Fourth meeting between world’s largest seafood companies towards ocean stewardship

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The Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship concluded their meeting last week in Phuket, Thailand. This was the fourth keystone dialogue since the start of SeaBOS in 2016 at the Soneva dialogue in the Maldives. Inaugural Chairman, Shigeru Ito from Maruha Nichiro Corporation, described the meeting results as increasing evidence of the benefits of collaboration between science and industry.

Chairman Ito stated that “The initiative is designed to provide lasting change towards ensuring sustainable seafood production, as well as a healthy ocean. With our global population rising rapidly, the need to increase sustainable production of protein from our ocean becomes even more critical. This dialogue extended our efforts to address that challenge, and the benefits of having closer links between science and industry are becoming increasingly evident.”

Recently appointed Managing Director Martin Exel stated that: “SeaBOS companies are taking active steps to demonstrate ocean stewardship, based on scientific inputs. Results from this meeting included developing measures to address IUU fishing, forced labour, and helping enhance sustainable fisheries management. Areas such as traceability, reduction in antibiotics use, and building resilience into seafood production in the face of climate change impacts were also progressed.”

SeaBOS established a new task force on Climate Resilience, to address the key impacts of climate change on the seafood industry.

The ten SeaBOS members agreed to connect with invited experts to advance actions on reducing IUU fishing, eliminating forced labour, enhancing seafood traceability, and reducing antibiotics. Members identified the importance of urgently improving regulations associated with sustainable fisheries and aquaculture management, ocean pollution (including plastics) and climate change.

A recently completed proof of concept study of traceability, organised and conducted by SeaBOS, illustrated important insights about how novel technologies can improve information flow in complex supply chains, and thereby reduce the risks associated with IUU fishing and labour abuse. The companies are now investigating how to take this to scale.

Honourable Professor Jane Lubchenco, a scientific advisor to the initiative, stated that: “When I first began interacting with these companies in November 2016, several of them had never met. Now, they have a full agenda and a clear path forward. I sense an unusual bond of trust between individuals engaged in this initiative, amongst companies, and between science and business. This trust and obvious commitment to progress, provide an exciting foundation for something truly unique. I am excited about the prospects of this collaborative platform. In short, SeaBOS gives me hope for our ocean.”

For more information, please contact:
Martin Exel
Managing Director, SeaBOS
martin.exel@seabos.org
+61 413 595 532 (Tasmania, Australia)

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