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IntroductionThe industrial seaPositive signsWhile there is much to be concerned about in worldfisheries, there are signs that we are beginning to get itright. Years of decommissioning across Europe means thatsome fleets are now approaching the appropriate levels topermit sustainable harvesting. Fisheries across Europe andelsewhere are lining up to be put through the MarineStewardship Council assessment for accreditation assustainable fisheries. Accreditation provides consumerswith the confidence that they are buying fish fromsustainably harvested fisheries. Fishers’ attitudes towardsthese issues have radically changed for the better over thepast five years, prompted by the intervention of multipleretailers. Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Asda and Carrefour(to name a few), have stated clearly their policy to sourceas much of their fish as possible from certified sustainablefisheries. This approach has put the responsibility onfishers to meet the required standard if they want to sellinto this market. Buying certified sustainable fish andshellfish rewards those fishermen whose behaviour meetsthese criteria.At present there are insufficient certified fisheries to meetour demands, so we need better labelling and in-storeinformation to enable consumers to understand whocaught their fish and how it was caught, and preferablyhow fishers are working to reduce their environmentalfootprint. Everyone can have a role to play in helping toachieve sustainable use of this amazingly healthy source offood and protein, but we need better information onwhich to make informed decisions.1 Kirch PV (1982) Pac Sci 36:1-14 and Catterall CP, Poiner IR(1987) Oikos 50 : 114-122.2 Bannerman N, Jones C (2007) International Journal ofNautical Archaeology, 28: 70-84.3 Kurlansky M (1998) The cod. Random House, London. 294.4 Jennings S, Kaiser MJ, Reynolds JD (2001) MarineFisheries Ecology. Blackwell Science, Oxford.5 Kaiser MJ (2005) Canadian Journal of Fisheries andAquatic Science 62: 1194-1199.6 Myers RA, Hutchings JA, Barrowman NJ (1997) Why dofish stocks collapse? Ecological Applications, 7: 91-106.7 Kaiser MJ, Edwards-Jones G (2006) Conservation Biology20: 392-398.8 Hiddink JG, Jennings S, Kaiser MJ, Queirós AM, DupliseaDE, Piet GJ (2006) Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences63: 721-736.Fully Sustainable - Land, Sea and 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 7

The ethics of fish and fisheriesMapping the landscapeIntroductionSustainable management of the oceans and fish stocks hasbeen the subject of increased international attention sincethe seventies. The concern is not only about breakdown offish stocks, but about other environmental impacts ofoverfishing, as well as about social and economicconsequences. Since the seventies new worries have beenadded, for instance about fish farming and itsconsequences for naturally occurring fish stocks, andabout fish welfare.An academic response to these growing worries andconcerns can be found in fishery ethics - a still small, butgrowing field.Fishery ethics is a complex field encompassing a greatvariety of ethical issues that need to be treatedsystematically and comprehensively. It includes severalareas of practical ethics, environmental ethics (forinstance related to the issue of sustainable management ofaquatic ecosystems 1 ), and animal ethics, for instancerelated to fishwelfareconsequences ofcatch methods. 2 Italso includessocial justice,with regard to thedistribution ofmarine goodsacross differentgroups of people. 3None of theseareas of ethicsDr Ellen-Marie ForsbergAn ethicist working in thefields of professional ethics,science and technology ethics,and food ethics. She isworking as a SeniorResearcher at the WorkResearch Institute in Norway.ellen.marie.forsberg@afi-wri.nohave primacy over the others and debates on ethicallyacceptable fishing must include consideration of all these.Moreover, in debates on fisheries, a number of ethicalprinciples are referred to. Some claim that decisions infisheries must simply be taken on the basis of utilityvalues. Others refer to inherent values, like respect for theJustice Dignity WellbeingFishermenEqual right to professionalpractice for different categories offishermenRight to control of their worksituation and respect for theiroccupationSafe and secure workplaceand income, as well asstable social situationFishing industryEqual terms for this industry as forthe fisheries and other marineoccupationsAcknowledgement for theirplace in the value chain; beingheard in negotiationsStable deliveries from thefisheries; a part of thewelfare goods obtained inthe value chainOther users ofthe sea and coastEqual access to the resourcesRespect for their needs andtheir use of the coast and seaAccess to welfare goodsdirected at marine activitiesas other usersSociety as awholeEqual living conditions for urbanand rural societiesFreedom to manage resourcesfor the best for the society as awholeIncome from marineactivitiesConsumersFish products of good quality availablefor different consumer groupsOpportunity for the consumer tochose and influence the productionof food productsGuaranties for healthy foodin adequate amountsFuturegenerationsThe conservation of marineenvironment and resources so thatfuture generations will have thesame opportunities we haveKnowing that earlier generationsacted with respect for theirwelfareNo activities that threatentheir health or livingconditionsThe biosphereThe diffusion to a viable level ofenvironmental burdens over a varietyof ecosystemsHarm and abuse of nature aslimited as possibleThat fish and other animalsare not exposed tounnecessary painFig. 1. A generic ethical matrix for fisheries issues 58 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

IntroductionWelfare of farmed fishMost fish farming is highly intensive. Large numbers of fishare confined in a small area at high stocking densities. TheBritish aquaculture industry has made some progress intackling welfare problems but, in Britain and elsewhere,intensive fish farming continues to cause serious welfareproblems.One researcher recently noted: “stocking density is a pivotalfactor affecting fish welfare in the aquaculture industry,especially where high densities in confined environments areaimed at high productivity”.The two main species farmed in Europe are Atlantic salmonand rainbow trout. High densities in these species can leadto fin damage, stress, increased susceptibility to disease anda deterioration of water quality.Intensive aquaculture frequently exposes fish to a range ofstressors such as handling (particularly when removed fromthe water), grading into different sizes, vaccination (withadverse side effects), transport, protracted starvation beforeslaughter and removal of eggs and sperm from fish forbreeding. Although alleviated to some degree by goodpractice, these stressors are inherent in intensiveaquaculture.Selective breeding for fast growth rates and the use ofartificial lighting to enhance productivity boost theintensification of aquaculture. Little research has beenundertaken into their welfare implications. Furthermore,these practices have led to health problems in farmedterrestrial species.Waiting in the wings is another threat: genetic engineering.Serious deformities, breathing difficulties and reducedswimming abilities have been documented in salmongenetically engineered for accelerated growth. At presentconfined to the laboratory, we may yet face a struggle topreventtransgenic fishbeing farmed.Peter StevensonChief Policy Advisor atCompassion in World isalready used inaquaculture.Sexually maturefish undergochanges that canreduce fleshquality, so farmers prevent early sexual maturation in somespecies through the production of all-female stocks (inseveral species females mature later than males) or triploidfish.Triploidy produces sterile fish by subjecting newly-fertilisedeggs to heat or pressure shock. These fish are induced tohave triploid (three) sets of chromosomes instead of theusual diploid (two). Sex reversal involves feeding the malesex hormone to young female fish. Triploids are susceptibleto a range of health problems, including spinal deformities,eye cataracts and lower survival rates. Sex reversal isincompatible with respect for the dignity and integrity ofsentient beings. Sex reversal is common in the farming ofrainbow trout and a proportion of them are also triploids.Confining fish in sea cages exposes them to dangers fromwhich, in the wild, they would simply move away. In cages fishare unable to escape hazards. Moreover, salmon are geneticallyprogrammed to spend much of their lives swimming greatdistances at sea. Is it ethically acceptable to constrain thisbehaviour by confining them in cages?Given the range and the nature of the welfare problemsinvolved, it is arguable that intensive aquaculture has noplace among ethical systems of food production. At the veryleast, substantial improvements in welfare are needed.inherent value of nature or traditional ways of life. Andsome propose that the justice principle is the most basicethical principle and the real question is about thedistribution of marine goods and benefits.The ethics of fisheries is also complex in the sense thatthere are a number of affected parties. Fish, ecosystems,fishermen, the fishing industry, consumers, the coastalpopulation, even nation states, are affected in fisheriesissues. This means that all these should be consideredwhen discussing the ethics of fisheries. But even a singlecategory like ‘fishermen’ is extremely diverse, rangingfrom the large industrial fishing vessels in the Antarctic,to small family owned fishing boats along the coast ofNewfoundland, Norway or India. Understanding the valuesand perspectives of the different affected parties cantherefore be a challenge that may only be met by involvingthem in the discussions (at least by proxy). Suchinvolvement may also bring out important facts thatotherwise might be neglected.Finally, fishery ethics is not only about ethical theories orprinciples, but about facts and science. When makingethical judgements about fishery issues, good factualunderstanding is required. And as scientific uncertaintiesabout stock sizes abound, and the environmentalconsequences of different forms of fisheries emerge,practical ethical judgements on real-life cases must involvea broad range of expertise. Making ethically acceptabledecisions on, let’s say, total allowable catch quotas, catchtechnology development, exploitation of new kinds ofresources in the ecosystem, distribution of quotas andfishing rights, or questions concerning aquaculture,requires the involvement of a wide spectrum of expertise.spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 9

