Labeyrie joins Chinese squid fisheries improvement project

Published on
January 6, 2021

A major European seafood brand has joined a fishery improvement project (FIP) for squid in Chinese waters.

Saint-Geours-de-Maremne, France-based Labeyrie Fine Foods, a producer and distributor of value-added seafood and other food products to European retailers under the Labeyrie, Delpierre, Blini, Comptoir Sushi, and Ovive brands, has joined the East China Sea and Yellow Sea Squid Fishery Improvement Project, launched in 2018.

The five-year precompetitive FIP aims to improve the management and fishing practices of Chinese trawl, purse-seine, and gillnet vessels targeting Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus), a lucrative species, of which 30,000 tons is taken from the East China Sea and Yellow Sea each year. The FIP aims to improve traceability systems to verify and track locations of harvest.

The latest update on the FIP posted on the website gives it a “C” rating in terms of progress to date, with the pandemic this year apparently taking a toll.

“While we were limited in our ability to engage fishers and do direct field work given COVID, we did make good progress on our analysis of relevant squid management strategies, evaluating fishery monitoring data from year one and developing an initial report with Ocean University with recommendations for stock assessment approaches that could fit within an overhaul harvest strategy,” Perry Broderick at Ocean Outcomes, an NGO which coordinates the FIp, told SeafoodSource.

Labeyrie Fine Foods, which also operates the Lyons Seafood Group in the United Kingdom, is a major buyer of Asian inputs like crayfish, shrimp, and squid, and will join a host of other brand names and retailers already in the FIP, including Sea Farms, PanaPesca, Quirch Foods, Seachill, and the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Association (CAPPMA). Retailers Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury’s also belong to the FIP. The local Chinese suppliers involved are Genho, IG, and the Zhejiang Industry Group.

Around one-third of the global squid catch passes through Chinese hands, much of it processed for export markets, according to CAPPMA, a Chinese national seafood industry lobby.

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