UK retailers make farmed shrimp industry pledge


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
July 10, 2013

Waitrose, Morrisons, Tesco, The Co-op, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Asda have all signed a British Retail Consortium (BRC) statement pledging to improve shrimp industry practices.

The statement publicly pledges the retail giants to open talks with NGOs and suppliers to “drive change towards a more sustainable aquaculture industry.”

Concerns about arise where wild fish are sourced from regions where local fisheries may be poorly managed or data deficient, said the BRC.

“The BRC supports the significant role played by our members in addressing the challenges of sourcing fish feed derived from responsibly managed sources,” the BRC statement said.

“We also recognize the contributions made by others working on feedmeal and fisheries, which include some of the leading seafood brands in the UK, certification schemes and NGOs.”

To facilitate collaboration across these groups, the BRC set up the Fishmeal Working Group as a platform for these stakeholders to share information and to identify opportunities for partnership.

Many retailers and suppliers are helping to improve the management of these fisheries by engaging with a number of international projects and initiatives such as: ??- The REBYCII program which provides measures for reducing by-catch in trawl fisheries producing fishmeal (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization);?

- Fishery improvement projects (run by The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership) in South East Asia looking at practical steps that can be taken to improve fishery management; ?

- Certified feed and improver schemes addressing feed supply (International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization); 

- Marine program and sustainable fishmeal project (The Prince's Charities' International Sustainability Unit).

“Although these are important steps towards better fisheries management, more comprehensive action is needed worldwide to effectively drive change,” said BRC. “We therefore encourage key players in the prawn and fishmeal supply chain—such as fishermen (including those catching fish sold into the fishmeal market), producers of farmed prawns/shrimp and fishmeal, processors, importers, and exporters—to communicate the need for responsibly sourced fishmeal in aquaculture feed.”

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