The ethics of fish and fisheriesIntroductionOne should also take into account that even experts in thesame field may disagree about the facts or the certainty ofthe facts.A pluralistic approach is important for many reasons. Onone hand, seeing fisheries issues simply from the point ofview of, say, animal ethics or social justice, will most likelylimit the discussion or the judgement in a way that mayhave unintended side-effects. On the other, seeing theissues simply as scientific, for instance in terms of marinebiology, or in economic terms, will certainly deflate ajudgement that is inherently value laden.Taking into account this comprehensive nature of fisheryethics, it may be useful to structure the debates so thatthe manifold relevant values and facts are includedsystematically. In a Norwegian project from 1999/2000, asystematic review of ethical aspects led to the constructionof a so-called ethical matrix for fisheries issues. 4 See Fig.1on p.8 for a generic ethical matrix for fisheries issues. 5This ethical matrix was developed in a deliberative process(a value workshop) with representatives of the differentaffected parties, and a number of other participants. Theconcerns included in the matrix were those identified asthe most important ones. The matrix functioned as a valueplatform to assess the ethical consequences of introducinga tax on the usage of the ocean and coast (which inprinciple is a common resource, not only for the privilegedfew with fishing concessions), and as a starting point foridentifying the morally relevant facts. It can also be usedfor assessing a number of other issues.Whether or not one uses a systematic tool like an ethicalmatrix to facilitate thediscussions, theimportant point is thatvalue issues related tooceans, fisheries andfish is addressed inpublic discussions witha broad range ofstakeholders,researchers andinterested lay people.The oceans are ourcommon heritage andwe all have aresponsibility forensuring that they willbe passed on to futuregenerations with atleast as many qualitiesas we enjoy today. Thisis our duty as citizens,consumers, fishermen,industrial leaders,researchers andpolitical authorities. Decisions that may have such farreachingconsequences as the potential collapse of fishstocks must not be made behind closed doors, but besubject to broad public debate. This is a matter ofdemocracy and justice, because the ethics of fisheries isalso an ethics of mankind and its future.Fish ethics is not an academic discipline with its ownconferences and journals. It is a part of food ethics ingeneral, but a part that has been paid scant attention.Perhaps the reason is that people do not live underwater,and do not immediately see the consequences of humanactivities on marine life. Moreover, while many people livenear the sea, most inhabit big cities rather than in thecoastal communities that have been entwined with theocean for centuries. One may still hope that with time andappropriate action fish and fishery ethics will engage morepeople with the issues, both among researchers and thepublic.1 Callicott, J. B. (1992) Ocean and Coastal Management 17. 299-325.2 Rose J. D. (2002) Reviews in Fisheries Science 10. 1–38 andSneddon L. U. (2003) Applied Animal Behaviour Science 83. 153–162.3 Coward, H, R. Ommer and T. Pitcher. (2000).Just Fish. St. Johns, ISER4 The ethical matrix method was developed by Professor BenMepham at the Centre for Applied Bioethics at the University ofNottingham. See Mepham, T. B. (2000) Journal of Agricultural andEnvironmental Ethics 12. 165-176.5 Kaiser, M. and Forsberg, E-M. (2001) Journal of Agriculturaland Environmental Ethics 14. 191-200.© jensen chua10 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

The Food Ethics Council provides independent advice on the ethics offood and farming. Our aim is to create a food system that is fairer andhealthier for people and the environment, and where social justice andecological sustainability are the norm, not the exception.Our workTo achieve our aims, we:• Help find a way through challenging,controversial issues, using dialogueand research.• Build tools to put ethics at the heartof decisions about food in business,policy and civil society.We have worked on issues ranging fromthe power of supermarkets, food povertyand workers’ rights, to air freight, roadpricing, meat and climate change, and waterscarcity.Find out more and get involved through:• Food Ethics Magazine – covering onemajor theme each quarter, it containscutting edge analysis, debate, reviewsand upcoming events. Essential readingfor everyone who takes an activeinterest in food and farming.• Business Forum – a unique opportunityfor senior food executives to gainexpert insight into ethical issues thatare becoming core business concerns.There are six meetings a year, hostedby leading opinion formers, each onetackling a key issue.• Research Reports and Briefings – weproduce papers on the key issues of theday, including : water, reform of theCAP, sustainable food distribution,nutrition and public health, researchand innovation and air freight.• Ethical Tools – we have published‘Ethics - a toolkit for food businesses’that introduces key ideas in ethics andprovides a framework for making betterdecisions.• Workshops and Events – We organisepolicy workshops, report launches,conferences and seminars, independentlyand in partnership with others.Keep informed, subscribe today!“ … cutting-edge analysis that prompts real debate …”Zac Goldsmith, Director of The Ecologist.FOOD ETHICS is essential reading for everyone involved in food and farming.Subscribe now to get cutting edge analysis from the world’s leading experts.To pay by credit card, visit www.foodethicscouncil.orgor call 0845 345 8574 (quote ‘flyer’ to claim 20% discount).Alternatively please complete and return this form.I want to subscribe to Food Ethics magazineName: .............................................................................Position: .........................................................................Organisation: .................................................................Address: .................................................................................................................... Postcode: .........................Country: ............................. Telephone: .......................Email address: ...............................................................Annual subscription - RATES INCLUDE 20% DISCOUNT£12, unwaged£20, individual£28, non-profit / educational£76, business (three copies to one address)(Add £5 for postage to Europe; £10 for rest of world)Please invoice meI enclose a cheque made payable toFood Ethics Council for £ ....................Food Ethics Council, 39-41 Surrey Street, Brighton BN1 3PB.Registered charity number 1101885.Data protection: We will keep your information on our database for as long as youremain a subscriber to our magazine. We will not pass your details to any thirdparty without your permission.

The global fish tradeRe-learning how to fishProblems‘Give a man a fish; you have fed himfor today. Teach a man to fish; andyou have fed him for a lifetime.’ It is awell known proverb, but theindustrialisation of fisheries nowmeans that the ability of wild fisheriesresources to feed a man for a lifetimeis compromised.Since fishing fleets were industrialisedin the 1970s to the present day, theproportion of overexploited anddepleted stocks has increased 2.5times and the proportion of stocksoffering potential for higher catcheshas declined from 40% to around 23%.This same story can be found aroundthe world; in the Gulf of Thailand, thecatch per hour fell from 250kg in 1961to 18kg in 1999. According to a recentstudy by the University of BritishColumbia, fishing activity along thenorthwest Atlantic African coast hastripled since the mid-1970s, duringwhich time the demersal (bottomliving) catch has remained at twomillion tonnes. By 2002, the biomassof demersal stocks in the region hadbeen reduced to a quarter of 1950levels. Furthermore, current catchlevels have only been maintained byfishing harder and targeting smaller,less-valuable species.Recent assessments show that thebiomass of the oceans’ large andvaluable predatory fish (such as cod,tuna, grouper and shark) are estimatedto be down by 90% compared to 50years ago. In addition, the ecosystemsthat support these stocks arebecoming increasingly degraded: 88%of coral reefs in Southeast Asia areestimated to be at risk from humandamage.The cause of these alarming trendshas been rapidly growing demand forfish fuelled by population and incomegrowth and health concerns that haveincreased many fish prices andprovided economic incentives forfishers to maximise their catches andincrease efficiency. Maximum catchingcapacity, as characterised by the sizeand power of vessels, selectivity ofgear and the navigation technologyand skills of skippers, experienced a9% annual growth rate between 1965and 1995.Growing demand has also resulted inan expansion of global fish trade, withover 50% of trade originating indeveloping countries. Net receiptsfrom fish trade in developing countriesare about US $18 billion; greater thanthe net exports of all other primarycommodities together (includingcoffee, rice, tea and bananas). In WestAfrica, fisheries exports can representup to 15-17% of GDP and 25-30% ofexport revenues. However, suchdemand also puts increased pressureon wild resources and now threatensthe contribution of fisheries to povertyreduction and nutritional security inpoor countries.Overexploitation of local fish stocksthreatens the nutritional status ofmajor population groups, particularlythe 400 million people from the poorestAfrican and South Asian countries, forwhom fish products constitute at leastIn West Africa, fisheriesexports can representup to 15-17% of GDP and25-30% of exportrevenues50% of their essential animal proteinand mineral intake. Decreasing catchesalso reduce critical foreign exchangeearnings from fish exports and fisheriesagreements, on which the poorestdeveloping countries rely. Small-scalefishing communities are faced with anarray of serious problems thatcompound the effects of a decline inincome from fisheries, such as a lack ofalternative sources of employment,rapid population growth, migration,displacement from coastal areas,tourism, pollution, environmentalIngrid KellingCurrently a consultant at theWorldFish Center in Malaysiaand previously worked as aFisheries Economist at theOrganisation for EconomicCooperation and Development.i.kelling@cgiar.orgdegradation and conflict with largecommercial fishing operations.The current status of many fish stocksand fishers ultimately reflects theperformance of fisheries managementinstitutions, indicating that there arefundamental flaws inherent in thegovernance of the sector. More thanany other cause, poor governance hasenabled overfishing to continue byfailing to properly address issues ofopen access, overcapacity, subsidies tothe industry, IUU fishing, complianceand enforcement, and small-scaleinvolvement in fisheries. Whileinternational instruments have alreadyidentified most of the actions requiredto restore and maintain the health ofthe world’s fisheries, competinginterests and a lack of political will atthe national level have severelyhampered their effectiveness.Numerous international and domesticfisheries studies indicate thatovercapacity and excessive fishharvesting are prevalent in many openaccess and common property fisheries,regardless of the scale of fishing ortype of fishery. Conflicting notionsabout whom wild stocks belong to hasundermined any sense of ownership ofthe resource by those who fish it,leading to incentives for individualboats to catch the largest possibleshare of the total stock. Having failedto achieve good fishery governancethrough strong state control, there isnow a move towards privatisation indeveloped countries and communityownership in developing countries -termed ‘rights-based fishing’ - thereby12 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

