Where retailers are falling short
Many retailers selling seafood have enrolled in Fisheries Improvement Programmes, which allow them to display ‘responsibly sourced’ branding on their products. For customers, this can be misleading. These projects have been set up to address these issues with the support of the Marine Stewardship Council. However, these have yet to prevent environmental harm in our seas and damage to seabed habitats and other fisheries continues, sometimes illegally.
These projects talk around the problem, instead of taking action. In the meantime businesses such as Marks and Spencer, Youngs Seafood and Tesco claim that their involvement in the projects mean their sourcing is responsible. We think this is the very definition of greenwash.
Responsible sourcing means buying from responsible sources, ensuring that a business’ products do not come from environmentally harmful sources and is not funding damage. It is not something you do next year or the year after, once problems within your supply chain have been sorted out. It’s something that responsible businesses should act on and embed into their buying decisions today.
After a long time trying to encourage the seafood industry to take leadership and action (read our extended blog), we think it is now time to publicly call on these businesses to do the right thing and end seafood greenwash. Many companies will not act unless their boards of directors know the public – ie their customers – are watching and care about the implications of their buying decisions.
As a consumer you can also take other actions, by choosing to eat more sustainable fish and avoiding some of the most environmentally damaging seafood that is sourced irresponsibly from our seas. Until the problems are sorted out we are urging people to stop buying dredge-caught scallops and scampi from bottom-trawls. #EndSeafoodGreenwash.
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