12 companies join USAID initiative promoting responsible seafood

Published on
June 14, 2022
Members of the 12 companies that have joined Fish Right, a joint U.S. - Philippines program to promote responsible seafood sourcing.

A dozen companies and brands have joined Responsible Seafood Sourcing, an initiative under USAID Fish Right formed between the U.S. and the Philippines to promote the growth and sale of sustainable seafood.

Responsible Seafood Sourcing (RSS) is a partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), created in 2018 and running through 2023. USAID Fish Right is the marine biodiversity program of USAID in the Philippines and covers a wide range of initiatives and activities, with RSS and the sustainable seafood markets work one of them. The initiative aims to facilitate fisheries management and marine biodiversity conservation, and support sustainable fisheries through strengthening biodiversity management and marine ecosystem governance.

By joining Fish Right, the 12 companies and brands have committed to implementing principles of sustainability, legal compliance, traceability, transparency, and social responsibility set by Better Seafood Philippines, a Fish Right program with the goal of eliminating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the country.

Currently, around half of the seafood produced in the Philippines originates from IUU fishing, and that the country faces a loss of about PHP 68.5 billion (USD 1.3 billion, EUR 1.2 billion) a year in revenue due to illegal fishing, according to Fish Right.

As part of their commitment to Fish Right, the 12 Filipino companies pledged to become “leaders and champions” in promoting sustainable seafood in the Philippines, according to U.S.-registered Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) – which organized an event on 31 May unveiling the new members.

SFP belongs to the Fish Right consortium of partners and is in charge of implementing buyer-engagement programs in the Philippines. Through Fish Right, SFP said it hopes to increase  industry partnerships and collaboration to raise awareness of and bolster seafood sustainability efforts, gain the backing of local communities in efforts to combat IUU fishing, and channel investments from various sectors to aid the development of supply chains supporting companies operating in a responsible manner.

“Buyers must work with their suppliers to ensure that measures are in place to prevent illegal fish from entering the market,” SFP Senior Program Manager Rebeca Andong said. “Transparency in supply chains entails due diligence and knowing the processes and the conditions under which a seafood product was sourced and traded.”

Among the 12 companies and brands involved in the initiative is Fishta Seafood, a leading supplier of seafood products for major supermarkets, stores, and restaurants for metropolitan Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Fishta Seafood General Manager Carina Ong-Tan said she is approaching hotel chains, fish processors, and catering industries in the country to seek commitments to sourcing their seafood responsibly.

“Any contemporary Philippine business should engage in responsible sourcing to bring transparency to seafood supply chains and assure seafood legality. This helps protect our oceans and contributes to the Philippine effort to meet the U.N. 2030 Sustainable Development Goals,” Tan said.

The 12 companies joining the initiative are:

  • City of Dreams Manila
  • Crystal Bay Oysters
  • Discovery Primea Makati
  • Farmers Market
  • Fishta Seafood
  • Invisible Hand
  • Kilawin Experience
  • Novotel Hotel Araneta
  • Robinsons Supermarket
  • SeaTrace International
  • Saravia Blue Crab
  • Santeh Feeds Corp.  

Photo courtesy of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership

Contributing Editor reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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