ProblemsHow small-scale fisheries can contribute tosustainable resource managementNamibia’s nutrient-rich fishing groundsguaranteed that when Namibia gainedindependence from South Africa in1990, it inherited a heavily exploitedfishery. The new government’s policyapproach that followed ensured thesustainable management of fisheriesand maximized the benefits forNamibians. Today, fish stocks havestabilised, the fishing sector hasincreased its economic contribution to26% of merchandise exports andfisheries employment more thandoubled between 1991 and 1998.Fisheries reform in Namibia hasrecaptured a substantial proportion ofthe economic loss previously associatedwith industrial fishing and highlightsthe crucial role of good governance tosustainable development. When wellmanaged, the fisheries sector indeveloping countries can make animportant contribution to povertyreduction, food security and wealthcreation. If not, stocks can be depletedand the incomes of those who use theresource are reduced.Increasing resource-user involvement inmanaging aquatic resources is critical tofisheries reform. Stakeholderinvolvement in planning can improvecompliance with internationalregulations and empower socially andpolitically marginalised small-scalefishing communities. An FAO study inSenegal found that only whenstakeholders feel they have influenceover and partial responsibility forfisheries management, are theyinclined to initiate or conform tomanagement mechanisms.This assumes that for fisherfolk thefuture status of fish is one of the mostsignificant threats to their livelihoodsecurity, and that they have theorganisational capacity and politicalpower to adequately defend theirrights. Where fisherfolk are poor,vulnerable and marginalised, thesemay not be true.Development programmes like theSustainable Fisheries LivelihoodsProgramme (SFLP) – a partnershipbetween FAO, DfID and 25 countriesin West Africa - have placed greateremphasis on addressing all forms ofpoverty found in the sector, believingthat to make devolved fisheriesmanagement work, the factors thatmost immediately and directlythreaten the sustainability offisherfolk’s livelihoods must beaddressed. Often these factors are notrelated to fishing activities and thestatus of the resource. So securingaccess to fish is important but doesn’tprotect fishers and their families frommalaria, HIV/AIDS, waterbornediseases, accidents, theft, pollution orlack of access to alternativelivelihoods.Providing development support tofishing communities in the form ofbetter access to social services canhelp achieve poverty reduction andfacilitate the adoption of responsiblefisheries practices.Eddie AllisonDirector , Policy Economics andSocial Science. WorldFishCentre, and Senior Fellow,School of InternationalDevelopment, University ofEast Anglia.e.allison@cgiar.orgMany fishing communities lack thepower, education and social institutionsto self-organise and articulate demands,and weak political representation leadsto their marginalisation in traditionaldevelopment processes.The SFLP has helped fisheriescommunities strengthen the capacity ofco-management and fishingorganisations, define property rightsregimes, provide training and supportfor the diversification of livelihoods,empower women, and strengthenhuman rights. These include legallymandatedrights to decent workingconditions, gender equality, children’srights and the rights of migrants andother potentially vulnerable groups.Development that addresses the needsof the small-scale fisheries sector, as thepeople involved perceive those needs,provides an incentive and capacity fortrue reform, bringing bothsustainability and profitability.encouraging the preservation of thestock for the future. However, there isa limit to the extent to which allresources can be privatised in thisway.One of the great challenges to achievingsustainable fisheries involves themanagement of fishing capacity in sucha way that it avoids the economicinefficiency and compromisedresources associated with overcapacity.For decades, fisheries policy aimed toexpand fishing capacity and onlyrelatively recently have countriesacknowledged that a profitable yetsustainable sector requires changes inexisting institutional and regulatoryframeworks and a more participatoryrole for the private sector. Traditionalgovernance has focused on theresource rather than on the peoplesuch as fishers, other resourcestakeholders and the community.Resource managers’ actions to dealwith excess capacity as a major causeof resource overexploitation andenvironmental degradation reflects aone-sided policy response to theproblem. Instead, an increased focuson people-related initiatives to helpthem generate new policy options isrequired, particularly in small-scalefisheries in developing countries wherethe problem of reducing excess capacityis much more complex than inindustrial, developed-country fleets.A lack of effective sector governancehas often been exacerbated byinappropriate policies, such ascontinuing to subsidise fleets, mostlyspring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 13

The global fish tradeProblems© slosadain industrialised countries. Subsidiesto the fisheries sector, estimated bythe World Bank to be between US$12-20 billion per year, have been animportant driver of the currentovercapacity and subsequentoverfishing. Industrial countriesdirected these subsidy-supportedfishing fleets to operate in developingcountries, often in direct competitionwith local fisheries. For example, during1993-1997, the EU fleet caught over600 000 tonnes of fish per year (11% oftheir catch) in non-European waters. In1998, Japan, Korean, Taiwan and theUnited States caught about 1.8 milliontonnes of tuna in the 200-mile ExclusiveEconomic Zones of the Pacific Islandcountries. For developing countries,income from access fees for EU countriesis low compared to the value of thecatch as a result of their weaknegotiating position. In addition, manyfishing agreements are heavilysubsidized by industrial countries. Forexample, for some EU agreements, theEU paid 83% of the license fee while thevessels themselves paid only 17%.Where management systems arecorrupt or weak, the value of fish is highand where enforcing laws is difficult,such as remote seas or developingcountries, illegal, unregulated andunreported (IUU) fishing threatens thesustainability of fish stocks throughoverexploitation. IUU fishing underminesfisheries science, prevents governmentsfrom monitoring catches and developinggood management strategies. It alsodeprives local fishermen of resourcesand creates conflict between them andthose fishing illegally. Illegal boats mayignore safety practices, labour rightsand can cause revenue loss to thelegitimate industry. A study by the UKMarine Resources Assessment Group in2005 estimated that the global value ofillegal fishing is between US$ 4-9 billionannually. This is significant fordeveloping countries in particular whereIUU fishing in sub-Saharan African EEZs(calculated as the first sale value ofillegally caught fish) is worth almostUS$ 1 billion.An inability to enforce regulations hasbeen the downfall of many fisheries,and small-scale fisheries with largenumber of fishers widely dispersed ininaccessible places are particularlyresistant to top-down enforcement.Lack of stakeholder dialogue and lowlevels of education in many fishercommunities contribute to conflict andfailure to reach stable long-termsolutions to the allocation of resources.Certainly in small-scale fisheries,enforcement is often closely linked withissues of rural development andunemployment and therefore needs aradically different approach toenforcement and compliance.The lack of effective governance ofdomestic and international fisheries hasfailed adequately to protect fish stocksfrom the pressures of increasingdemand and resulting investment in thesector. Instead, current benefits havebeen identified at the expense of futurecosts, leaving long-term conservationaims sacrificed for short-term gains.This has proven a challenge to existinggovernance structures, but muchdepends now on the success of effortsto improve governance. Teaching a manto fish in a well governed sector willensure that our fisheries last more thanjust a lifetime14 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

ProblemsPirate fishingStealing from the planet, robbing from the poorThroughout the world, illegal,unreported and unregulated fishingoperations (IUU) – pirate fishing - areundermining attempts at sustainablefisheries management, causingextensive damage to the marineenvironment and jeopardising thefood security and livelihoods ofcoastal communities.The social, economic, andenvironmental impacts of IUU arehuge, with pirate operators stealingfrom some of the world’s poorestpeople. The countries bearing thegreatest economic costs from illegaloperations are in the developingworld.The seas off the coast of West Africaare particularly susceptible. Thesewaters support some of the world’smost productive marine ecosystems,upon which millions of people dependfor food and livelihoods. But withcountries lacking the resources toproperly police their territorial watersIUU fishermen are quick to exploitthe situation.Vulnerable war-torn or post-conflictnations including Sierra Leone,Angola, Liberia and Somalia aretargeted by IUU operations. In 2005the UK Government estimated thatIUU fishing costs countries acrossSub-Saharan Africa almost a billiondollars a year in lost revenues 1 , equalto 19% of current landed value; thisfigure is likely to be an underestimate.In an all too familiar story of globaleconomic forces, it is generally fishingvessels and companies from thedeveloped world that are responsible,and largely to European and the FarEastern markets that this illegal catchflows.IUU operators exploit the financialand human misery that prevails inmany of these countries to operate atthe lowest possible cost. Wages are ahigh proportion of running costs, soIUU crews are recruited in low-incomecountries where lack of alternativeemployment, unregulated labourmarkets and minimal controls onworking conditions exist - ensuringcheap labour. Forced to work indangerous conditions, they can besubject to a catalogue of abuse,including lack of payment, enforcedincarceration, poor food, beatings,and abandonment.IUU fishing is bad news for legitimatefishermen too, and not just in thedeveloping world. Underreporting ofcatches by authorised fishers, andunreported illegal catches, means thatWhat is IUU fishing?• Illegal fishing - vessels operatingin violation of the laws of afishery, including fishing out ofseason; harvesting prohibitedspecies; using banned fishinggear; catching more than the setquota; fishing without a licence.• Unreported fishing - fishing thathas been unreported ormisreported to the relevantnational authority or regionalfisheries managementorganisation.• Unregulated fishing - fishing byvessels without nationality,flying a flag of convenience, orflying the flag of a State notparty to the regional organisationgoverning the particular fishingregion or species. It is also fishingin areas or for fish stocks with alack of detailed knowledge andno conservation or managementmeasures in place.the catch data collected by fisheriesmanagers is incomplete and gives amore optimistic assessment of thestatus of fish stocks than is true.Management decisions are thereforelikely to be inadequate, and fail toconserve stocks. This can lead to thecollapse of a fishery, or seriousimpairment of efforts to rebuilddepleted stocks.Duncan CopelandEnvironmental JusticeFoundation.duncan.copeland@ejfoundation.orgFish caught by IUU and legitimatefishers are sold on the same markets,but legitimate fishers pay higheroperating costs. IUU fishers are freeriders that benefit from the sacrificesmade by others, undermininglegitimate fishers and encouragingthem to disregard the rules too,creating a destructive downwardspiral.IUU operators notoriously over-fish,use illegal and/or destructive fishinggear that over-fishes target stocks,and can severely damage the widermarine ecosystem. As IUU fishermenflout rules designed to protect themarine environment, includingrestrictions on the harvest ofjuveniles, closed spawning grounds,and gear modifications designed tominimise the bycatch of non-targetspecies, they inflict damage onseabirds, marine mammals, seaturtles, and marine biodiversity as awhole.Quantifying the ecosystem effects ofIUU fishing and distinguishing fromthose of legitimate fishermen can beextremely difficult, because theenvironmental damage inflicted bysome legitimate fishing can also besignificant. However, strikingexample of environmental damage byIUU fishing is the widespread use ofbottom trawlers by IUU operators inthe inshore waters of many countries.These are areas crucial for the healthof fish stocks and the livelihoods ofartisanal fisheries. Trawlers cause thedestruction of bottom habitats, andare responsible for enormous levels ofbycatch, much of which is dumpedback over the side.The scale and significance of IUUfishing led to the adoption of the UNFAO International Plan of Actionspring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 15

