Green Groups Release 'Common Vision' for Sustainable Seafood


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
May 8, 2008

Fourteen U.S. and Canadian conservation organizations partnered yesterday to form the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions and released a set of recommendations to help companies develop and implement a sustainable seafood purchasing policy.

Dubbed "Common Vision for Environmentally Sustainable Seafood," the recommendations identify six actions companies can take to ensure the seafood they buy is sustainable.

"Our Common Vision outlines an ambitious but realistic path toward sustainable seafood that businesses can follow to safeguard the future viability of their industry," said Mark Powell, VP of fish conservation for Ocean Conservancy in Washington, D.C.

"In the past, we've heard from companies that there is too much competing information about environmentally responsible seafood," added Jennifer Lash, executive director of Living Oceans Society in British Columbia. "Seafood buyers and suppliers now have clear and consistent input from a broad range of conservation groups about how to move forward."

In addition to Ocean Conservancy and Living Oceans Society, Blue Ocean Institute, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre, Environmental Defense Fund, FishChoice, FishWise, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Natural Resources Defense Council, New England Aquarium, Sierra Club British Columbia and World Wildlife Fund-U.S. are part of the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions.

A number of companies, including Plitt Co., Ahold USA and Compass Group North America, have expressed support for the Common Vision, according to the group.

However, the National Fisheries Institute, a McLean, Va., seafood trade group, is concerned about the Common Vision's lack of input from the seafood industry.

"It is good to see these groups focusing on sustainability and acknowledging the vital role the seafood community plays in those efforts," said NFI President John Connelly. "However, the common vision is their common vision. Its calls for action were not developed with the input of the full seafood community. We have in the past and will continue to maintain a full commitment to the sustainable use of our global resources. Perhaps better than anyone we know the commitment it takes to successfully harvest enough fish now to feed Americans, while leaving plenty for future generations. It is the key to our livelihood."

"A common vision requires input from the full community, not a statement that is developed behind closed doors," added Connelly.

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