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.
Due to Covid-19 we are running shorter online bite-size SECLG meetings at the moment.
The next online meeting will be on 24 May 2022 from 2pm to 4pm BST. Working conditions in UK fishing.
Previous two bite-size meetings
Driving improvements in labour standards (1 March 2022). Under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), all business enterprises have a responsibility to respect human rights. The UK ratified the International Labour Organization Work in Fishing Convention (c188) in 2019. The Convention is intended to create a level playing field globally, force out sub-standard operations and provide minimum standards for decent work onboard fishing vessels. This meeting looked more closely at collaborative initiatives to drive the improvement of working conditions for fishers who commercially fish in UK waters and/or on UK flagged vessels, as well as globally. Our four speakers were:
- Waitrose survey on the experiences of crew on Scottish fleets. Sam Ludlow-Taylor/Amy Morris, Waitrose.
- Minimum conditions for social certification in the seafood supply chain. Andrea Albertazzi, European Transport Workers' Federation.
- The role of the SEA Alliance and its participating companies. Andy Hickman, SEA Alliance.
- The Cape Town Agreement and how its ratification helps global governance. Huw Thomas, Pew Trusts.
The impacts of climate change on human rights in fisheries (30 November 2021). This meeting looked at the inter-connection of climate change and human rights from a socio-economic, political, cultural and institutional perspective. It focussed on the societal impact of climate change on wellbeing, local communities and migration; as well as looking at the impact of extreme weather on the sourcing of raw materials. Our three speakers were:
- Anti-Slavery International toolkit for policy markers - Climate-induced migration and modern slavery. Lead author. Ritu Bharadwa, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
- Leaving No One Behind: the importance of human rights-based approach in addressing climate change in the fisheries sector. Daniela Kalikoski, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
- The impacts of climate change on the mobility of fishers. Jessica Sparks, University of Nottingham Rights Lab.
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
- 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