FOS fires back at WWF


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
January 19, 2010

Friend of the Sea on Wednesday fired back at the World Wildlife Fund for its recent assessment of seafood eco-labels.

The organization said that since the WWF is the founder, sponsor and main supporter of the Marine Stewardship Council, any assessments of fishery certification schemes other than the MSC will be perceived as biased and unethical.

In its report, published on Monday, WWF described other seafood eco-labels as “inadequate.” Accenture Development Partnerships compared and ranked seven fishery certification schemes that use eco-labels against a set of WWF criteria that gauged the schemes’ effectiveness in addressing fisheries and oceans health.

The MSC earned a score of 95 percent, while FOS, Naturland, Krav, AIDCP (Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program), Marine Eco-Label Japan and Southern Rocklobster received scores of less than 70 percent.

“The findings of this assessment reveal serious inadequacies in a number of eco-labels and cast doubt on their overall contribution to effective fisheries management and sustainability,” said Miguel Jorge, director of WWF International’s marine program.

“This type of report is not credible, and the scoring of the MSC at 95 percent and Friend of the Sea at 55 percent is particularly meaningless as the ‘criteria points’ for the ‘study’ were self-created by WWF,” replied FOS.

“Friend of the Sea and other seafood eco-labels are an important part of a global effort to achieve fisheries and aquaculture sustainability, motivating the industry to make changes faster and in a verifiable manner,” added the organization. “Developing countries’ artisanal fisheries and aquaculture, as well as a long list of international seafood companies, have chosen Friend of the Sea as a truly industry-independent eco-label.”

FOS urged all environmental organizations, including the WWF, to collaborate positively and avoid speculation on “useless and biased” program comparisons.

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