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FishWise at Seafood Expo North America – Navigating Seafood Trade and Legislation in 2017

Created on Thursday, 13 April 2017

Over the past twenty years, the sustainable seafood movement has grown to include seafood industry and conservation leaders who recognize a shared interest in environmental stewardship. More recently, the movement has adapted to new challenges with seafood companies becoming increasingly concerned with traceability and human rights abuses in supply chains. At the Seafood Expo North America this March, Aurora Alifano of FishWise joined a unique panel of representatives from the government, legal, and corporate sectors to discuss industry compliance with trade laws and legislation, particularly those addressing human trafficking and modern slavery. Panelists included Michael Littenberg, Partner at Ropes & Gray LLP; Jack Scott, Head of Sustainability and Contract Manufacturing at Nestlé Purina PetCare; and Ken Kennedy, Senior Policy Advisor with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security. Key recommendations put forth by panelists during the Seafood Expo session “Navigating Seafood Trade and Legislation in 2017” are shared below.

Why should companies invest in social responsibility?

Michael Littenberg, Partner at Ropes & Gray LLP said, “The biggest change we’re seeing is going from thinking of corporate social responsibility as a ‘nice to have’, to now more companies viewing it as central to their businesses. And increasingly, it is also becoming a regulated part of doing business.” The recent Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 gives legal incentive for more U.S. companies to take steps to avoid products associated with human trafficking and forced labor. However, determining the steps that a particular company should take to ensure compliance can be complicated.

How can companies assure they are compliant and exhibit due diligence?

Rather than trying to tackle all compliance issues at once, take a gradual, incremental approach. “The first thing you’ve got to do is get out a supplier expectations letter to establish the non-negotiable expectations for everyone you buy from,” Jack Scott suggested. Companies also need independent verification in their supply chains which may come from certifications, third party audits, or a combination of the two. Ken Kennedy highlighted the importance of having a plan in place before government enforcement action takes place. Companies can start by engaging in a supply chain risk assessment, based on particular products, where they are sourced from, and supplier compliance practices. The Department of Labor’s app, Sweat and Toil, can help identify products and supply chains that may require additional scrutiny. Although the various steps of compliance may seem overwhelming, Michael Littenberg wants companies to know that they can turn to multi-stakeholder initiatives, such as the Seafood Task Force or ISSARA Institute, for help. Once companies begin to take action, disclosure acts such as the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act and the UK Modern Slavery Act serve as opportunities for companies to highlight social responsibility initiatives and improvements within their supply chains.

For more information on reducing human trafficking and labor risks in the seafood industry, please visit to FishWise’s human rights resources page.

Investing in Traceability Tomorrow, Today

Created on Wednesday, 12 April 2017

 

Last month at the Seafood Expo North America in Boston, FishWise – in collaboration with the Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC), Future of Fish, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – organized a panel exploring what companies can do to implement traceability improvements now while ensuring they are setting themselves up to be adaptive and flexible to a rapidly evolving traceability landscape.

FishWise Traceability Division Director and 2017 Seafood Champion Award for Leadership finalist Mariah Boyle moderated the panel, titled “Investing in Traceability for Tomorrow, Today.” Panelists included Adriana Sanchez from Sea Delight, Guy Lott from Regal Springs Tilapia, and Mike Kraft from Bumble Bee Foods.

The panelists, each representing a different industry sector and niche, brought their own perspectives and experiences with traceability to the discussion. For Sea Delight, a midsize U.S. importer and distributor that sources from fisheries improvement projects (FIPs) globally, Adriana emphasized the importance of engaging small-scale fisheries in traceability improvement efforts and understanding the unique traceability challenges smaller producers face. Dealing exclusively in farmed tilapia and operating via vertically integrated supply chains, Guy discussed Regal Springs’ approach to traceability and how the company uses it to ensure product integrity and satisfy customer requests. Mike spoke to the importance of traceability for Bumble Bee’s internal tracking and supply chain needs, as well as leveraging traceability into additional product information for consumers via the company’s Trace My Catch website.

Bringing their hard-earned wisdom to the discussion, the panelists each discussed the influencing forces that spurred their company’s initial action to implement traceability improvements, the factors and considerations that helped them to decide where to focus traceability investments, and a few of the biggest challenges and benefits they’ve experienced over the course of their traceability journey. For Sea Delight, investing in traceability improvements over the last few years has played a key role in preparing the company to meet the U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program that will go into effect January 1, 2018. Guy highlighted that for Regal Springs, traceability has helped the company retain business while continuing to obtain new customers who value traceable product. And for Bumble Bee, traceability has enabled the company to meet its commitment to source legally harvested seafood and has resulted in increased visibility into the supply chains Bumble Bee works with.

The panelists each left the audience with one piece of advice: 1) Take action, know what’s coming, and ask questions! 2) Do your part to educate the public and have them demand traceable products and 3) Everyone is going to be at different starting points in terms of traceability. It is important to realize that and make improvements and changes that make the most sense for your company in terms of where you are now and what your end goal is.

In addition to “Investing in Traceability Tomorrow, Today,” FishWise, Future of Fish, GFTC, and WWF organized an additional panel at Boston – “Beyond Buzzwords: Translating Traceability for Everyone.” Moderated by Charles Steinback of Future of Fish, the panel featured Tejas Bhatt from GFTC, Tom Kraft from Norpac Fisheries, and David Schorr from WWF. The panel focused on the key concepts and technologies that promise to affect the traceability world in a very real way, the future of traceability, and the business case for its importance.

For more information about seafood traceability, please visit our Traceability Resources Page for additional information.

Welcome Jessie Zupcic-Moore!

Created on Monday, 03 April 2017

Hello FishWise readers!

My name is Jessie and I’ve recently joined FishWise as the Retail Division Intern.

My fascination with the ocean began when I was really young. I even have photos of myself as an infant holding on tightly to a little stuffed red lobster toy. As a kid, I was always so excited to take trips to the beach and to different aquariums around California. I was eager to learn about all the creatures that called the ocean their home. This drive throughout my childhood to find out more about the ocean lead me to UC Santa Cruz where I earned both a B.S. in Marine Biology and M.S. in Ocean Sciences. During my schooling, I spent a lot of time hanging out with seals, scuba diving with fish, and sailing on oceanographic vessels, focusing heavily on ecological research. As I move away from academic life, I’m eager to play a more hands-on role in encouraging positive change in the private sector. I am very excited to be working with and learning from FishWise.

When I’m not working, I enjoy climbing, baking, and tide pooling!

2017 NOAA report to Congress names IUU fishing countries

Created on Thursday, 30 March 2017

In January 2017, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published its Biennial Report[1] to Congress on Improving International Fisheries Management. In the report, NOAA identifies three nations whose fishing vessels were reported to have engaged in illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing: Ecuador, Mexico, and the Russian Federation.

IUU fishing “undermines economic opportunities for U.S. fishermen and poses a direct threat to food security and socio-economic stability in many parts of the world,” according to NOAA; and countries are held responsible under international law for the illegal activities of fishing vessels registered under their flag. Ecuador, Mexico, and the Russian Federation are reported to have had fishing vessels violate several IUU fishing regulations in the last two years, including fishing in restricted areas, discarding or misreporting catch, and disposing plastics into the sea.

Since the last Biennial Report was published in 2015, five of the six countries previously identified took sufficient action to prevent IUU activities by adopting new regulations, amending existing policies, and by sanctioning responsible individuals. Mexico was re-identified in the 2017 Biennial Report and negatively certified due to continued illegal fishing in U.S. waters and overfishing of shared stocks. When NOAA ‘negatively certifies’ a country, it means that that the country can incur trade and port restrictions, but none have been enacted for Mexico. NOAA will continue to work with Mexico to support corrective action against IUU fishing activities. Ecuador was also re-identified, but for different violations than previously reported in 2015. As Ecuador amended their legislation and resolved previous cases, the country is not subject to import or port access restrictions. The Russian Federation was identified for fishing illegally in U.S. waters and undermining conservation measures of the Southern Ocean’s fisheries authority, such as misreporting fishing activity.

The 2017 Biennial Report also identifies three countries “of interest”: Costa Rica, Italy, and Panama. Countries “of interest” have fishing vessels that were identified for IUU activities over the past two years; they are not formally recognized as the cases were resolved through previously existing compliance measures or other appropriate means.

NOAA intends to work with Ecuador, Mexico, and the Russian Federation to improve their fisheries management and enforcement and will assess their progress in the next Biennial Report, due in 2019. If a country fails to make sufficient progress towards addressing the IUU activities of its fishing vessels, they risk restrictions on seafood imports and the denial of port privileges for their fishing vessels.

The Biennial Report also includes updates regarding domestic, regional, and global efforts that have occurred over the last two years to combat IUU fishing, minimize bycatch of protected species, and conserve sharks. A few significant highlights include:

  • the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) created the world’s largest marine protected area in the Ross Sea
  • the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a final rule establishing the Seafood Import Monitoring Program, a national seafood traceability program aimed at preventing IUU and/or fraudulent seafood from entering U.S. commerce
  • Congress passed the Ensuring Access Pacific Fisheries Act which will allow the U.S. to join the two newest regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) – the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC) and the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO).

 

[1] NOAA is mandated to submit the Biennial Report to Congress under the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act, as amended by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act.

FishWise’s Mariah Boyle Announced as Seafood Champion Award Finalist

Created on Monday, 20 March 2017

BOSTON, March 20, 2017—Santa Cruz-based Mariah Boyle of FishWise is one of four finalists for the 2017 Seafood Champion Award for Leadership, SeaWeb announced today. A panel of seafood sustainability experts from industry and nonprofit organizations based in Asia, Europe and North America recognized her for bridging divides to unite businesses, NGOs and governments in pursuit of common goals. She has led companies such as Albertsons, Target, Hy-Vee and Sea Delight to improve traceability and reduce the risk of potential illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing and human rights abuses in seafood supply chains. Her efforts have positively affected more than 7,500 stores and 250 million pounds of seafood.

“It is an honor to be named a Seafood Champion finalist along with such a passionate and dedicated group of changemakers,” said Boyle. “The field of seafood traceability is exciting as it is evolving rapidly. New government requirements, novel efforts by individual companies, new NGO collaborations, and pre-competitive initiatives by private sector leaders are all focusing on this critical foundation of seafood supply chains. Discussions are now focusing on the ways traceability can help improve sustainability, social responsibility and verify legality within seafood supply chains.”

The annual Seafood Champion Awards program, now in its 11th year, recognizes individuals and organizations for excellence in promoting environmentally responsible seafood. There are 16 finalists in four categories. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on June 5 at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Seattle.

“This year’s finalists have a global perspective, whether they act locally or at a broader level,” said Mark Spalding, president of SeaWeb and The Ocean Foundation. “Improving seafood’s sustainability requires addressing difficult political, technical, social and economic questions. To create change, you have to forge alliances and bring people together around a common cause. These are not easy things to do, but the Champions on this list have forged ahead and are making real progress.”

“My work would not be possible without the excellent team at FishWise and the commitment demonstrated by the seafood companies leading in this field,” said Boyle. “The sustainable seafood community that SeaWeb brings together each year at the Seafood Summit is an inspiring group that I feel very privileged to be a part of.”

The Seafood Champion Award for Leadership recognizes people and organizations that bring stakeholders together to improve seafood sustainability or ocean health. In addition to Boyle, the finalists are:

  • Susi Pudjiastuti,Indonesia’s Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries since 2014. She has banned the use of bottom trawlers and other unsustainable catching devices; led the fight against IUU fishing in her geographically dispersed island nation; and fought against the use of forced labor on fishing vessels.
  • Wally Stevensof the Global Aquaculture Alliance. A widely admired leading light in aquaculture, he has developed the GAA as both a competitive force, with its Best Aquaculture Practices certification, and a precompetitive convener via the annual GOAL Conference, the Responsible Aquaculture Foundation, the Global Aquaculture Advocate and other initiatives.
  • Sea Pact, an innovative alliance of nine leading North American seafood businesses. The organization uses its collective power to lead improvement throughout the global supply chain, funding projects to drive change while showcasing how competitors can work together.

The Seafood Champion Award for Innovation recognizes those who identify and apply new solutions to ecological challenges, market needs or sustainability barriers. The finalists are:

  • FISH-i Africa, a partnership of eight East African countries that combats large-scale illegal fishing by sharing information and taking collective enforcement action. FISH-i’s string of investigations and prosecutions has created a more responsible fisheries sector.
  • Pelagic Data Systems, which has developed a vessel-tracking technology based on an affordable, solar-powered data collection device for small vessels. The technology has helped combat IUU fishing in Gabon, Mexico, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Peru, Philippines, Thailand and the U.S.
  • Alan Lovewellof the 1,200-member, community-supported fishery Real Good Fish. He also runs Bay2Tray, a program within Real Good Fish that brings affordable local fish to public school districts with high poverty rates and sends fishermen into classrooms to teach about the ocean, fishing and health.
  • Karl Warrof Better Fishing. He has improved the sustainability of bottom trawling with an easily fitted cage mechanism that can free 95 percent of juvenile fish, saving fuel costs and allowing fishers to catch species selectively.

The Seafood Champion Award for Vision recognizes distinctive visions that significantly advance the sustainable seafood community. The finalists are:

  • Bren Smith, who is leading the development and promotion of 3-D ocean farms. His nonprofit GreenWavehelps fishers become ocean farmers by adopting GreenWave’s open-source, replicable model, which restores rather than depletes ocean ecosystems.
  • Matthew Beaudin, executive chef of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, who moved $1 million in buying power to seafood producers within a 90-mile radius. He also is a regional and cross-border leader, developing aquaponics programs to support orphaned, HIV-positive children in Mexico.
  • The Marine Research Foundation, a three-person nonprofit in Malaysia whose work protects endangered sea turtles while making Malaysia’s shrimp-fishing industry more sustainable. The MRF overcame entrenched opposition to the use of turtle excluder devices and now anticipates a full rollout of the devices, which will save an estimated 4,000 turtles. That will open access for Malaysia to a global market hungry for sustainable shrimp.
  • The Global Ghost Gear Initiative, the first effort to tackle the problem of abandoned fishing gear on a global scale. This international, cross-sector partnership works with stakeholders from fishers to the United Nations to collect data and develop and model solutions that remove ghost gear from the ocean.

The Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy recognizes the promotion of sustainability, use of the media to raise the profile of sustainable seafood, work to strengthen public policy and resource allocations, and championing of advances in sustainable seafood. The finalists are:

  • TheInternational Pole & Line Foundation, which spearheaded an effort by Indian Ocean countries to reform tuna fisheries management and played a central role in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission’s groundbreaking adoption of a precautionary harvest strategy.
  • Ned Bell, Ocean Wise executive chef at the Vancouver Aquariumand founder of Chefs for Oceans, who has made sustainable seafood his mission. In 2014, he rode his bike 8,700 km across Canada, hosting 20 events alongside some of the country’s best chefs to raise awareness of sustainable seafood.
  • Dr. Caleb Otto, former Permanent Representative of the Republic of Palau to the United Nations, who has led his small island nation to a position of leadership on the international stage through his passionate advocacy for ocean health and sustainability at the United Nations.
  • Bill Mookof Mook Sea Farm in Maine, who is modeling how shellfish growers everywhere can address the threat of ocean acidification. He has become a resource for hatchery and farm operators in the U.S. and abroad, counseling them on how to avoid losses and exchanging innovative ideas for protecting the industry.

For more information on the awards and finalists, go to www.seafoodchampions.org. For more information on the awards ceremony and the Seafood Summit, go to www.seafoodsummit.org.

 

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About FishWise

FishWise is a nonprofit sustainable seafood consultancy based in Santa Cruz, CA. Uniquely positioned between the seafood industry and marine conservation organizations, FishWise offers a range of services that empower businesses and a diverse community of collaborators to lead the transition to a sustainable, responsible seafood industry. For more information, please visit www.fishwise.org, and follow FishWise’s work on Facebook and Twitter.

About SeaWeb

SeaWeb serves the sustainable seafood community by nourishing a coordinated infrastructure of people and knowledge to guide, inspire and reward the seafood industry’s adoption of sustainable practices. SeaWeb is a project of The Ocean Foundation, a unique community foundation with a mission to support, strengthen and promote organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. SeaWeb produces the Seafood Summit in partnership with Diversified Communications.

Welcome Jodie King!

Created on Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Hi FishWise readers!

My name is Jodie and I am very excited to have recently joined the FishWise team as an Office Manager in which my primary role is providing administrative support to the FishWise staff.

My love for the ocean began many years ago as a child when my family and I would travel to Santa Cruz to camp and visit the beaches. I went on to receive my B.S. from CSU Sacramento, where following graduation I had the opportunity to live on both the Oregon and Florida coasts. It wasn’t until living in these coastal communities that I really had the opportunity to learn more about the importance of seafood sustainability. Coming back to Santa Cruz where my initial love for the water began, I was inspired to seek a career in which my previous skills and experiences would align with that of an organization making a positive impact on our environment. Prior to FishWise, I hailed from the Hospitality industry, where I held a variety of roles including managing and coordinating all the logistical aspects for a wide variety of events. I am very excited to have the opportunity to combine my interpersonal and organizational skills and passion for the ocean through my position at FishWise.

In my free time, I enjoy cooking, traveling to new places, snowboarding, sitting on the beach with a good book and being outside at every opportunity.

FishWise announces partnership with seafood supplier North Atlantic, Inc. to work on supply chain sustainability and transparency 

Created on Monday, 06 March 2017

 

Santa Cruz, Calif. (March 6, 2017) – FishWise announced today a new partnership with Portland, Maine-based frozen seafood supplier North Atlantic, Inc. (NAI) and its Indonesian subsidiary, Bali Seafood International (BSI). This partnership aims to further advance and communicate NAI/BSI’s commitment to sustainable and socially responsible seafood while exploring new opportunities to expand their influence in the industry.

Recognizing the importance of both sustainable fisheries and communities, NAI/BSI and its partners have invested in a new initiative to build infrastructure in the Lesser Sunda region of Indonesia that will integrate numerous fishing support services, including cold chain technologies, fisheries management, and education. Their new fishery community centers are expected to generate improvements in food safety and waste, traceability, and socioeconomic indicators, alongside environmental gains. BSI will pay premiums to fishers operating through the community centers, incentivizing artisanal fishermen to adopt more responsible practices.

NAI and BSI are seeking to share this innovative commercially-sponsored fishery management model with industry and broader sustainability stakeholders given its potential value in linking artisanal fishermen directly to seafood markets and improving livelihoods throughout fishing communities. This work builds on NAI’s engagement in fishery improvement projects and traceability, as well as its long-term partnerships with retailers to direct supply chains and address critical responsible harvesting practices.

“North Atlantic has been a trusted vendor to our retail partners for many years and we are excited to begin working with them more formally,” said William Wall, FishWise Distributor Division Director. “We at FishWise are always aiming to create and promote progressive sustainability leaders. North Atlantic’s ambition is unique — they are taking direct responsibility for the wellbeing of the community in which they operate and are developing mechanisms for lasting change, which we’re keen to communicate given the potential for these efforts to serve as a model for other companies.”

By capitalizing on FishWise’s expertise and network in North America, this partnership seeks to create market recognition for the on-the-ground impact NAI/BSI is developing and to ensure fishermen are rewarded for participating in community-based fisheries management.

“North Atlantic is already demonstrating its leadership in commercially sponsored seafood sustainability and social responsibility efforts,” said Bill Stride, CEO of North Atlantic. “We are excited to share our commitments more publicly and work with FishWise to prioritize future work with our new partnership.”

The partnership will begin with a third-party baseline review of NAI/BSI’s seafood products. It will then explore opportunities for aligning NAI/BSI’s integrated work with other sustainability and social responsibility initiatives globally, while promoting their milestones along the way.

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About FishWise

FishWise is a nonprofit sustainable seafood consultancy based in Santa Cruz, CA. Uniquely positioned between the seafood industry and marine conservation organizations, FishWise offers a range of services that empower businesses and a diverse community of collaborators to lead the transition to a sustainable, responsible seafood industry. For more information, please visit www.fishwise.org, and follow FishWise’s work on Facebook and Twitter.

About North Atlantic, Inc.

North Atlantic, Inc (NAI). is an importer of wild-caught seafood serving both traditional and emerging food retail channels. Since 1986 NAI has guided top tier retailers in ensuring supply chain visibility and responsible harvesting methods. PT Bali Seafood International, subsidiary of North Atlantic, Inc., is the parent company’s local processor and leads the development of their community-based fisheries management initiative. For more information, please contact NAI at 207-774-6025 or via email at info@northatlanticseafood.com.

About Bali Seafood International

Bali Seafood International (BSI), the Indonesian subsidiary of North Atlantic Inc., is an exporter of fully traceable, wild-caught seafood. BSI has pioneered an integrated fisheries management model focusing on three key areas: 1) building local community support in pursuit of sustainable resource harvesting, 2) driving positive social impact in the communities in which it works, and 3) providing hook-to-plate transparency for its consumers.

Producer Partner Spotlight: Scottish Seas Co-op

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FishWise is thrilled to announce a new producer partnership with Scottish Seas, a co-operative of Scottish fishermen operating in the northern North Sea and the West of Scotland. This represents the first producer partnership FishWise has entered with a seafood entity in the United Kingdom!

Scottish Seas fishermen are working together to bring the best of wild Scottish seafood to the world in a way that sustains their home communities and the seas they depend upon. The Scottish Seas fleet lands fish in many Scottish ports, including Peterhead, the easternmost point in Scotland and one of the busiest fishing ports in Europe.

This co-op is a joining together of three regional fish producers’ organizations (FPOs): Aberdeen FPO, Orkney FPO, and West of Scotland FPO. Orkney FPO was created in 2000, West of Scotland FPO was created in 1996, and the Aberdeen FPO was founded in 1973 and is the oldest FPO in Scotland. All these entities were created to represent the interests of the member vessels and fishermen. Currently, 65 vessels are part of Scottish Seas, representing over 200 fishermen.

The Scottish Seas fleet catches a range of North Atlantic species year-round. Two of the co-op’s top four species are certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard (haddock and Atlantic pollock/saithe), representing 12.7 million pounds of fish–that’s quite a boat load!

A third top species, Atlantic cod, is currently under MSC assessment, with a report released recently that preliminarily recommended the fishery for certification. If finalized, this will place nearly 60% of Scottish Seas’ portfolio under MSC certification–a number subject to even more growth with additional Scottish Seas species (plaice, hake, and whiting) and units of certification currently under MSC assessment.

Scottish Seas is working together cooperatively–not always an easy feat in the highly competitive industry–in the hopes of bringing a more recognizable identity to the fishermen and shedding light on their efforts to harvest seafood responsibly. Some of these efforts, in addition to certification, include increasing net mesh sizes beyond legal minimums (which helps protect young fish) and avoiding spawning aggregations (sensitive reproductive events) through the implementation of seasonal closed areas.

Operating in tandem with Scottish processors and global retailers to develop new products, Scottish Seas aims to conduct business in an innovative and open way, with no ambiguity about where its fish have originated when its products hit the shelves.
To learn more about this partner, please contact us. If you are interested in placing an order, please contact Polly Legendre of Polished Brands for a referral, or contact Scottish Seas directly through David Anderson (david@scottishseas.com).

FishWise at Seafood Expo North America

Created on Monday, 27 February 2017

FishWise will be attending the Seafood Expo North America March 19th – 21st in Boston. There are a number of panels on traceability, human rights, and anti-IUU that FishWise will be participating in, both as a member of the Seafood Traceability Collaboration and independently with other participants.

Seafood Traceability Collaboration

FishWise alongside Future of Fish, Global Food Traceability Center, and WWF have come together with the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Oceans and Seafood Markets Initiative (OSMI) to form the OSMI Seafood Traceability Collaboration. Our four organizations have aligned around a strong common vision and bring diverse but complementary capabilities and approaches to implementing that vision. We look forward to transparent communication with both industry and our fellow NGOs about our work and goals.

Boston and Beyond

The Seafood Traceability Collaboration has created a coordinated group of sessions for the Seafood Expo North America in Boston March 19-21, 2017. Session descriptions are below – we hope that you will join us!  If you have questions, please email us at tracecollaboration@futureoffish.org.

 INVESTING IN TRACEABILITY FOR TOMORROW, TODAY

 Session Date: Mar 20 2017. 3:45 pm-5:00 pm

 Description:

So you want to get on board the traceability train? Great! Now what?

It’s clear that the field will continue to change rapidly with new government regulations, advancing technologies, and looming emerging standards. What can companies do to implement traceability improvements now while ensuring they are setting themselves up to be adaptive and flexible to the evolving traceability landscape?

We’ll look at the key factors that must be considered in an evolving landscape, talk about how to “design for the future”, and hear some hard-won wisdom from industry leaders who have made the shift towards traceable supply chains. Find out how to stay up to date with changes in technology and regulation, and how to plan for a redesign that will continue to serve you two, five, or ten years down the line.

BEYOND THE BUZZWORDS: TRANSLATING TRACEABILITY FOR EVERYONE 

Session Date: Mar 19 2017. 12:30 pm-1:45 pm

Description:

There’s a new buzzword in the sustainable seafood movement: traceability. But “traceability” can be a confusing concept, as it’s not just something a company can “have” at the push of a button. At its most basic definition, traceability is a record-keeping system designed to track the flow of product through the production process or supply chain. But what it looks like in practice can vary greatly.

Traceability technology moves at a lightning pace too. As soon as you can get a handle on your XML and your RFIDs, a new system or software shows up to complicate the field. Blockchain, “true” interoperability, and the “Internet of Things” aren’t just buzzwords; they’re also key concepts and technologies that promise to affect the traceability world in a very real way.

Join us as we move beyond the marketing-speak into a practical but forward-looking conversation about the future of traceability, and the business case for its importance.

 

Human Rights and Anti-IUU Panels at the Seafood Expo North America

FishWise is excited to announce that we will be moderating a panel on human rights legislation in the seafood industry, and participating in an anti-IUU panel at the Seafood Expo North America in Boston! The panels’ descriptions and details are below. We hope that you join us!

NAVIGATING SEAFOOD TRADE AND LEGISLATION IN 2017

Session Date and Time: Mar 20 2017. 12:45 pm – 2:00 pm

Description:

In this FishWise moderated panel session, participants will learn how to ensure that their companies are compliant with trade laws and legislation, specifically the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (H.R. 644) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). The session will impart the audience with practical knowledge about relatively new policies and how these policies are being enforced. Representatives will discuss what H.R. 644 means for businesses and what methods businesses can take to ensure that they are compliant with this legislation, including outlining what procedures businesses should have in place before importation, what will happen if a product is stopped at the border, and how to move forward with your business in the event that a customs hold does occur. The session will also discuss the implications of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act for your company, focusing on how to best protect your business and demonstrate leadership in anti-trafficking. 

REDUCING RISK OF IUU SEAFOOD IN SUPPLY CHAINS

Session Date and Time: Mar 20 2017. 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Description:

A number of events in recent years have placed new scrutiny and global emphasis on the security and sustainability of seafood supply chains. The stories uncovered by the press regarding slave labor on certain fishing fleets have brought illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing to a new level of public awareness. This past year the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) officially entered into force, with the United States, European Union, and 33 other nations signed on as parties to the agreement. This new agreement, along with recommendations by the U.S. Government IUU Task Force and resulting federal agency actions, combined with IUU regulations in the European Union, will continue to place added pressure on companies to ensure their seafood products are sourced from legitimate means and free of illegal influence.

This panel session will discuss recent initiatives through partnerships between government, private industry, non-governmental organizations to mitigate the risk IUU fish and seafood products within national and global supply chains. Panel discussion will highlight practical steps and tools that seafood industry representatives can take to incorporate vessel identification, tracking, and risk assessment systems that can help the seafood industry meet this increasing demand for transparency accountability within their supply chains.

FishWise Partner Hy-Vee Establishes Ambitious Shelf-Stable Tuna Policy

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FishWise partner Hy-Vee made headlines recently when it announced the expansion of its Seafood Procurement Policy to include its entire shelf-stable tuna category.

The expanded Seafood Procurement Policy states that Hy-Vee is commitment to sourcing shelf-stable tuna from fisheries that are (in order of preference): 1) certified by the Marine Stewardship Council with supply chain traceability (Chain of Custody); and/or 2) Green or Yellow rated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program; and/or engaged in fishery improvement projects[1] making measurable and time-bound progress. Hy-Vee’s policy relies on these internationally-recognized sustainability programs and guidelines because they incorporate criteria and standards that address the biggest issues in tuna sustainability, including overfishing of tuna stocks, bycatch of non-target species, habitat and ecosystem impacts, and management effectiveness.

Hy-Vee’s Policy also includes language recognizing the importance of traceability to ensure seafood is from legal and verifiable sources, the unequivocal obligation to uphold human rights in its seafood supply chains and the need to support and engage in initiatives to drive positive outcomes in fisheries and aquaculture production.

In 2013, due to concerns over the high levels of bycatch in fish aggregating device-associated purse seine fisheries and in longline tuna fisheries, FishWise helped Hy-Vee developed two MSC-certified Hy-Vee Select canned tuna products. Moving forward, FishWise and Hy-Vee will collaborate with suppliers to improve the environmental, traceability and social responsibility of all shelf-stable tuna products the retailer sells.

[1] Qualifying FIPs must meet the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions Guidelines for Supporting Fishery Improvement Projects