Pirate fishingProblems(IPOA) to Prevent, Deter and EliminateIllegal, Unreported and Unregulated(IUU) Fishing in 2012. The response tothis was slow, and with a couple ofnotable exceptions action by theinternational community has beeninadequate.As the largest fish market in the worldand with one of the largest fishingfleets, the EU in late 2008 faced up toits responsibility, approving a CouncilRegulation on IUU3 to be introduced in2010. If properly implemented andenforced, this regulation will have animpact on the ability for IUU fishing tobe profitable in some areas. However,with the continued growth of seafoodmarkets, particularly in Asia, the fightto end IUU fishing is far from over.There is vital need for support fordeveloping nations in their efforts tocombat IUU fishing in their waters, andfor international cooperation to addressthe drivers and shortcomings ininternational law that allow IUU fishersto continue to successfully operate.1 MRAG (2005) Review of Impactsof Illegal, Unreported and UnregulatedFishing on Developing Countries – FINALREPORT. London.2 FAO (2001) International Plan ofAction to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal,unreported and unregulated fishing. Rome,FAO.3 COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No1005/2008 of 29 September 2008establishing a Community system to prevent,deter and eliminate illegal, unreported andunregulated fishing, amending Regulations(EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1936/2001 and(EC) No 601/2004 and repealing Regulations(EC) No 1093/94 and (EC) No 1447/1999.© ecostorm16 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

ProblemsFisheries managementWhere there’s a willIt is widely accepted that food securityis a serious challenge facing the world.It is a problem driven by substantialglobal population growth and changes,particularly in Asia, where theconsumption habits of large numbers ofpeople moving out of poverty are rapidlychanging.The estimate of world populationdemands for food indicates that it is setto increase by 50% by 2030. In thiscontext, marine fisheries are extremelyimportant as they provide a significantproportion of high-quality protein,particularly in the developing world. Butas demand for fish protein continues toincrease, a large number of the world’sfish stocks are already depleted and notproducing their maximum sustainableyield. FAO estimates that worldwideabout 25% of fish stocks are depleted orrecovering, 1 and for some areas and fishgroups, such as West African demersal(bottom living) fish this proportion risesas high as 60-80%. 2One of principal problems is overcapacity– too many fishing vessels. This wasoriginally caused by subsidies given tobuild new vessels in the 1960s and1970s, and in some countries suchsubsidies persist. Overcapacity meansthat there is simply too much fishingpower in the fleet compared to thequantity of fish.Attempts to reduce capacity can oftenbe characterised as ‘too little too late’.One example is in European fisheries,where over the last 15 years variousbuyout initiatives, which essentially usepublic money to remove vessels (fishingcapacity) from the fleet, have resulted inan annual average reduction in capacityof 2%. But the European Commission 3estimates that fishing efficiency hasincreased by about 3% per year throughthe introduction of new technologies –better fish finding gear and moreefficient engines for instance – whichmeans that total fishing capacity in theEU has actually increased over thistime.Overcapacity leads to fishing vesselsoperating at less than their economicpotential, and it is a sad fact that manyfishing fleets in Europe are now operatingat a financial loss. They only remain inoperation because they provide muchneededemployment and the fish theycatch feeds the wider economy.World capture fisheries productionreached 95 million tonnes in 2004, withan estimated first-sale value of US$84.9billion 1 . In a recent report, the WorldBank calculates that due to poormanagement and operating too manyvessels on depleted fish stocks (i.e. fishstocks delivering less than themaximum sustainable yield that theycould produce), the world’s fishingfleet currently suffers lost economicrent in the order of US$50 billion peryear. This loss is 60% of the currentreported value of capture fisheries.The cumulative loss to the globaleconomy over the last three decadesis estimated as two trillion dollars. 4 It isquite common globally for fishing fleetsto be posting operating losses, and besupported simply by subsidies.The estimate of worldpopulation demands forfood indicates that it is setto increase by 50% by2030When fishstocks decline and fleetsremain overcapacity there is a greaterincentive to catch more fish than areallocated in a quota. This exacerbatesthe vicious circle of depleted stocks –overfishing leads to declining stockswhich leads to more economicpressure on fishermen and furtherincentives to overfish.Other, more blatant illegal, unreportedand unregulated (IUU) fishing alsooccurs, particularly in the waters ofdeveloping countries, and very oftenby fleets of vessels registered indeveloped countries (so-called distantwater fishing nations) which operatewithout licences in areas that they arenot legally allowed to fish in. Suchactivity creates significantDavid AgnewHonorary Senior ResearchFellow in Fisheries andPopulation Biology at ImperialCollege London, FisheriesDirector of the fisheries consultancyMRAG Ltd and Chair ofthe Marine StewardshipCouncil’s Technical damage through theuse of unsustainable fishing practicesand has wider consequences forreducing food supply, particularly forcoastal communities in developingcountries. 5In addition to reducing the fish availablefor the local economy illegal fishing indeveloping countries often leads tophysical conflict with local fishers,since illegal industrial vessels oftenuse small mesh nets and fish close toshore in areas reserved for local(artisanal) fishers, discarding much ofthe fish that would have been kept bylocal fishers for food. 6 Illegal fishingvessels do not usually follow standardmaritime law, including those relatingto safety, employment and socialresponsibility. The fishermenoperating on these vessels aretherefore often harshly treated andbadly exploited, but are driven towork on such vessel through necessityand poverty.The level of IUU fishing is far fromtrivial. In a recent report MRAG, aUK-based fisheries consultancy, andthe University of British Columbiaestimate that global losses from illegaland unreported fishing are between$10bn and $23.5bn annually,representing between 11 and 26million tonnes. 7 This is on top of thelosses in economic rent estimated bythe World Bank that result simply frombad management (above).Additional, significant losses areincurred through the discarding ofunmarketable fish. 8 Overall, one has toconclude that were the current lossesspring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 17

Fisheries managementProblemsdue to illegal fishing, discarding andinefficient management (lost resourcerent) actually recovered, the value ofmarine capture fisheries wouldprobably double.As previously mentioned, one of thekey drivers for IUU fishing andoverexploited stocks is that the worldfishing fleet is significantly overcapacity,and has become so largely through theinappropriate use of subsidies. Thisovercapacity continues to be a problembecause management, and particularlythe control of fishing (for instanceinspections and arrests following theuse of illegal fishing practices), is weak.There is a clear relationship betweenthe level of governance of a countryand its vulnerability to IUU fishing. Butthe blame for illegal fishing lies notonly with the recipient country – fornot implementing strong control offishing in its waters – but also with thecompanies and countries to whichthese vessels are registered, for notcontrolling their own vessels.One final important issue is that underinternational law countries only havelegal jurisdiction over the waters up to200 nautical miles from their coastlines.Waters outside these zones are termedhigh seas waters, and are governed byinternational treaty. These so-calledRegional Fisheries ManagementOrganisations (RFMOs) are only aseffective in managing and controllingfisheries as their members have thepolitical will to create suchmanagement. Recently instigatedreviews of their performance areshowing that while they may beeffective under some circumstances,when resources are highly valuable(such as Atlantic blue fin tuna) andfishing pressure is acute they sufferfrom the same problems as individualcountry fisheries – overcapacity, illegal/unreported fishing and depletedstocks. 9There is some light on the horizon. Thegradual introduction of fishing rights,which introduce an incentive forresponsible behaviour on the part offishermen at the same time as drivingfleets to become more economicallyefficient, is helping to control fishingand restore stocks in many of the areasin which they are introduced.Concerted action is helping to recoverfish stocks in many areas frompreviously depleted levels – the USA,for instance, has managed to reducethe number of its stocks which areoverfished (depleted stock size) from36% to 27% between 2002 and 2008. 10There has been a significant reductionin illegal and unreported catches of codfrom 50% to 20% of the reported catchin the Barents Sea following cooperativeport state controls implemented by theStates party to the Northeast AtlanticFisheries Commission (an RFMO).By and large we have the knowledgeand the tools for fishing to makeeconomic sense and be environmentallyand socially sustainable; we just have toapply them.1 FAO (2007) The state of worldfisheries and aquaculture 2006. 162.2 FAO (2006) Report of the FAO/CECAF working group on the assessment ofdemersal resources Conakry, Guinea, 19-23September 2003.3 European Commission, CommissionWorking Document: Reflections on furtherreform of the Common Fisheries Policy. World Bank (2008) The SunkenBillions: The Economic Justification for FisheriesReform. Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentDepartment.5 MRAG (2005) Review of Impacts ofIllegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing onDeveloping Countries. JALA and EJF (2008) The environmentaland social impacts of illegal trawling in northSumatra. David J. Agnew, John Pearce,Ganapathiraju Pramod, Tom Peatman, RegWatson, John R. Beddington and Tony J. Pitcher(2009) Estimating the worldwide extent ofillegal fishing. PlosONE (in press).8 Kelleher, K. (2005) Discards in theworld’s marine fisheries; An update. FAOFisheries Technical Paper 470.9 For example, see G.D. Hurry, M. Hayashiand J. J. Maguire (2008) The Report of theIndependent review of the International Commissionfor the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.10 NMFS (2003) Annual Report toCongress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries –2002. Silver Spring, MD: U.S. Dept. Commerce,NOAA. for the third quarter 2008 were used toassess current status: latest publicationsFlying foodResponsible retail in theface of uncertaintyFood distributionAn ethical agendaDownload these and more from our websitewww.foodethicscouncil.org18 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

