Author Archives: Michael Haines

Guest post: The Happy Prawn Co. on trust, traceability and transparency

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Members of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition have a shared commitment to environmentally responsible sourcing and labelling. However, their businesses are all very different, and the ways that they approach the sustainable seafood landscape can vary.

This blog is the first in a series where we’ll be handing the reins over to our members, who will explain their experiences of the coalition in their own words. The series will explore their motivations for joining the SSC, their experiences of implementing the Codes of Conduct and information on projects or initiatives which support them in their pursuit of progress on seafood sustainability. In this blog, Aanisah Idriss shows how The Happy Prawn Co. lives the SSC values of trust, traceability and transparency.

What motivated The Happy Prawn Co. to join the Sustainable Seafood Coalition?

The Sustainable Seafood Coalition is a partnership of UK businesses that shares the same vision: that all fish and seafood sold in the UK comes from sustainable sources.

Although this vision is what ultimately motivated us at The Happy Prawn Co. to join the coalition, the SSC also seeks to promote and uphold the values we believe in too! These are trust, traceability, and transparency.

Our farmers ready to plant mangroves around our ponds

Trust is the heart of The Happy Prawn Co. and likewise the SSC. All members are trusted to uphold the Codes of Conduct which aim to promote responsible seafood production. SSC members either source or produce their products from various parts of the world. So should a consumer purchase one of the listed members products, they can trust that they are contributing towards healthier seas,  not only in the UK but also worldwide.

Following on from trust is traceability. We at The Happy Prawn Co. believe that our customers should know what they are eating! This means that we track each step of our production processes, right from the sea (or farms) to the end customer. So, if there is an issue with any of our products, we can trace it all the way back and identify the cause of the issue. So, by having traceability methods in place, you can trust what you are eating.

Lastly, transparency. We at The Happy Prawn Co. have nothing to hide and firmly believe in being open with our customers. The SSC promotes this too; a commitment to transparency is part of the coalition’s Codes of Conduct. Transparency allows our customers to feel connected to our brand, our mission and our vision. We believe that being transparent not only promotes connectivity but also raises awareness amongst consumers and makes you involved in promoting healthier seas too!

So, those are the reasons why The Happy Prawn Co. has joined the SSC. The SSC promotes a conscious and responsible way of doing business in the seafood industry, and that’s food for thought for next time you’re thinking about buying seafood.

Our happy farmers at a monthly meeting

Iceland Foods Ltd

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“At Iceland we believe that we have a responsibility to preserve our planet for future generations, and have developed our Responsible Sourcing policy for Iceland Own Brand fish and seafood to reflect this.”

Iceland Foods Ltd joined in September 2017

“We joined the SSC as we share the visions and aims of the coalition and want to continue to offer our customers “food you can trust”.”

More about Iceland Foods Ltd

Iceland Foods Limited is the UK’s leading specialist retailer of frozen food. Iceland was established in 1970 and now operates more than 880 stores in the UK, trading as Iceland or The Food Warehouse. Iceland has always been a responsible retailer, committed to providing safe, quality and ethically sourced food.

For more information visit our responsible sourcing page.


pelican flying over ocean

A new website for the SSC – dive in!

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The Sustainable Seafood Coalition is pleased to launch our new website! While giving it a streamlined look, we made sure the essentials are there for anyone interested in our collaborative approach to seafood sustainability.

You can access the SSC codes of conduct, setting minimum standards for responsible seafood sourcing and harmonised labelling. You can find out about our member businesses, or look at our terms of reference to explore membership requirements. You can also hear our members explain why the SSC matters to them, in our brand new video.

We hope you will find the website useful – feel free to send any feedback to


Photo: Chris Bartnik Photography
school of fish

Fish stock exploitation levels decline

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Exploitation of fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic has significantly declined over the last ten years. This is the conclusion of scientists at the annual meeting of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) Advisory Committee (ACOM), held this month in Copenhagen.

ACOM supplies scientific advice on coastal and ocean management. They analysed historical trends for 85 fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic since 1960, looking at factors like fishing pressure (how many fish are removed by fishing) and stock size. The scientists found fish stocks have begun to recover over the last ten years and there has been less fishing pressure.

By reducing fishing pressure in the short term, fish populations are more likely to recover to higher levels which can lead to higher profitability in the long run. The declines in fishing pressure may have stemmed from increasing fuel costs, changing markets or reductions in catch limits.

Improving stocks

The report shows cod stocks have improved in the Baltic Sea, the Barents Sea and the seas around Iceland. Herring in the Baltic, the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea have also started to improve and are being harvested in line with targets set by policy makers.

However, these improvements are not universal for all fish stocks. Fishing pressure may be decreasing on average, but ICES still advises that catches of some stocks should be minimised.

Global issues

A yearly report produced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) summarises the status of the world’s fisheries. In 2011 they estimated that 57.4% of fish stocks are fully exploited and another 29.9% over-exploited. Nevertheless, the latest report from ACOM shows improvements are happening in the seas around Europe.

What are we doing?

The Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC) is providing real solutions for a sustainable future. We want all fish and seafood sold in the UK to come from sustainable sources and we have ten aims to achieve this vision.  The SSC’s voluntary code on responsible sourcing will mean consumers can be confident the seafood they buy meets or exceeds minimum standards of responsibility, while the aim to promote the diversification of responsibly sourced seafood should help alleviate fishing pressure on the most popular species. The SSC will also be encouraging fishers to collect more data on UK fish stocks so that management decisions can be better informed by evidence. See the members of the SSC here.

Article: Rebecca Giesler  Image: William Warby
This blog was updated on 14/12/2016.
woman looking at fish

Give us your feedback on our labelling code

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We have written a voluntary code of conduct to make labelling on fish and seafood consistent and easy to understand.  The draft of the ‘SSC Code of Conduct on Environmental Labelling and Self-Declared Environmental claims of Fish and Seafood’ has been agreed by our members. We are now seeking feedback from the general public and interested stakeholders for a period of six weeks (26 April – 7 June 2013).

You can download the code, a simple and detailed explanation document, and the feedback form. Please return the feedback from to by Friday, 7 June 2013.

ClientEarth, as secretariat of the SSC, will collate the feedback and present it to the SSC members. Feedback will be considered and if necessary, amendments made, before final sign off and implementation by the members. The final code will be available to download on this website.

Photo: Another Seb