With support of Walmart Foundation, FishWise increases focus on human rights in seafood

The Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A.-based nonprofit FishWise has received a substantial grant from The Walmart Foundation to increase its work to address modern-day slavery and labor abuse in seafood supply chains.

The USD 934,000 (EUR 848,800) grant will allow FishWise to increase seafood industry engagement through its RISE platform while increasing the impact of the platform by aligning it with other international initiatives. RISE (an acronym for “Roadmap for Improving Seafood Ethics”) is a publicly available, open platform initiative that supports seafood companies’ evaluation and monitoring of their product and supply chains.

“Supporting pathways for companies to responsibly source seafood is a crucial component in helping improve labor conditions in the supply chain,” Walmart.org Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives Rebecca Westover said. “FishWise has a trusted reputation for fostering leadership within the seafood industry to improve sustainability through its convening power and ability to equip the industry with practical tools. They are well-positioned to help propel the system-wide change needed in this area.”

FishWise has also hired Lori Bishop to lead its social responsibility division. Prior to joining FishWise, Bishop created Humanity United’s largest anti-slavery programs, including a groundbreaking initiative to engage corporations, investors, and others in a proactive fight against modern slavery in sectors including gold, palm oil, and seafood.

“Hiring Lori Bishop demonstrates our deepening commitment to improve human rights issues in seafood. We are excited to have her lead our social responsibility division and guide the important work that lies ahead,” FishWise CEO Tobias Aguirre said.

Human rights and labor issues have created reputational challenges for seafood companies and the “brand” seafood. Initiatives like RISE are intended to help the industry create meaningful change in how companies do business and deliver sustainable products to market, Aguirre said.

“For several years, FishWise has played a leading role in bringing labor, human rights, and environmental organizations together to build understanding and alignment,” continued Aguirre. “Now, with Lori’s leadership, renewed funding from the Walmart Foundation, and a broad coalition of partners, our organization is committed to achieving an integrated vision for seafood that addresses people, planet, and profit.”

Photo courtesy of FishWise


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