ProblemsFeed for thoughtRevealing the true cost of cheap farmed salmonSalmon are carnivores, so-called ‘tigersof the sea’. For every kilo of slicedsalmon sold in a supermarket, aroundfour kilos of wild-caught fish must firstbe caught, ground into pellets and fedto the farmed fish.Critics argue that the industrialfarming of carnivorous marine speciesis inherently unsustainable, due to thesheer quantity of wild caught fish thatmust be fed to salmon in the process.Despite widespread opposition,however, the industrial farming ofcarnivorous species is still widelypromoted by both the aquacultureindustry and conservation groups suchas WWF. Those promoting industrialsalmon farming suggest that it offers apotential solution for consumersworried about dwindling fish stocksand devastated marine ecosystems.In the first investigation of its kind,the Ecologist Film Unit visited thefrontline of the fishfeed industry inLatin America, to document theunreported costs of this uniqueindustry that supplies food to farmedsalmon today.Far from the glistening packets ofsmoked salmon on offer insupermarket aisles across Europe, thefish that are caught to feed salmon areoften sourced from the other side ofthe world.With over 40 fish processing plantsand a vast fleet of fishing vessels,coastal towns such as Chimbote, inNorthern Peru, supply much of theanchovies used to make fishfeed.Situated in one of the world’s mostbiologically productive ecosystems, aresult of the coastal ‘upwelling’ thatsupports the proliferation ofphytoplankton, Peru’s waters are hometo enormous schools of anchovy andother marine animals.It is a valuable resource - the globalfishfeed industry is worth around $2.5billion dollars each year - but inChimbote as with elsewhere,campaigners claim that the lucrativeexport industry comes at anunreported cost to both people and theenvironment.In 2008, the Ecologist Film Unitvisited Chimbote to investigate. TheApril 15th district is one of severallow-income neighbourhoods that liealongside the feed processing plants inChimbote. The residents here claimthat the feed plants that loom overtheir single-story houses areresponsible for asthma, bronchial andskin problems, particularly in children,holding out their rash-covered infantsto prove the point.“We know the factories are responsiblefor these [problems] because when itoperates the illnesses gets worse,” saysone young woman, holding her youngchild. “When the smoke comes it getsWhat is fishfeed?Fishmeal is a protein-rich flourproduced by cooking, drying andmilling raw fish and trimmings.Fishoil is a by-product of fishmealprocessing. Both are vital to salmonfarming, and are largely derivedfrom oily fish including anchovies,herrings and sardines. With highlevels of sought-after Omega-3 fattyacids passed from oily fish to salmon,and then onto consumers, this hasled to an insatiable demand fromthe aquaculture industry. Globallythe fishfeed sector is worth almost$2.5 billion, with 400 plants producingaround six million tonnes of fishflourand one million tonnes of fishoilannually. Peru is the world’s leadingexporter, supplying 28% of the bad we need a mask.” Another sayswhen the plants are operating thepollution is so thick you cannotphysically remain on the street.Footage shot by Chimbote residentsgraphically illustrates typicalconditions when fishmeal plants areoperational: billowing black smokedrifts through the streets, obscuringvision and choking passers-by. It lookslike the aftermath of a bomb.Andrew Wasley and Jim WickensCo-founders of the EcologistFilm Unit, a unique partnershipbetween the Ecologist magazineand Ecostorm: the awardwinninginvestigation groupthat specialises in exposing theunreported costs of“These people deserve more than to besubjected to this,” says Maria ElenaForonda Farro from NGO Natura,campaigning to resolve the problemsassociated with fishmeal production.“It’s even worse because this fishmealis being processed for salmon that arefarmed and consumed abroad.”Pupils at a Chimbote school afflicted bythe industry also complain of healthproblems and environmental damage:“It causes fungal growths,breathlessness, we cannot breath,” saysone boy. Another says: “As well asmaking us sick it changes the colour ofthe ocean... we used to play years backbut now it’s polluted there is nowhereto play.”During a tour of dilapidatedclassrooms, teacher Yolanda LaraCortez claims the industry has proveddisruptive and costly. “We had to buildwalls to keep it [smoke] out; we used tohold classes here but the smoke, noiseand pollution was so bad we can nolonger use them.” According to Cortez,other schools have also suffered, withup to 5,000 pupils affected by thepollution.Gazing out on the shoreline, RomoloLoayza Aguila, a biologist from theNational del Santa university, claimsthat research carried out clearly showshow untreated effluents from fishmealplants are contibuting to seriouscontamination of the Bay of Ferrol offChimbote’s coast. He claims theimpacts on the biodiversity of the bay“have been dramatic” as the area waspreviously “rich in species and also inbiomass.”spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 19

Feed for thoughtProblems© ecostormAccording to ecological group MundoAzul, the Bay of Ferrol is amongst themost polluted marine areas of thecountry, largely due to contaminationby the fishmeal industry: “The plantsare discharging protein, fat and oilinto the bay’s water, as well ascontaminated marine water usedduring the process of pumping thefish from the ships hull to theprocessing plant” the group states.They claim that this, combined withcontaminants deposited by airpollution, raw sewage, and dischargefrom the steel industry, has led to theaccumulation of a toxic layer – up toa metre thick – of un-decomposed,organic material on the bay’s seabed,creating a marine ‘dead zone’.Farther out to sea, fishing chiefs andcampaigners say that the sheervolume of anchovy taken for fishmealhas had negative impacts on theocean’s wider food chain, fisheryspawning grounds and thus theavailability of other – previouslyplentiful – fish species used forhuman consumption.Manuel Montesa Arroyo, president ofChimbote’s artasinal fishmermenassociation, says: “Fish is the basic foodin Peru, but now there’s not enough forlocal people... we catch less, becausethere are more fleets. There is [now]more deprivation as we catch less.”Arroyo says that although laws exist toprevent industrial fishing within a fivemilezone of the coast – to protectartisanal food resources – enforcementis weak and breaches frequent. In 2006,local media reportedly filmed up to 50industrial vessels fishing just metresoff the beach. According toeyewitnesses, harbour authorities tookno action “because they had no fuel.”Javier Castro, who represents theindustrial fishing industry inChimbote, admits that the sector inChimbote is “anarchic”, and thatfrequent breaches of the law occur,with regular instances of fishingvessels manipulating satellitepositioning technology to mask theirpositions when operating insideexclusion zones or closed seasons.Campaigners cite official research asevidence of the precarious status ofanchovy stocks in the South-EastPacific: the Food and AgricultureOrganisation is quoted characterisingthe Peruvian anchovy fishery as “fullyfished” – meaning it’s exploited to themaximum safe biological limit. In2006, the FAO noted two main stocksof anchovy in the South East Pacificwere “fully exploited andoverexploited.”But the fishmeal industry maintainsanchovy stocks are carefully monitoredand industrial fleets controlledthrough vigorous enforcement. TheInternational Fishmeal and FishoilOrganisation (IFFO), based in the UK,claims that that Peruvian anchovyfishery is subjected to “comprehensivemanagement controls to protect thestock from over fishing.” IFFO says thePeruvian government adopts a“precautionary approach” to regulatingcatches, with controls including closedseasons, net size restrictions, vessellicensing, catch quotas and restrictedfishing areas.It also points to the satellite trackingsystem – referred to by fishing chiefs –as further evidence of the frameworkin place to prevent overfishing, as wellas the existence of strict codes ofconduct for industrial fishing vessels.IFFO head Jonathan Shepherd saysthat Peru is an “excellent example of acountry which heeded earlier warningson overfishing, conducted extensiveresearch and introduced controls andthird party surveillance.”In Chimbote, Maria Farroacknowledges that some fishmealprocessors are taking steps to reducethe negative impacts of pollution bytheir operations. “Six or seven areleading the way and implementingbetter, less polluting and wastefulpractices,” she says. “But plenty ofothers have so far refused to enter intodialogue.”Natura argues however, that ultimatelyfishmeal produced primarily to feedsalmon and other farm animals cannever be truly sustainable, as long as20 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

ProblemsFeed for thoughtthere is food insecurity and “humanmouths to feed”. Although Peruvians donot traditionally eat anchovy in theirdiet, critics claim that the removal ofsuch vast quantities of biomass isnegatively affecting the fish that theydo eat, and this is the problem.Yards away from Chimbote’s bustlingport, there lies another hidden victim ofthe fishmeal industry. Lying on therubbish-strewn beach are the carcassesof six sea lions – a protected species –rotting in the sunshine. The animals arereportedly increasingly being killed byfishermen who see them as competitorsfor dwindling fish resources.Sea bird colonies too are reported to beunder threat because of excessiveanchovy fishing to supply the fish mealindustry. Mundo Azul claim that thefamed guano population of Peru hasdropped from 60 million birds to just tofour million, a 90% loss over recentdecades that threatens to collapsealtogether if the ecosystems they relyupon continue to be targeted.For John Volpe, Professor of Ecology atthe University of Victoria in Canada,such examples are by no means isolated.“Salmon is not cheap. We’ve created away for it to be cheap for the consumerby shifting the cost to ecosystems andsocial communities, who are beingdegraded in the name of cheap salmon.”Critics in South America claim that freetrade agreements have created a systemwhereby producer countries bear thehidden costs for the feed and farmingprocesses used to grow cheap salmonsold in the West: “The salmon weproduce is eaten by the mouths ofpeople in the USA and Europe, but theasshole is here in Latin America,” saysJean Carlos Cardenas of NGOEcoceanos, “the true cost of the cheapsalmon you eat is being paid with theblood of our people and the health ofour oceans.”Fish consumptionTowards fair and sustainable fisheriesFish stocks are valuable renewableresources that deliver huge benefits tosociety. Optimally managed, theyprovide a long-term and stable sourceof food, income and employment,contributing to the well-being of manypeople around the world.Fisheries contribute about one fifth ofthe animal protein consumed by humanstoday and employ about 200 millionpeople globally. According to FAO, morethan 60% of global fish production comesfrom developing countries offering thema great opportunity to increase foodsecurity and economic development.There is a very strong case to manageour fish resources within environmentallimits and in a socially just way: Butunfortunately we are failing on bothfronts. The way we fish today has anegative impact on people, the healthof ocean ecosystems, and the globaleconomy. Overfishing and unfairallocation of resources are putting at riskthe jobs and livelihoods of millions ofpeople around the world.Our management of fish stocks is framedin absurdity. While major fisheriescollapse, fishing effort expands globally.Over the past decade global fish catchhas remained stable and the value ofour stocks has declined. We are runningto stand still. The difference betweenthe fishing operating costs and the catchvalue obtained has reduced significantly,making many fishing operationsfinancially unviable. Business-as-usualcould mean the collapse of all globalfisheries by 2048. 1Fisheries are possibly the best exampleof under-performing global assets. TheWorld Bank estimates the differencebetween potential and actual neteconomic benefits from fisheries at 50billion US$/year, similar to the currentvalue of international fish product trade. 2These costs are not distributedhomogeneously and poor nations oftenbear the greater burden.Despite higher levels of governance andwealth, developed countries have failedto manage their fish stocks in aAniol EstebanHead of environment at theNew Economics Foundation(nef).aniol.estaban@neweconomics.orgsustainable manner, increasing thevulnerability of the fishing sector and inparticular fishing communities with noeconomic alternatives. Overfishing isthe result of several failures, includingpoor use of public funds leading to fleetovercapacity, and decision-makingprocesses by which catch quotas aresystematically set above scientificrecommendations. Moreover poorenforcement and control render mostefforts ineffective, and as a result illegal,unreported and unregulated (IUU)fishing is widespread. Costs from IUUfishing in five major EU fisheries willspring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 21

