Greater collaboration is needed to secure sustainable seafood | WWF South Africa

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Greater collaboration is needed to secure sustainable seafood

The latest WWF South Africa’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative (WWF SASSI) Retailer/Supplier Participation Scheme report has been released.

Retailers and suppliers should work together in the interests of securing more sustainable seafood to their customers.

This is one of the key messages in the latest WWF South Africa’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative (WWF SASSI) Retailer/Supplier Participation Scheme report which was released this week.

The sixth report, which was delayed due to Covid-19, focuses on progress made by the 10 participants in the scheme in 2019. Participants include leading seafood retailers, major supermarket and seafood restaurant chains.

The Retailer/Supplier Participation Scheme was initiated in 2008 as a platform for companies to make public commitments about the responsible sourcing and selling of sustainable seafood. The aim was also to create a strong market incentive for both commercial and small-scale fisheries to improve their production practices so that suppliers could buy from responsibly managed sources hence transforming the seafood supply chain.

An example of successful collaboration among the 10 participants, highlighted in the report, is the way in which scheme members were able to persuade the Namibian Hake Association to improve their fishery sufficiently to meet Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification standards.

Among several challenges cited in the report is the mislabelling of seafood, seafood from Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing activities making it way into legal markets as well as a change in the conservation status of specific species and the classification of bycatch.

Pavitray Pillay, WWF’s Environmental Behaviour Change Practitioner and WWF-SASSI Manager, commented: “By adopting a more unified voice and working together in a pre-competitive space, participants have the power to drive positive change on the water. Better communication means that they are able to overcome challenges together.”

A pod of common dolphins feeding on sardines near East London off the South African coast.

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