On 17 September 2015 we sent a letter to the European Commission in support of setting fishing opportunities for 2016 at sustainable levels, as legally required under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
Under the CFP, the legally mandated objective for fisheries management is to manage stocks sustainably, meaning the impact of fishing will allow stocks to recover and be maintained above levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield (MSY). This is crucial for our purposes. In particular, we support that:
- fisheries management must aim to recover or maintain stocks to biomass levels above that which would produce MSY;
- your proposal for next year’s fishing opportunities should adopt the appropriate MSY-based fishing mortality rates, where it is possible to do so, as required by the CFP; and
- in mixed fisheries it must be ensured that all stocks are managed according to the MSY objective, meaning some stocks may need to be underexploited to avoid overexploitation of other stocks.
For the sake of our businesses and as part of our commitment to responsible seafood sourcing, we encourage the Commission to propose Total Allowable Catches in line with the CFP’s requirement to achieve MSY exploitation rates for as many stocks as possible in 2016. For stocks where this is not possible, the Commission should show how this will be reached incrementally and progressively by 2020.
On behalf of the following members:
- British Retail Consortium (BRC)
- Direct Seafoods
- Harbour Lights
- Icelandic Seachill
- M&J Seafood
- Marks and Spencer
- New England Seafood
- River Cottage
- Sustainable Restaurant Association
- The Co-operative Food
- Young’s Seafood
Today Greenpeace has released the results of its 2015 tuna league table, which ranks all major UK supermarkets and brands. Greenpeace assess sustainability levels, fishing method, supply chain traceability, legality, protection of local workers and other factors. The results show strong leadership from SSC members Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s (placed first to third, respectively), as well as Tesco, which jumped up the rankings to fourth place.
Waitrose Aquaculture and Fisheries Manager, Jeremy Ryland Langley, said:
“We are delighted that our efforts in ensuring we offer sustainable and ethical tuna to customers has been recognised. All of our canned tuna is pole and line caught and clearly marked as Marine Stewardship Council certified, including all the tuna in ready-prepared products such as sandwiches and pâtés. In addition all skipjack tuna used as an ingredient in any Waitrose product is also Marine Stewardship Council certified. Sustainability is at the very heart of what we do and we are proud to be market-leading.”
Marks and Spencer said:
“Sourcing ethical and sustainable seafood is something we’re passionate about at M&S so we’re thrilled to feature within the top 2 of the Greenpeace league table. Not only do our customers expect us to source responsibly, but the future of the world’s fisheries depends on it. Tuna is a popular choice with our customers and we work very hard to bring them the highest quality products from fisheries and suppliers we know and trust.”
Ally Dingwall, Aquaculture & Fisheries Manager at Sainsbury’s said:
“We’re delighted that our effort to improve the sustainability of our tuna has been recognised by Greenpeace and encouraged others to follow our lead. We hope further progress can be made within the sector to make our oceans safer for marine species.”
“We want to ensure that our customers can buy seafood that is both sustainable and affordable. We continue to work hard with our supplier partners and our experts to achieve this.”