Fish consumptionProblemsamount to more than €18 billionbetween now and 2020 with 27,000 jobslost in the fishing and processing sectorin the same period. 3In a context of declining fish stocks andstable global fish catch, the EU andother rich nations have managed tomaintain – and increase – their levels offish consumption. This has beenachieved through a combination of fishimports; targeting farther and deeperfishing grounds; and further depletingtheir own fish stocks.Public funds have contributed to thebuild up of a fishing sector whichincreasingly looks ecologicallydestructive and financially unviable.Subsidies to target new species in highand deep seas have quickly depletedpopulations of slow-growth speciessuch as sharks and orange roughy. Theyhave also contributed negatively to afair allocation of resources. Subsidiescreate uncompetitive markets throughthe distortion of prices and costs, andbecause governments in developedcountries can provide higher subsidiesto their fleets these are the ones thatbenefit most.Payments for fishing access provided bythe EU, USA, Japan, China, South Koreaand Taiwan amount to about 1 billionUS$ / year. 4 The EU invests about onethird of its European Fisheries Fund toguarantee access in African, Caribbeanand Pacific countries, mainly to Spanish,French and Portuguese vessels whichaccount for 60% of total EU value catch inACP waters.These payments could be of mutualbenefit - satisfying fish demand in theNorth and contributing to thedevelopment of fishing industries in theSouth - but in practice this has hardlyever been the case. Access agreementslead to excessive fishing capacity withnegative impacts on the resourcesustainability and on the food securityof the locals. 5 Recent EU fishingagreements with West African countriesdid not include any catch quotas. Overall,the current set up of fisheries agreementssupports a net transfer of protein andwealth from poor to richer countries.Changing the way we fish towardsbetter management of resources couldhelp capture part of the rent drain andopening the possibility to significantgains in social justice and human wellbeing.Reforming fisheries requiresaction at many levels, including activeengagement of a wide range ofstakeholders.Fish, as a free food for humankind,should be managed to deliversustainable and fair economic wellbeing.Any meaningful transitiontowards fair and sustainable fisherieswill bring a significant reduction infishing effort and capacity. This mightcreate economic and social costs tosome actors in the short term; butfailing to act now will result in higherand long-lasting costs. Decision-makersneed to start acting as true managersof marine resources, putting forwardthe long-term interest of the tax-payerversus the short-term interest of a fewsectors. The time is ripe for this changeof direction.1 Worm et al (2006) Science 787-790.2 Vanuccini (2003) Overview of FishProduction, Utilization, Consumption andTrade. Rome. FAO.3 Pew Environment Group (2008)Stopping Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported(IUU) fishing could create over 27,000 more jobsin the EU. Khan et alt (2006) in Catching morebait. FCRR 14(6).5 Sumaila et al (2003) Incorporatingecosystem objectives into management ofsustainable marine fisheries. Rome, Italy andWallingford, UK. FAO and CAB International. 343-361.© ecostorm22 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

ProblemsFisheries, the environmentand offshore wind farmsLocation, location, locationThe invisible industryThere is a general misconception thatmare liberum (the Freedom of the Seas)applies in particular to fishers workingin coastal waters. The common view isthat access to the sea is homogenouslydistributed and all fishers can and dowork anywhere and everywhere. Sowhen a new structure or restriction isintroduced to the coastal environment,people believe that fishermen cansimply fish elsewhere.This view is not restricted to those thathave a remote and often romantic viewof the small boat rural fishing industryeither. In a desk-based environmentalimpact assessment carried out prior tothe installation of underground gasstorage caverns on the Yorkshire coastthe consultant remarked:‘No fishing takes place in this area,though one cannot discount somesmall scale exploitation’. 1This observation was made in a regionof the coast where there are numeroussmall inshore fishing boats and one ofthe biggest crab/lobster fisheries inEurope netting around £4 million ayear for a community with few otherindustries. If the consultant hadbothered to look carefully from justabout any point along the coast he orshe could have counted over 100 buoys,each attached to 20-30 creels on thesea bed.Fishing occurs everywhere along thiscoast. But it is transient and the degreeof activity is not always immediatelyobvious, so it can be invisible toplanners – unlike the physical structureof an oil rig or sewage outfall that canbe marked on a chart.Under-represented andmisunderstoodCoastal or inshore fishers work in acomplex environment fraught withhazards, complex regulation, patchydistributions of their target species,exclusion zones and informalterritories. These problems areexacerbated by the fact that thedistance that an inshore fishing vesselcan travel from their home port islimited by the speed, size and capacityof their vessels.The cumulative impacts of thesefactors on fishers are often poorlyunderstood by those outside theindustry. The regulators andproponents of coastal developmentsare comfortable in the be-suited,jargonistic and bureaucratic worlds oflegal negotiation, planning legislationand public relations.But it’s a world alien to most fishers,who as hunters earn their living bytheir wits, often at night and in harshenvironmental conditions. They aretypically highly independentindividuals and naturally protectiveover their way of life. Unused tocommunicating their opinions andneeds to institutions and the public,they do not always representthemselves very well in board rooms,and historically there has been nofishing equivalent of the ‘landedgentry’ to argue their case in the uppercircles of UK society.This is not an excuse to view them as“poor, backward, marginal andproblematic, but as importantcontributors to the rural economy andpotential focal points for marketdevelopment in areas otherwise remotefrom the cash economy”. 2 A study ofrural inshore fishers in Irelanddemonstrated that one fisher at seasupports about seven people ashoreand that each fisher was worth anaggregated £34 000 per annum to thecommunity. 3A rush to renewablesOffshore wind electricity generation isat the forefront of the UK’s drive tosource 15% of energy supplies fromrenewables by 2020. 4 As renewablescontributed only 1.5% to the UK’senergy demands in 2006 the scale ofthe task is substantial, and is leading tothe designation of large areas of thesea for wind farm development.There has been a lack of precision withregard to how different stakeholdersare involved in the process. Thegreatest challenge for developers isMagnus JohnsonLecturer in EnvironmentalMarine Biology, Centre forEnvironmental and MarineSciences, University of RodmellAssistant Chief Executive of theNational Federation ofFishermen’s Organisations(NFFO) with fishers at the local levelwho do not have someone in an officewith the expertise, time andinclination to review the substantialdocumentation associated with marinedevelopment and constructionprojects. This is not helped by the factthat regulators such as DEFRA havegenerally been much more focussed onbiology and economics than the mostimportant area of science relevant toengaging and understandingstakeholders – social science. 5Early decisions on wind farm locationswere made using a broad brushapproach and with little stakeholderengagement. The StrategicEnvironmental Assessment for thesecond round of planning allowed onlyfour weeks for consultation. 6 And yetlocation is the key issue thatdetermines impact upon fishingcommunities, so these time restrictionsinstantly reduce the scope for usefuland positive negotiations with fishers.Environmental Impact Assessments(EIAs) undertaken once the sites areallocated become inherently biasedtowards justifying the location. This isnot helped by the fact that EIAs arecarried out by consultants undercontract to the developer, who inpractice may lack fisheries expertise orthe necessary investigative resources.spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 23

