Seafish: Certification schemes lack consistency

By

Steven Hedlund

Published on
December 21, 2009

The United Kingdom’s Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) on Monday welcomed a report that found seafood eco-labels are too simplistic and can confuse consumers.

Published on Monday, the 194-page report provided a comprehensive review of the various types of advice available to seafood consumers. Led by University of Stirling professor James Young and conducted by research firm MRAG Ltd., Review of Fish Sustainability Information Schemes found that seafood eco-labels and buying guides lacked consistency.

Seafish Development Director Dr. Jon Harman called the report’s findings “timely and important” and agreed that there is a need for seafood eco-labels and buying guides to be more consistent.

Harman called on all fishery certification schemes to ensure that they are fully compliant with the Food and Agriculture Organization’s seafood eco-label guidelines by seeking greater standardization and harmonization.

“It is only by establishing and maintaining standards in certification schemes that we can encourage consumers to purchase sustainable seafood with confidence,” said Harman. “Failure to do so will lead to consumers losing confidence in these schemes, with potentially disastrous results both for the schemes themselves and for the future health of our marine ecosystem.”

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