Nordregio releases blue economy gender equality report; Irish government supports Fair Seas Coalition action plan

Man holding Ecuadorian shrimp.

SeafoodSource is closely following the sustainable seafood movement by compiling a regular round-up of sector updates about sustainability initiatives and certifications.

- Stockholm, Sweden-based international research center Nordregio has released a report on gender equality in the Nordic blue economy, providing data and recommendations to diversify the sector.

The report, “Ensuring Gender Equality in the Nordic Blue Economy” was written by Anna Karlsdóttir and Hjördis Guðmundsdóttir. It was released at the Arctic Frontiers conference, which took place from 29 January to 1 February in Tromso, Norway. 

“The notion of gender, women, or equality is, with very few exceptions, absent from literature related to the blue economy. This needs to be fixed. This lack of prioritizing gender equality is a challenge, not only for women but for securing local communities along the coast and creating equitable opportunities for leadership,” Karlsdóttir said.

- The Fair Seas Coalition, a coalition of Irish environmental organizations, has introduced the National Biodiversity Action Plan published recently by the government of Ireland. The initiative includes a suite of actions aimed at combating biodiversity loss on land and sea. 

The plan calls for passing legislation to enable the designation and management of marine protected areas (MPAs) in Irish waters, the coalition said in a release

“The pressure humans and society put on the environment is tremendous, causing significant and worrying loss and decline to some of our most special, vulnerable, and even once common species. A strategic whole of government plan to effectively tackle the root causes of biodiversity loss in Ireland is badly needed and most welcome. It is hugely encouraging that, potentially for the first time, the plan has the financial resources to facilitate the delivery of its action,” Fair Seas Campaign Coordinator Donal Griffin said in a release. “The plan will only work, however, if each action outlined in the National Biodiversity Action Plan is acted on promptly and effectively. Several deadlines have already been missed, and the government is in danger of running out of time to get important legislation on the books.”

- Guayaquil, Ecuador-based trade body Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) has incorporated BASF Ecuatoriana and MSD Animal Health as associate members of its organization. 

The alliance works to combine expertise, networks, and resources to explore and promote sustainable shrimp production practices in Ecuador.

“SSP is excited to welcome BASF and MSD as our newest associate members. By integrating their unique perspectives and strong commitment to sustainability, we believe that this partnership will not only elevate the standards of our industry but also pave the way for a comprehensive transformation across the entire production chain. We look forward to the positive impact our joint efforts will bring,” SSP Director Pamela Nath said in a release. “Collaboration and transparency among all stakeholders in the shrimp-production process, such as suppliers, retailers, academic institutions, and NGOs, are essential to improve the sustainability of the global shrimp aquaculture industry.”

BASF, a biochemical sustainable solutions company, helps to elevate shrimp and aquaculture standards worldwide, according to the SSP, while MSD Animal Health encourages sustainable farming practices and aquaculture management solutions.

“Being part of the SSP is a valuable opportunity for MSD Animal Health, as it will allow us to collaborate closely with shrimp producers to offer comprehensive solutions that support sustainable growth in production," MSD Animal Health Associate Director of Global Marketing Leonardo Cericato said. "Through this partnership, we will actively contribute to the future of animal health and well-being by applying science, technology, and data-driven solutions that strengthen decision-making. Our goal is to promote transparency and efficiency at every stage of the supply chain."

- Europêche's Tuna Group held a meeting on 23 January that sought to join together industry and science stakeholders to accelerate collaboration on enhanced tuna stock assessments. The event,  “Towards robust stock evaluations for better management,” took place in Montpellier, France, and included 23 experts, including a representative from the Marine Stewardship Council.

“Through open dialogue and frank exchanges of perspectives, both scientists and purse-seine industry representatives have successfully achieved a deeper mutual understanding, marking the first step toward developing effective solutions,” Europêche Director Anne-France Mattlet said in a release.

The first panel at the meeting entailed a group of scientists providing estimates on stock assessment processes and pointing out the importance of data availability.

“Fishing industry representatives have raised concerns about potential misinterpretations of scientific advice due to the inherent uncertainties of any stock assessment. They warned against significant negative consequences on purse seine fishing fleets as a result of uneven management actions within regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) that could also hamper stocks recovery,” Europêche said. 

The second panel explored the function of multispecies management strategies in relation to topical tuna.

Photo courtesy of Sustainable Shrimp Partnership


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