The UK’s biggest seafood businesses urge the government to put sustainability at the heart of the Fisheries Bill.
Some of the biggest seafood businesses in the UK have come together to call on the government to enshrine sustainable fishing in law following Brexit.
In a letter to the Environment Secretary, George Eustice, businesses from the Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC) have argued that current ineffective management of fisheries limits the ability of UK fishing communities to sell to responsible UK businesses.
Instead, they are calling for a more sustainably-minded Fisheries Bill to reduce reliance on imports, improve responsible sourcing and boost the health of the oceans.
The letter is signed by 22 of the UK’s leading supermarkets, including Tesco, Waitrose & Partners and Sainsbury’s.
Members of the SSC, of which environmental law organisation ClientEarth is the secretariat, operate under the guidance of their Codes of Conduct, collectively written to underline shared commitments to responsible sourcing.
As a result, the SSC has helped approximately three-quarters of all seafood sold in UK supermarkets to be labelled and sourced responsibly.
Melissa Tillotson, aquaculture & fisheries manager at Waitrose & Partners, said: ‘The opportunity to manage shared stocks – that represent such an important element of UK fisheries – based on international law, robust sustainability and scientific evidence should be at the heart of the Bill.’
SSC Coordinator Oliver Tanqueray added: ‘SSC members want to see stronger legislation to ensure sustainable fishing practices are enshrined in law.
‘The UK should be leading on this issue and not falling short of international best practices. Consumers are demanding sustainable seafood – to be able to source this from UK waters, businesses need to see better management of our fisheries’
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