Better Seafood Philippines hosting responsible seafood summit in September 2023
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Better Seafood Philippines (BSP) Program will host a responsible seafood summit on 14 September, 2023.
BSP is a USAID-funded initiative implemented by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, created to promote and facilitate sustainable fisheries management and marine biodiversity conservation, with members including Fishta Seafood, SeaTrace International, Mayani, Wilcrafted, Meliomar, Tindagat, Crystal Bay Oyster Company, Follow Your Taste, and the Bogtong Fish Processors Association (BFPA).
The group hopes to attract up to 300 participants for the summit from amongst national government agencies, local governments, the seafood industry, technology partners, and fishers communities.
BSP hopes the summit will “put a spotlight on local, responsibly-sourced seafood and recognize best practices in seafood sustainability by highlighting industry change drivers,” Meliomar General Manager Sandy Peñalba said.
“This collaboration will allow us to realize our common vision of a Better Seafood Philippines and achieve the impacts that we want for local fishing communities,” Peñalba said.
At the summit, BSP will also disseminate information on its sustainable fisheries markets program, which it is developing to create, manage, and implement market tools and activities on market and supply development, constituency building, and industry partnerships.
“BSP serves as a rallying and convergence point for stakeholders in working collectively to move society forward and make positive contributions to Philippine agri-fishery industry,” Mayani CEO and Co-Founder JT Solis said.
BSP members met on 6 June in Quezon City, the Philippines to discuss further methods to advance transparent and responsible sourcing practices as a value chain solution to eliminating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
“BSP to institute reforms through an ecosystem approach to fisheries management to ‘right-size’ fisheries, incentivize responsible fishing and trading practices through markets development, as well as fisheries conservation efforts through private-sector engagement,” it said in a joint statement. “By adopting policies on responsible seafood sourcing, businesses can consistently provide seafood products while ensuring the health of the marine environment and supporting the livelihoods of local fishing communities.”
BSP is working with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to develop a local responsible seafood sourcing standard to establish criteria to assess current supply chain practices in the capture, sourcing, and trading of wild-caught seafood in the Philippines. One of the goals of the standard is to address and reduce overfishing and IUU fishing through industry adherence to environmental and social standards.
Photo courtesy of Better Seafood Philippines