Getting seafood from a sustainable fishery can be a complicated process. We need to consider the direct impacts on the marine environment as well as the wider environment (particularly given the added stresses caused by global warming) and on local communities.
For this reason, we have developed a guide with several criteria for supermarkets and seafood purchasers to follow when selecting seafood from suppliers:
- First, stop selling red listed species. The first and most meaningful step for supermarkets is to immediately commit to removing from sale those species most in peril due to destructive or illegal fishing.
- Adopt and implement a procurement policy that reduces the impacts of fishing. Effective sustainable seafood procurement policies will ensure the long-term sustainability of all the seafood products supermarkets sell. This is good for both the environment and for business, as consumers increasingly consider the impact of their seafood purchases on the health of the oceans.
- Communicate these concerns and solutions up the supply chain. To date, many environmentalists have asked individual consumers to shift their seafood purchases to reduce effects on overexploited species. These have proved complicated, bewildering and often ineffective. By asking supermarkets to take an active role in preserving overfished species, Greenpeace is enlisting the aid of informed seafood professionals whose decisions send strong signal back through the supply chain.
- Supermarkets must support improvements in the labeling of seafood products, in order to help consumers make informed decisions. This should include detail about the name of the product, and how and where it was caught or farmed.