Sustainable seafood means reducing the harm from fishing to sharks, marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds.
Hundreds of thousands of sharks, whales and dolphins, sea turtles, and seabirds are harmed or killed in commercial fishing each year. “Bycatch,” the catch of non-target species, is the biggest, single threat to the sustainability of marine fisheries.
SFP is mobilizing an international, industry-led effort to protect ocean wildlife. This first-ever initiative engages retailers, the seafood industry, and the entire supply chain to reduce bycatch in fisheries worldwide.
There are practical solutions
Key strategies for reducing bycatch include:
- Adoption of best practices
- More fishery observers
- Development of new technologies.
Bycatch threatens seafood retailers and the entire supply chain
Seafood production contributing to the decline of wildlife violates sustainable sourcing and conservation commitments.
Engaging in practices that harm ocean wildlife generates negative reactions, unwanted public attention, and scrutiny by policy makers.
Consumers care about conservation. Public opinion research shows shoppers overwhelmingly think retailers should make sure their seafood does not harm ocean wildlife — especially getting producers to use less damaging ways to fish.
SFP partners with Birdlife International and Whale and Dolphin Conservation to conduct bycatch audits of major retailers’ seafood supply chains, to identify those source fisheries that present significant bycatch risks and identify actions the retailers can take to address those risks.
Our interactive Solve My Bycatch Problem tool allows users to find and evaluate various bycatch solutions, based on their relevance to specific species, effectiveness, ease of implementation, and cost.
“Asda is committed to sustainable seafood, and we know we need to do more to protect ocean wildlife. With SFP, we looked at the impacts of our supply chain and now have a clear idea of the improvements we need from our seafood suppliers.”
– Chris Brown, Senior Director for Sustainable Supply Chains, Asda
Fishery improvement projects are reducing the number of sea turtles caught in shrimp nets through provisions for the use of turtle excluder devices.
Ropeless fishing technologies can substantially reduce the risk of entanglement for the Critically Endangered North Atlantic right whale.
Based on the results of a bycatch audit by SFP, UK supermarket Asda committed to addressing risks to sharks, seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals in its source fisheries.
What Can I Do?
Learn more about how you can help protect ocean wildlife and reduce bycatch in fisheries.