Fisheries, the environment and offshore wind farmsProblemsConsequently, developers face an uphillstruggle trying to convince thestakeholders with local ecologicalknowledge of the validity of their ownreports, often based on desk-studiesauthored by what the fishers regard aspet scientists. Consultation meetingswith fishers can often be little more thanlast minute box ticking exercises wherefrustrated and poorly informed fishersvent their fury. This allows the developerto adhere only to minimum statutoryrequirements, citing unreasonablebehaviour on the part of fishers.In fact, fishers are sometimes viewedby developers as little more thanobstacles with no real rights of tenurewho can be bought off, no matterwhether paying compensation is in theinterests of the community andenvironment.In contrast, developers are oftenviewed by fishers as arrogant, deviousand well connected with theinstitutions and regulators responsiblefor control of their resource. 7Environmental argumentsIn an arena increasingly peppered withconstraints and tensions, thedevelopment of wind farms willunavoidably result in displacing fishingactivity in different ways depending onlocation. At worst, livelihoods andfishing communities are at stake iffishing opportunities are removed oradditional costs are incurred to divertto alternative fishing grounds thatundermine the viability of fishingbusinesses.Developers sometimes cite decliningfish stocks and the potentialconservation benefits of exclosures asadditional reasons to press ahead withwind farms, whether or not the localcommunity objects. It is easy fordevelopers and those that supportwind farms to cite claims byenvironmental NGOs that all fishedstocks are in decline. In reality, there isa recognised lack of data at appropriatescales for inshore fisheries to fullydetermine impact, and to be effective,restrictions on fishing activity forconservation purposes need to be setwithin the context of a coherentconservation strategy. Presently thereis no such integration between windfarm and conservation planningprocesses.The initial disturbance of an areaduring the construction phase andensuing noise pollution caused by piledriving are of concern with regard tofish and marine mammal populations. 8The possibility that shark species maybe adversely affected byelectromagnetic interference isConsultation meetingswith fishers can often belittle more than lastminute box tickingexercises where frustratedand poorly informedfishers vent their furysomething that scientists have alsobeen investigating. There are,nevertheless, ways that good windfarm design could mitigate impactupon fisheries. Construction activitiescan be planned to avoid sensitivemigratory or reproductive periods andcables can be buried or shielded tolimit exposure to electromagneticfields. In the right location and withcareful design, wind farms may be ableto act as artificial reefs or fishaggregation devices.Fisher safetyA wind farm array inevitably poses anincreased safety risk to mariners.Fishing among turbines may seemmore practical if working a limitednumber of lobster pots from a smallboat, when compared to towing a trawlfrom a larger one. But there are nohard and fast conclusions on the typesof fishing activity that would becompatible from a safety point of view.Sensible safety criteria must, therefore,be agreed on a case by case basis.Outside of any safety exclusion zonethat is designated, it is down toskippers to assess their exposure torisk according to the localcircumstances, weather conditions andfishing method employed.Some developers prefer toautomatically exclude fishers fromwind farms completely on safetygrounds. That is understandably notsomething that fishers favour!However, even when fishing activity isnot possible, consideration should begiven to assess whether it is safe toallow passage to access fishing groundsthat would otherwise be blocked.Lessons can be learned from theinteractions of the fishing and oil and gasindustries. Decommissioning (orrecommissioning) in particular needs tobe carefully considered now rather thanin 20 years time. The stakes for theenvironment and fishing industry arelikely to be higher as the direct ecologicaland spatial footprint of wind farms is somuch larger. The key issues for allconcerned with wind farms, which wereless significant with the oil and gasindustry, are location and access, and it isthese that require real stakeholderinvolvement and proactive decisionmakingwhich takes effective account ofthe sensitivities and needs of fishingcommunities.1 Hart PJB, Johnson ML (2005) Whoowns the sea? lulu.com2 Ibid.3 Meredith D (1999) The strategicimportance of the fishing sector to ruralcommunities and Ireland. Irish FisheriesInvestigations (New Series), No. 44 BERR (2008) UK Renewable EnergyStrategy: Consultation Document.5 SAC Secreteriat (2007) SocialResearch in DEFRA.6 Gray T, Haggett C, Bell E (2005)Offshore wind farms and commercial fisheriesin the UK. Ethics, Place & Environment 8:127-1407 Hart PJB, Johnson ML (2005) Op.cit.8 Ibid.24 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

ProblemsThe Kashagan oil fieldA case for undersea oil exploration?As the era of ‘easy oil’ - conventionallyexplored and extracted from onshorefields - comes to an end, energycompanies are expanding theiroperations into ever more extremegeological, climate and environmentallysensitive locations to sustain production.This issue is slowly climbing thepolitical and environmental agenda,but oil companies have been exploringand developing other undersea(offshore) oil fields for a number ofyears. One such case is thedevelopment of the giant Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan.Originally discovered in 2000, theKashagan field is the world’s largestoilfield to be found since the late1960s. At its peak, it is expected toproduce 1.5 million barrels of oil perday - nearly 2% of current world output- and make Kazakhstan one of theworld’s top oil-producing countries.The field is located in the shallow watersof the north Caspian Sea where theproject has been beset with technicalchallenges. Years of delay to the start ofproduction, initially planned for 2005,are proof of a lack of availabletechnology and knowledge to meetthese challenges, and safely develop oilfields in such offshore conditions,despite the fact the operation is run bythe world’s largest and mostexperienced oil companies includingShell, ExxonMobil, Total and ENI.Besides these engineering problems, theKashagan crude contains unusually highlevels of sulphur (110kg of sulphur pertonne of oil) and around 40 other toxicpollutants such as highly poisonousmercaptans. With these technical,geological and chemical conditions,exploration of the field poses a seriousthreat to humans and wildlife and islikely to result in catastrophic impactson the fragile ecosystems of the CaspianSea as well as on the people living in theentire region.Fragility of the Caspian SeaenvironmentThe Caspian Sea is a closed aquaticecosystem with unclear internationaland legal status. The absence of clearregulation makes it difficult, if notimpossible, to identify responsibilitiesconnected to oil-related activities. Sucha legal vacuum increases the risk andvulnerability of the local populationsand environment in the event ofaccidents or oil spills in the sea.Since the development of Kashaganoffshore operations started in 1999,and even before the field is fullyoperational, local communities andnon-government observers haveregistered alarming impacts on the seabiodiversity; a sharp decline in fishstocks and massive deaths of marinemammals and migrating birds.Villagers report drops in their fishcatches and skin diseases on the fishthey do catch, making themunmarketable. This results in severesocio-economic impacts for localcommunities because up to 40 percentof the population of some villages isemployed in the fishing industry. Adecline in fish stocks has been recordedin several local commercially valuablespecies but particularly in theendangered Caspian Sturgeon specieswhich, like the Beluga Sturgeon islisted in the IUCN Red Book, and forwhich the Northern Caspian Searemains one of the last spawninggrounds. In May 2006, on the Kazakhcoast alone, over 2,000 of these fishspecies were found dead.In 2000, just one year after startingconstruction of the offshore facilities,over 2,000 Caspian seals were founddead on the shores. This marinemammal species, for which the CaspianSea serves as a whelping ground, is alsoprotected under the IUCN Red Book.And it’s getting worse, with severalhundred animals found dead every year.In 2003, massive bird deaths occurredas they suffered from highconcentration of hydrogen sulphide inthe air. Hundreds of species of birdsforage on the wetlands along theNorthern Caspian coast which is majorstop-over for millions of migratingbirds. According to a study by theKazakh Oil and Gas Institute, ifDarek UrbaniakExtractive Industry CampaignCoordinator at Friends of theEarth Europepollution continues at the same ratethe whole Caspian Sea could suffer abiological death in the coming decades.The social impactsDue to high levels of toxic pollutants inKashagan oil, and technical problemsassociated with its extraction andprocessing, there is serious risk of acatastrophic accident which could killtens of thousands of people throughexposure to toxic gases. Thousands ofpeople have been relocated in theregion because of emissions andworkers are already exposed tosulphate and other contaminantswhich have direct impacts on humanneurological systems. Young people areincreasingly suffering fromcardiovascular and respiratoryillnesses. Diarrhoea due to fishconsumption, skin diseases fromswimming in the sea, headaches, nosebleeds and cases of anaemia andleukaemia have been also reported.Double standardsDespite being requested by localcommunities, and required under law,the oil companies have failed to makepublic key documents, including a fullenvironmental and social impactassessment of their operations inKashagan. Yet these same oil companiesdo release the equivalent documentsrelating to their operations in Europe.With ever more pressure on oilcompanies to extract oil from sensitive,vulnerable and legally ambiguous sites,Kashagan should serve as an example ofhow not to do it.spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 25

The big questionthe big questionHas fish had its chips?Caroline BennettFounder of Britain’s firstconveyor belt sushi restaurantand supporter of sustainablefish restaurants in perilous state of global fish stocks is of huge concern, especially for businessessuch as Moshi Moshi that rely so heavily on fish. When we opened our first conveyorbelt sushi bar in London in 1994 it was standard to have the highly-prized toro, thefatty belly of bluefin tuna, on the menu. By 1998 it was brought to our attention thatbluefin was endangered and so we withdrew it. Now, ten years on, even if we wantedto serve it to our customers, we wouldn’t be able to: it is thought that within twoyears bluefin will have completely disappeared from the Mediterranean.Is there anything that can be done? We believe there is, which is why we’ve helpedset up Responsible Fish Restaurants to try and involve other fish restaurants in ascheme we’ve piloted at Moshi Moshi. The scheme involves forging direct relationshipswith local inshore fishers, giving them a dedicated market for their fish in return foran agreement to fish with as little impact on the marine environment as possible.This scheme helps fish stocks because it does away with “by-catch,” one of the mainreasons for fish stock depletion: as much of 70% of fish caught is either thrown backinto the sea or goes to waste once it is landed.Fish conservation is a complex issue, and involves a deep understanding of how andwhen specific species of fish should be caught. Consumers can’t be expected to knowthis. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the fishing industry, shops and restaurantsto make the decision for them. If this is done, then there is hope for fish yet.The poor status of many fish stocks and marine ecosystems and the role of fisheriesin causing this has been a topic of widespread concern and debate for over adecade. While claims of doom and destruction are frequently exaggerated, thereare severe problems in many regions of the world. 1Does this mean the imminent end of fish as part of our diets and other culturalactivities? The short answer, at least for the privileged in the world’s developedcountries, is no. The remarkably rapid rise of aquaculture as a source of human foodis one reason, and on-going improvements in management and conservation ofmarine resources and ecosystems in the developed world is another.Driven by societal pressure and awareness in the fisheries sector of the threat totheir own survival, such improvements are taking hold in a number of developedcountries, and likely to spread to others. Depending on their broader social andeconomic environment, some developing nations with well developed commercialfisheries should also make further progress in effective conservation andmanagement in the medium-term.The answer is far less clear for many other ‘have-nots’ including the hundreds ofmillions of people in developing countries dependent on small-scale fisheries forfood security and livelihoods. The absence of alternative livelihoods, low politicalpriority and conflicts with more powerful interest groups provide a bleak outlookfor many of these people, their cultures and coastal ecosystems, notwithstandingthe added threat of climate change.Contrary to the prevailing attitude in some conservation circles, the means ofreducing these risks lies not in top-down, protectionist initiatives, but in fullrecognition of the inter-dependencies between human and ecosystem well- being,the fundamental human rights to food security, justice and equity, and the value ofand need for healthy, productive and diverse ecosystems.Only by working simultaneously for human and ecosystem well-being in anintegrated, committed and effective manner, will the world as a whole be assuredof fish for the future, and have the security, peace of mind and clear conscience tobe able and entitled to enjoy it.Kevern CochraneWorks in the FisheryResources Division of the UNFood and AgricultureOrganization. Hisresponsibilities includeassistance in implementationof the FAO Code of Conductfor Responsible Fisheries andthe provision of technicalsupport to FAO activities inthe Caribbean area and thesouth east Atlantic.kevern.cochrane@fao.org1 FAO (2008) The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture.

