The 2021 dialogue meeting was held digitally again, due to the pandemic. It resulted in several agreements to progress the initiative’s efforts towards transformation to sustainable seafood production and a healthy ocean.
Key highlights from the meeting included:
– Eliminating IUU fisheries and forced labour: SeaBOS companies confirmed that individual risk assessments of their own operations showed no IUU fishing or forced labour activities. Members will now extend efforts to assess the risk of IUU fishing and forced labour abuse across their entire supply chains.
– Protecting endangered species: SeaBOS members will engage in new efforts to minimise impacts on endangered species, with an initial focus on elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) and seabirds. CEOs agreed on a SeaBOS Endangered Species Strategy (PDF) to achieve these aims.
– Reducing the need for antibiotics: members agreed to an Antibiotics Stewardship Roadmap. That includes formation of a SeaBOS Antibiotics Code of Conduct by October 2022; surveys of operations; a workshop in early 2022, and that there would be zero use of specific antibiotics (HPCIAs and CIAs*) in aquaculture operations unless there are national jurisdictional or region-specific regulations already in place permitting that to occur.
– Explicit emissions reduction goals: members agreed that by May 2022 they would all have GHG emissions reduction goals that align with the aim of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to limit global warming to well below 2, and preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
– Working with governments: members emphasised the importance of industry-policy-science collaboration to have lasting positive impacts on sustainability and ocean health, and to ensure regulatory measures at a global level were supporting positive change.
– Reducing ocean plastics: members reinforced the SeaBOS ‘city to sea’ strategy implemented in 2020 and agreed to report on plastics footprint assessments, as well as efforts to reduce or replace plastics in their operations by October 2022
– Communication: Members agreed to increase commitment to stakeholder engagement and outreach to effectively communicate and amplify the SeaBOS ambitions