The European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella opened on May 16, 2019, the 2019 European Maritime Day conference in Lisbon whose main focus was boosting a “blue” economy. The EC also launched the second edition of its Blue Economy Report.
Fair Trade USA, the leading certifier of Fair Trade products in North America, and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), the leading certification and labelling program for responsible aquaculture, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pilot Fair Trade USA’s requirements in some ASC-certified fish farms, it was announced on October 9, 2018.
Through this collaboration, the organizations will implement Fair Trade USA’s innovative model of responsible business and conscious consumption in certified fish farms adhering to the robust environmental and social criteria of the ASC standard. The pilot will also examine how the Fair Trade program can work as a ladder towards ASC certification within the framework of ASC’s newly formed “Improver Programme.”
The Fair Trade model enables sustainable livelihoods for fishermen around the world while empowering them to improve their communities via the Community Development Fund – additional income earned for every pound of Fair Trade Certified™ seafood sold. To date, there are nine Fair Trade Certified seafood supply chains and several more in the pipeline.
ASC distinguishes fish farms that operate to the highest social and environmental standards. ASC standards are created in a transparent, multi-stakeholders process and are reviewed at regular intervals to ensure that the requirements remain robust, reflecting best global practices. With the launch of ASC’s Improver Programme, producers can now receive guidance on how to improve their farming methods. The goal of the program is to leverage market forces by attracting producers at all stages on the journey towards sustainability to drive improvements in those areas where the biggest change can be achieved. Continue reading FAIR Trade USA & the ASC partner to pilot the Fair Trade “add-on” to some ASC-certified farms; of ASC’s Improver Programme→
WWF welcomed on Monday July 9, 2018, the announcement of a voluntary krill fishery closure along the Antarctic Peninsula by five fishing companies who make up the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting companies (ARK), and which represent 85% of the krill fishing industry in the Antarctic: the world’s largest krill fishing company, Aker BioMarine (Norway), Pesca Chile (Chile), Insung (South Korea), Rimfrost (Norway) and China National Fisheries Corporation (China). The companies have also pledged to support the scientific and political process for the creation of a network of large-scale marine protected areas in the Antarctic, including areas in which they currently operate.
Aker BioMarine also says it will support the creation of marine sanctuaries in Antarctica through the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in coming years. “WWF welcomes the initiative by Aker BioMarine and other ARK members to voluntarily commit to protecting Antarctica and its extraordinary wildlife,” said Chris Johnson, Senior Manager of WWF’s Antarctic Programme.
The voluntary krill fishery closure comes as a direct result of a Greenpeace campaign to protect the Antarctic Ocean, backed by 1.7 million people globally; it was announced at the ‘Antarctic 360°’ Greenpeace event in Cambridge (UK). “The momentum for protection of the Antarctic’s waters and wildlife is snowballing. A huge movement of people globally has been joined by scientists, governments, celebrities and now even the companies fishing in the Antarctic. This is a bold and progressive move from these krill fishing companies, and we hope to see the remainder of the krill industry follow suit,” said Frida Bengtsson, Greenpeace Nordic Protect the Antarctic campaign.
Andrea Kavanagh, Director of Antarctic and Southern Ocean conservation, Pew Charitable Trusts, commented: “The Association of Responsible Krill harvesting companies’ support for the creation of a network of marine protected areas (MPAs), including large no-fishing zones, is a truly visionary step that more commercial fishing interests in Antarctica and around the world should follow. Cooperation among scientists, governments, industry, and conservation groups is the surest bet to protecting the 30 percent of the ocean that scientists tell us is needed to maintain global ocean health. We expect to see the Weddell Sea and waters off East Antarctica declared marine parks in October. Governments should follow industry’s lead and support MPAs.”
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