Opinions split on EU eco-label for seafood products

The majority of respondents to a recent European Commission's consultation on the need for introducing an EU-wide eco-label for fisheries and aquaculture products believe that the EU and other public bodies should play a greater role in eco-labeling, but views were much more divided on the level of their involvement.

Some 74 percent of respondents agreed that the EU should help set up international standards and 72 percent said the EU should set minimum standards for eco-labels. A further 70 percent were in favor of both national authorities checking claims and there also being control of certification bodies.

However, with regards to the EU creating a special eco-label for fishery and aquaculture products, 50 percent of participants agreed with the proposal and 35 percent disagreed. Only 21 percent of participants agreed that the current system should be kept.

The consultation was open from May to July 2015 with the intention to assist the Commission in understanding opinions on the impacts and issues associated with fisheries and aquaculture eco-labels from different stakeholder groups.

It attracted 443 responses from 24 EU member states and 12 non-EU countries, as well as eight position papers. Respondents included NGOs, professional organizations involved in fisheries and aquaculture as well as certification schemes, and members of the public.

The EU is the world’s biggest market for certified seafood products.


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