Greenpeace demands on seafood labelling

Page - March 16, 2009
In many countries, seafood labelling is poor, making it impossible for customers to trace where the fish they buy comes from, and what method was used to catch it. Sometimes, it is even difficult to tell which species is present in the product or on the counter.

Fish market in Honiara.

A good seafood product label provides complete and accurate information about the origin of the product, and allows consumers and retailers to make an informed choice about buying sustainable seafood.

Greenpeace demands fully-verifiable chain-of-custody for all seafood products. Any seafood product (as in products made of marine animals) sold by fishmongers, wholesalers or retailers must have clear and easily understandable and readable labelling, containing the following information:

Products made from wild caught seafood:

  • The specific common names of each seafood species contained in the product (e.g. not just ‘tuna’ but ‘skipjack tuna’)
  • the scientific name (Latin species name) for each seafood species contained in the product
  • the catch area, as defined by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) spelled out in words (not as a number), and the name of the stock where each species contained in the product came from (e.g. Georges Bank stock)
  • the production method (‘wild caught’) for each seafood species contained in the product
  • the gear type (e.g. trawl) and exact fishing method (e.g. bottom otter trawl or mid-water trawl; purse seining or purse seine with fish aggregation device) used for each seafood species contained in the product

Upon request and/or on the retailer’s website, the following information should be made available to consumers:

  • The status of the stock (depleted, lightly-exploited, fully-exploited, over-exploited), according to the scientific body advising the management organisation in charge (e.g. ICES for the stocks managed by the European Union); in the event that a stock assessment has not been undertaken, this should be indicated
  • the identification number (ID) and the flag state of the vessel that caught each seafood species contained in the product
  • the port and country of landing, as well as the country of processing, for each seafood species contained in the product.

Products made from farmed/ranched seafood:

  • The specific common names of each seafood species contained in the product (e.g. not just ‘Cod’ but ‘Atlantic cod’)
  • the full scientific name (Latin species name, e.g. Penaeus monodon instead of Penaeus spp.), for each seafood species contained in the product
  • whether the species is ‘naturally occurring’, is a ‘domesticated breed’, or is an ‘introduced species’ in the area where it has been farmed
  • the country of origin for each seafood species contained in the product
  • the production method (‘farmed’ or ‘ranched’) for each seafood species contained in the product

Upon request and/or on the retailer’s website, the following information should be made available to consumers:

  • name or identification number (ID) of farm/ranch
  • information about the farming/ranching method:
    • Extensive, semi-intensive, intensive
    • closed/open system
    • source of broodstock
    • chemical products (pharmaceutics, fertilisers, fungicides etc.) that have been used in the production process
    • composition of feed (species and agricultural sources) and percentage of fish meal and oil
    • whether feed contained genetically modified organisms (if yes, list which).

The above information needs to be provided for all products containing any kind of seafood in processed and unprocessed products.

Categories
Tags