FishChoice, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to cross-list companies disclosing sourcing info
A new collaboration between the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and the environmental nonprofit FishChoice will result in members of its supplier program becoming Ocean Disclosure Project participants.
FishChoice, which encourages seafood suppliers to publicly share information – including product sources, certifications, and sustainability ratings – has named the Ocean Disclosure Project (ODP) as its newest Sustainable Seafood Affiliate. The designation will result in data-sharing between the two programs, with suppliers that list their full source list for wild-caught seafood on the FishChoice website being recognized as ODP participants, with their listings in the ODP portal linking to their FishChoice profile.
FishChoice supplier members Albion Farms and Fisheries, North Atlantic Inc., and Tradex Foods are already listed on both websites, with their profiles containing product pages for each species sold, “giving seafood buyers instant access to up-to-date product sustainability information,” SFP said in a press release.
“We are very happy to be collaborating with FishChoice on the Ocean Disclosure Project, to help one another work with the seafood industry to deliver more sustainable seafood production,” ODP Project Manager Tania Woodcock said. “Companies that report their full list of wild-caught seafood products into FishChoice’s supplier directory meet with the ODP’s requirements for transparency in seafood sourcing.”
The ODP offers a template where companies can list information on the provenance, stock status and management, and environmental impact of these fisheries. The profile includes the fisheries’ impacts on protected, endangered, and threatened species, bycatch, and benthic impacts, which is compiled data based on Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s FishSource scores that were used in past disclosures.
In January 2019, the ODP expanded its format to include seafood ratings from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, Ocean Wise, the Marine Conservation Society Good Fish Guide, and the NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index (FSSI).
“Companies that are committed to sustainable seafood should be prepared to publicly disclose the origins of the seafood they sell,” SFP Strategy Director Blake Lee-Harwood said. “Original ODP profiles already contained data on certification, but the new format includes NGO and NOAA rating systems, so it is possible to see how seafood sourcing shapes up to third-party sustainability assessments.”
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership is asking its 16 retail partners to complete a public disclosure of seafood sourcing by the end of 2019. Those partners include Asda, Co-op, Morrisons, Giant Eagle, Meijer, Publix, Walmart US, Lidl UK, and Meijer, North Atlantic Inc., Albion Farms & Fisheries, and Tradex.
“We hope that other NGOs with retail partners will follow this lead and indeed would like to see all retailers fully disclosing their seafood sourcing as quickly as possible,” Lee-Harwood said. “Full transparency in the seafood industry will be an incredible boost to efforts to make seafood more sustainable.”