This year’s China Fisheries & Seafood Expo, held in Qingdao, saw the launch of an ambitious new initiative supported by ASC to help contribute to the responsible development of the Yellow Sea region.
The Yellow Sea Responsible Mariculture (YSRM) Initiative is made up of 31 seafood producers, processors, and distributors. The YSRM members aim to process and sell seafood in a responsible manner, put ecological safety and consumer health at the forefront of their corporate development goals, and help protect the Yellow Sea ecosystem.
The Yellow Sea is home to more than 300 species of fish and 500 species of large invertebrates such as shrimp, crabs, snails, and shellfish. Millions of birds from over 200 different species rely on it for food. It is also vital to human food production, with thousands of aquaculture companies farming in the coasts, tidal flats and waters of the Yellow Sea.
The YSRM was developed by China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA) and Qingdao Marine Conservation Society (QMCS) with financial support from the UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Programme Phase II, and technical and outreach support from ASC and the Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences (CAFS).
“The aim of this initiative is to help businesses improve their aquaculture practices, and promote responsible production throughout the vital Yellow Sea region,” Said Qing Fang, ASC China Commercial Manager.
“All industry, NGO and academic participants in this initiative are committed to protecting our Yellow Sea that both people and marine life rely on,” said QMCS President Wang Songlin. “Ensuring the long-term health and integrity of such a large marine ecosystem can only be achieved with collaborative effort like this, putting shared values above competition.”
The initiative was officially formed with an announcement by CAPPMA President Dr. Cui He and ASC Commercial Director Esther Luiten at a launch event in the main hall of the Seafood & Fisheries Expo.
While ASC membership is not a prerequisite of membership to the new initiative, six members currently have ASC certification with a further two preparing for the certification process.
The initiative members will engage in practical activities to achieve more responsible practices throughout the region. Technical exchanges, training and field visits, and marketing campaigns are among the activities planned to help promote and spread responsible seafood production and consumption. The founding members of the initiative are also appealing to more producers, processors and distributors of seafood to join them and help develop the industry in a way that protects a hugely important ecological and economical region.