Biggest squid producers, suppliers form group to fight IUU fishing

Three squid, freshly caught.

Some of the biggest names in the global squid sector have joined forces to fight for the elimination of products sourced from illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing from entering the market.

The newly formed Squid IUU Prevention Working Group was formed by companies including Spain’s Congalsa, WOFCO, and Grupo Alfrio; Australia’s Bidfood; the U.K.’s Sea Farms Ltd.; Canada’s Export Packers; and U.S. firms Netuno, The Town Dock, Panapesca, Beaver Street Fisheries, Lund’s Fisheries, Sun Coast Calamari, and Crocker and Winsor Seafoods. The companies have promised to address IUU squid fishing through global squid supply chains, seeking to rid domestic and international markets of IUU-tainted squid product.

The group will receive technical support from Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), a group founded in 2006 with the mission of engaging with global seafood supply chains to work toward rebuilding depleted fish stocks, reducing the environmental impacts of fishing and fish farming, and ensuring sustained economic opportunities for fishing communities worldwide.

“I am proud to be working with such an esteemed group of companies under the guidance of SFP,” Crocker and Winsor Seafoods President Robert Hallion said. “Our coalition will work with the entire supply chain to educate and support a fishery free from IUU.”

Many of the members of the new group came together after partnering through SFP’s Global Squid Supply Chain Roundtable, which brings together squid producers and suppliers “to work together in a pre-competitive environment to drive improvement efforts in squid fisheries practices, management, and policy,” according to the group’s website.

“As importers and distributors of processed squid products, the [Squid IUU Prevention Working Group] members are united in their desire to clearly prohibit IUU-sourced squid product and labor and human rights abuses in their supply chains,” the group said in a press release.

The group is partnering with the Committee for the Sustainable Management of the South Pacific Jumbo Flying Squid (CALAMASUR), which was founded in 2018 to work toward sustainable production of the Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas) fishery in the South Pacific. In its release, the working group said it has “taken lessons from CALAMASUR’s advocacy for conservation management.”

“Over the next several months, the U.S. companies will work together with their international peers, and with the support of independent technical experts, to develop a joint workplan to tackle IUU fishing and human rights abuses by eliminating sourced raw material identified as high risk from their supply chains and communicating with customers and suppliers about their commitment to combatting illegal squid fishing worldwide,” it said in itsrelease. "While the participants’ home countries already have programs in place to reduce IUU fishing, other areas of the world need additional education and support.” 

The working group will invite other squid producers and suppliers worldwide to join later this year.

“Given the latest news about the increase in risks associated with IUU fishing, as well as human rights violations and labor abuses in global squid production, supply chains need to act urgently to tackle and eradicate these problems,” SFP Europe Markets Engagement Director Carmen Gonzalez-Valles said. “We expect this industry-led working group to lay the foundations for impactful collective action against human right abuses and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in global squid fishing, processing, and distribution.”

Photo courtesy of Anna Moskvina/Shutterstock


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