A new intitative called the \"Seafood Business Ocean Stewardship\" aims to clear-out IUU fisheries and inhumane working conditions. The initiative is comprised of eight of the world\'s largest seafood companies.
These eight companies express strong concern about the future of the ocean as a result of a lack of environmental strategy and inadequate resource management. The group, which includes aquaculture companies Cermaq, Cargill, Nutreco and Marine Harvest, acknowledged their responsibilities in a recent statement.
\"Increasingly more people look to the sea for solutions to the global food and climate challenges facing the world community,\" says Einar Wathne, president of Cargill Aqua Nutrition and Chairman of Norwegian Centre of Expertise, The Seafood Innovation Cluster. \"Only by strengthening our global partnership, we will find good solutions for sustainability that can increase food production from the sea.\"
Knut Nesse, CEO of Nutreco said “I believe this represents a good start to something which can become important in improving the sustainability of seafood. First and foremost because it is a real global initiative. Secondly, and equally important, it links the challenges in wild fisheries and aquaculture. I look forward to translate our joint commitment into concrete actions.”
The eight companies came together to reduce the global extent of illegal, unregulated and unreported fisheries. They will also address shortcomings in reporting and documentation of the value chain in order to prevent illegal fishing and forced labor linked to the sector.
The initiative is unique as it is global, covers large oceans and several industry interests. Bringing together key actors seafood companies from Asia and Europe in a joint initiative is an important step towards the further development of climate-friendly and sustainable industry.
\"We are part of a small but very influential group, and we have a responsibility to ensure that the seafood industry is not only profitable but also sustainable in line with UN development goals, particularly related to the sea,\" stated Geir Molvik, CEO of Cermaq. \"This group of companies represents a global force that can make a difference.\"
The new initiative comes as a result of research conducted by the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) at Stockholm University. In 2015, the center identified the 13 biggest companies that largely control the global seafood market, whether it\'s about aquaculture or fisheries. The research gave rise to the idea of gathering these keystone actors in the seafood industry to create unified transformation of the seafood industry. A meeting between the companies in November has now resulted in the initiative Seafood Business Ocean Stewardship.
\"We were delighted so many companies accepted our offer. This shows that they recognise their role and that they understand how important they are in their efforts to develop and save the world\'s fish resources,\" said Henrik Österblom, project leader and Head of Research at Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Companies who attended and signed the statement:
Maruha Nichiro Corporation
Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd
Thai Union Group
Marine Harvest ASA
Cargill Aqua Nutrition
Watch the short video highlighting the initiative