their direct employers, but also between buyers and suppliers. WSR has already been tested in protecting workers in highly challenging contexts in different parts of the world and in different sectors. This meeting explored how this model works in other sectors, looked at the adaptability of the model to the UK context, and how it could work for the seafood industry in the UK and elsewhere. Please look at the presentation.
- WSR and how it works. Greg Asbed, Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Judge Laura Safer Espinoza, Fair Food Standards Council.
SECLG/ACIG bite-size online session. Aquaculture and human rights (1 February 2023). This meeting explored the best practice being adopted by the aquaculture sector to address welfare and human rights considerations. This meeting looked at how the aquaculture industry is providing ways to help protect the welfare of the people who work in the sector, and the communities who may be affected by aquaculture activities. See the presentations:
- How Seafood Watch works to define equitable seafood supply chains and integrate social sustainability, using a human rights-based approach, in aquaculture improvements and verification. Birgitte Poulsen, Seafood Watch.
- ASC ongoing, and new work, around worker welfare and human rights in supply chains for farmed seafood. Lorraine Gallagher and Clare Stevens, Aquaculture Stewardship Council.
- GSA/GAA/BAP ongoing, and new work, around worker welfare and human rights in supply chains for farmed seafood. David Dietz, Global Seafood Alliance.
- GlobalG.A.P. Aquaculture standard - Workers well-being: occupational health, safety and welfare. Remko Oosterveld, GGN Label KAM Aquaculture.
- Scoping studies on the Honduran shrimp and Scottish salmon supply chains. Jake Norton, Global Centre for Social Sustainability in Seafood Supply, Heriot-Watt University.
SECLG meeting notes
- Driving improvement through effective implementation of ILO 188. (In person) 5 July 2022
- 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
We send monthly emails with a round up of stories, research and projects in the seafood industry. Subscribe to receive our monthly update and meeting details.
Terms of Reference and archive
- We have archived presentations from previous SECLG meetings. These are available from Karen Green.
- Read the Seafood Ethics Common Language Group Terms of Reference (March 2019)
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 more information and to download Seafish briefing papers, visit our Social Responsibility in Seafood webpage
For further information, please contact: Karen Green