Example of a model policy

Background - 17 June, 2008
Model sustainable and equitable seafood policy for retailers.

General statement

[retailer] acknowledges that:
  • The world’s fish stocks are being unsustainably caught and the fishing and aquaculture industries are involved in unsustainable and unfair practices, both on land and at sea
  • The current decline of fish resources, coupled with the current consumption patterns of the developed world is not sustainable nor equitable, and needs to be reversed
  • [name] as a retailer has a responsibility to act, and needs to play a role in reversing the decline of living marine resources.

[retailer] acknowledges that if supermarkets are to continue to supply what many people see as a healthy food option, comprehensive sustainable and equitable seafood sourcing policies must be developed and implemented.

[retailer] understands that sustainable and equitable seafood does not fall under any of the following five categories:

  • Seafood from overfished stocks or species listed as vulnerable, threatened, endangered, critically endangered, data deficient or protected on any domestic or international list
  • Species that are vulnerable to exploitation
  • Seafood from poorly managed or illegal, unregulated and undocumented – (IUU) fisheries.
  • Seafood caught or farmed using methods that are detrimental to other marine species and/or habitats.
  • Seafood caught of farmed in a manner that threatens the traditional fishing grounds/ livelihoods of, especially, the poor of developing countries, or is the result of an inequitable fisheries access agreement to the stocks of developing coastal countries.

In order to deliver sustainable and equitable seafood to our customers [retailer] is has developed the following goals and timelines for sustainable fish procurement:

1. Remove the worst

  • Stop buying all seafood that is red graded when  assessed with Greenpeace’s ‘Red-Grade’ Criteria for Unsustainable Fisheries or aquaculture (or equivalent) within – [xx months]

2. Support the best

  • Increase the range of seafood that is farmed or fished to the standards described in Greenpeace’s criteria for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture within [xx months]

3. Improve the rest

  • Work with suppliers to source seafood from the best sources available for the remaining species. Work with governments, the fishing industry, NGOs and scientists to improve the management, sustainability and fairness of the fisheries that [retailer] continues to source from.
  • Stop selling fish from any fisheries, farms or suppliers that refuse to change to more sustainable methods, or to give fair returns to the coastal states for access to their fisheries
  • Only sell wild seafood that is traceable back to the vessel that caught it, with evidence that the catch was within quota.

4. Demonstrate and promote sustainable and equitable practices

  • Promote sustainable and equitable seafood to customers
  • Clearly label ALL products containing seafood with the full common and scientific names, the stock from which the seafood was caught or the farm in which it was cultivated, and the detailed fishing or farming method used
  • Support sustainability initiatives for fisheries and aquaculture
  • Make this policy publicly available and conduct a publicly available annual status report on the implementation of the policy
  • Train staff to help customers choose sustainable seafood
  • Promote alternative sources of omega-3 fatty acids