Understanding sustainability and responsible seafood sourcing
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Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Essentially it means keeping natural resources in balance.
Initiatives focusing on sustainability can apply differently across the seafood supply chain. In wild capture fisheries, assessments of sustainability arise from the development of fisheries science. This enables an understanding of trends, optimal use of resources and environmental impacts. It can then be applied to help avoid negative outcomes like overfishing. There are also a number of global, regional and national initiatives aimed at improving and maintaining sustainable aquaculture production.
Responsibility relates to human behaviour concerned with the management of these resources.
For seafood to be responsibly sourced, it needs to be caught or farmed in a way that minimises impact on fish stocks and the marine environment. Further information on fisheries management and sustainable aquaculture is available from the links below:
Social responsibility – including food security and ethical issues around welfare, equity and human rights – is also important. Responsible seafood production supports the livelihoods of fishing and coastal communities and respects basic human rights, including welfare and equality. Further information on social responsibility in seafood is available from the link below:
We’ve created a guide which examines the frameworks for sustainable and responsible sourcing. It has been designed to help seafood professionals, including buyers and those working in industry, gain a better understanding of these topics.
The guide contains the following information:
- Definitions of sustainability and responsible sourcing
- Frameworks for assessment and management of wild capture fisheries and farmed seafood
- Voluntary codes of conduct
- Fisheries improvements projects
- Links to further information and resources
You can download a copy of the guide from the link block below.
There are a range of challenges and initiatives which sit under the umbrella of sustainability and responsible sourcing. We’ve also collated information and guidance on some these topics, which you can access from the links below:
Every so often stories arise raising questions about industry practices related to issues of sustainability or responsible sourcing. These are complex and challenging topics and it’s important that they are carefully considered and that industry responds where appropriate.
While the global nature of seafood supply chains brings complexity and challenges, the UK seafood industry is a world leader in sustainability and responsible sourcing. Our seafood sector champions best practice across many areas and businesses work in partnership with government, scientists and other stakeholders to ensure that the UK has a sustainable and responsible sector.
Over recent years we’ve shared a number of articles to help dispel some myths and highlight some of the positive working being done. You can read these blogs from the links below:
For further information on sustainability and responsible seafood sourcing please contact: