Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and World Wide Fund for Nature–Netherlands (WWF-NL) have claimed the second week of September as ‘Think Fish Week’. Dutch retailers will actively promote the wide range of MSC and ASC labelled products available to shoppers through in-store nationwide advertising. The campaign will encourage consumers to make an informed choice for sustainably wild-caught (MSC) and responsibly farmed seafood (ASC).
The first ‘Think Fish Week’ is supported by over 85 per cent of Dutch supermarkets*, reflecting the growing support and awareness among retailers and consumers for environmentally responsible seafood.
Nearly 3,300 outlets will be displaying MSC and ASC labelled products, including Albert Heijn, Netherlands largest supermarket chain; Lidl; COOP and Spar. Foodservice suppliers Sligro and Sodexo will also join the campaign, bringing certified seafood to the forefront in workplace and school canteens throughout the country.
An informed choice
During the ‘Think Fish Week’ consumers will find out more about sustainably wild-caught and responsibly farmed seafood and how they can make an informed choice in the supermarket.
Through their buying choices, shoppers for seafood are rewarding certified fisheries and farms for their responsible practices. This means customers can contribute to preserving healthy fish stocks, protect vulnerable coastal zones and ensure that seafood can continue to feed a growing population in the future.
“Retailers have an important role to play in promoting sustainable seafood,” says Nicolas Guichoux, MSC Global Commercial Director. “By sourcing and promoting certified products they help their customers to make responsible choices when shopping for fish. It is wonderful to see our partners supporting the ‘Think Fish Week’ and actively promoting sustainable seafood.”
“We are delighted to work with MSC and WWF-Netherlands on the ‘Think Fish Week’,” says Bas Geerts, Standards Director ASC. “This campaign will help grow the global market for responsible seafood and inform consumers about the impact of their choices; and, how they can actively help the aquaculture industry become more environmentally and socially responsible.”
Elies Arps, Senior Advisor Sustainable Markets WWF-NL adds: “Our oceans are diverse and beautiful, but also vulnerable and important for our existence. Fish is the main source of protein for around one billion people. Furthermore, seafood is healthy and affordable. As the world’s population grows, the demand for protein-rich food and, thus, fish will increase. Oceans are overfished, mangroves are destroyed to make room for fish farms, and large fishing nets are damaging the seabed and coral reefs that act as nurseries. Consumers often believe that they do not have the power to act on these issues. But by choosing seafood with the ASC or MSC label they can make a difference and help to protect the oceans.”
* Agrimarkt, Albert Heijn, Bas van der Heijden, C1000, COOP, Digros, Dekamarkt, Dirk van den Broek, EMTE, Hoogvliet, Jan Linders, Jumbo, Lidl, MCD supermarkten, Poiesz, PLUS, Spar, Superunie (supermarket purchasing organisation).
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About the MSC
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation set up to help transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis. The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabelling programme for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries. These guidelines are based upon the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing and require that credible fishery certification and eco-labelling schemes include:
- Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilising scientific evidence
- Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures
- Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.
For more information on the work of the MSC, please visit www.msc.org.
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
For more information about WWF-NL please visit www.wnf.nl.