The big questionHuw Irranca-DaviesMinister for the Natural andMarine Environment, Wildlifeand Rural fish had its chips?I believe that fishermen will be landing and consumers enjoying sustainablycaught fish for many years to come. Our fishing industry plays an important role inproviding food for the nation, and contributes to local and regional economiesand the culture of coastal communities.The government has set out its long-term vision for sustainable fisheries. Our goalis to secure long-term benefits for the whole of society. We need to take some harddecisions in order to achieve our aims, and we are committed to working with theseafood industry to deliver an economically and environmentally sustainable fleetin the long-term.We have to balance the need of our fishermen to make a living with the need toprotect fish stocks for the future. Fishermen all around our coast are adoptingmeasures designed to avoid overfishing and prevent huge amounts of what theycatch being wasted, thrown back into the sea dead.We will work to move Europe towards a more effective Common Fisheries Policy infuture, one in which the industry and consumers can have greater confidence, andone that safeguards fish stocks, maintains a sustainable fishing industry andprotects the marine environment.The government’s groundbreaking Marine and Coastal Access Bill, a world first, willintroduce measures aimed at delivering a sustainable and profitable fisheriessector. It will mean more effective action can be taken to conserve fish stocks andthe habitats on which they depend.We must think and act long-term, to secure a sustainable, profitable, fisheries sectorproviding high-quality products. We all have a responsibility to manage our seas ina responsible way to get the most for today and for future generations.The way I see it, there are three main dimensions to a critique of modern, industrialisedfishing. First, the staggering impact of over-fishing on marine environments around theworld makes the term ‘environmentally unsustainable’ seem like a complement. Second,the impact of this on our ability to feed the growing human population and especiallythose in the developing world for whom fish used to be a staple. Third and perhaps leastcommented on, the barbaric nature of fishing on the fish themselves.The Medway Report back in 1980 established that fish feel pain. Even vegetarians oftenmake an exception for fish (“they’re just silver vegetables” is my favourite rationale) yettrawled fish die slowly through suffocation, a process that takes about four hours, whileline caught fish are pulled from the water with their own body weight suspended from ahook in their mouths.So, will fish be part of our diet in 20 years time? From an environmental perspective, Ihope we still have that option, but it will only be there if radical measures are taken toprotect remaining fish populations (including limiting climate change), to reduce fishingquotas and to insist that fishermen are not allowed to destroy their own livelihoods.From a welfare point of view, in my wildest dreams modern societies around the worldwill have stopped consuming food that cannot be caught or produced without severe andsystematic suffering. We’ll eat fish very occasionally, as a special treat. It won’t be on anyred-lists and will have been tickled from a river near you.Kate RawlesSenior Lecturer in OutdoorStudies at The University ofCumbria, runs outdoor philosopycourses and is a memberof the Food Ethics summer 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

Has fish had its chips?The world of course faces many well-publicized issues in managing its wild fish andmarine resources for the long term. But in thinking about this we also have toconsider the other side of the coin – aquaculture (or fish farming).There has been a sustained campaign in recent years by some NGOs against theaquaculture industry. They cite instances of bad practice – environmental damage,illegal chemicals and social injustice – as a way of suggesting that all fish farming isbad. This is most certainly not the case.Fish farming is not a new industry - in some countries it has been practiced for manythousands of years. But in recent decades it has been the world’s fastest expandingfood production industry and inevitably this rapid growth has brought challenges.Nevertheless, by applying minimum standards of behaviour and improving science, ithas been proved that fish-farming can be done in an ethical and sustainable way.There is now a strong core of responsible operators around the globe who are playinga positive role in driving industry-wide improvement.In an era of when we face food security challenges exacerbated by populationgrowth and climate change, aquaculture is in fact a major tool to help feed the globalpopulation. It’s also a key growth industry in many emerging economies and can be afaster and more efficient means of producing food than growing land-basedanimals.But above all, fish is a healthy, nutritious source of protein which should be freelyavailable to all. Given the limited availability of wild seafood, we have no choice butto farm fish if it is not in the future to become a food beyond the reach of all but thevery rich. We must all work towards ensuring this happens in a sustainable way.Mike ParkerDirector of Sustainability andSeafood Affairs at Foodvest(parent company of Young’sSeafood in the UK and Findusin Scandinavia and France) big questionFishing at sea for commercial gain has been a documented activity for millennia.Mankind probably first noticed fish floundering in drying lakes and river beds and inseashore pools and reckoned that, if it was good enough for birds to eat, then it wasgood enough for us. We’ve been eating Bird’s Eye Fish Fingers ever since!Every weekend a dedicated minority of the population spends time with bent nailsand drowning worms, trying to land a whopper as we mimic those early primitivefishers. The idea of bringing home wild-caught food for the ‘Nigella’ in our lives, toput a feast on the table, is as strong a primeval urge as it ever was.However, the majority settle for fish and chips or a scampi dish, washed down witha six-pack in front of match-of-the-day.Jim PortusCEO for the South West FishProducers Organisation,Chairman of the UKAssociation of Fish Producer’sOrganisation, Chairman of theRoyal National Mission toDeep Sea Fishermen inBrixham and Director of SWPesca.swfpo.comAnd it’s a tiny number of men who risk their lives on heaving decks, struggling withbulging nets in the cold and wet of a winter’s night, sorting, gutting, cleaning, icingand packing away, fish for the early morning markets in ports with familiar names,like Brixham, Grimsby, Peterhead. These men and their boats are fewer in numbernow, under the cosh of the Common Fisheries Policy, but their contribution to feedingthe nation is as vital today as it was in the darkest days of the Battle of theAtlantic, when we were a nation under siege.Will there always be a fishing industry? Yes, while there are brave folk willing to riskall in search of the catch-of-the-day and a ‘Nigella’ in the kitchen, keen to serve upa wholesome treat!summer 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 29

Fishing for solutionsSolving the $50 billion fish puzzleSolutionsLong before the fuel price shock of 2008, the economic health ofthe world’s marine fisheries was in decline. Economic losses inmarine fisheries add up to at least US$50 billion per year. Over thelast three decades, these losses total over $US2 trillion; a figureroughly equivalent to the GDP of Italy. These are conservativeestimates which exclude losses to recreational fisheries and marinetourism as well as losses due to illegal fishing.A recent World Bank report The Sunken Billions: TheEconomic Justification for Fisheries Reform, argues that wellmanagedmarine fisheries could turn most of these losses intosustainable economic benefits for millions of fishers andcoastal communities.Sustainable fisheries require political will to replace incentivesfor overfishing with incentives for responsible stewardship.The Sunken Billions provides decision makers with theeconomic arguments for the reforms needed. The reformshowever are not just about boats and fish but about realchange in the political, social and ethical underpinnings ofmarine resource stewardship.How the economic losses occurThe bulk of losses occur in two mainways. First, depleted fish stocks meanthat there are fewer fish to catch, andtherefore the cost of finding andcatching them is greater than it mightbe. Second, massive fleet overcapacity -often described as ‘too many fisherschasing too few fish’ - means that theeconomic benefits of fishing aredissipated due to redundant investmentand operating costs.Global marine catches have beenstagnant for over a decade, hovering ataround 85 million tons per year.According to FAO, over 75 percent of theworld’s fish stocks are either fully exploited or overexploitedand the most valuable fish stocks tend to be the mostdepleted. The build-up of fishing fleets, deployment ofincreasingly powerful fishing technologies and increasingpollution and habitat loss has depleted fish stocksworldwide.But the focus on the state of stocks has tended to obscure theeven more critical economic health of the fisheries. When fishstocks are fully exploited, the associated fisheries are almostinvariably performing below their economic optimum. Insome cases, fisheries may be biologically sustainable but stilloperate at an economic loss.Meanwhile fisheries productivity - measured in terms of catch perfisher, or per fishing vessel - has declined, even though fishingtechnology has advanced and fishing effort increased. The excessfleets competing for limited fish resources result in stagnantproductivity and economic inefficiency. If world fish stocks wererebuilt, the current marine fisheries catch could be achieved with30 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | www.foodethicscouncil.orgapproximately halfof the currentglobal fishingeffort.Hidden costsAnd while manyfisheries areprofitable, theglobal picture isthat fish catchingoperations arebuoyed up bysubsidies. At theglobal level, eachSuccessful reform mustmove the fishery alongthree interwoven axes:biological sustainability,social equity, andincreased productivityKieran KelleherFisheries Team Leader in theWorld Bank’s Agriculture andRural DevelopmentDepartment. He is also themanager of the World Bank’sGlobal Partnership on Fisheries– PROFISH – which supportedThe Sunken Billions study.epetheo@worldbank.orgton of fish caught uses almost half a ton of fuel. Much ofthis fuel is subsidized and wasted in redundant harvestingeffort. Further, the real income levels of fishers aredepressed, much of the industry is unprofitable, fish stocksare depleted and other sectors of the economy foot the billfor an ailing fishing industry. Furthermore, the depletion ofnatural (fish) capital is rarely reflected in national accounts.An ethic of responsible stewardshipRecovery of “the sunken billions” cantake place in two main ways: First, areduction in fishing effort wouldincrease productivity, profitability andnet economic benefits. Second,rebuilding fish stocks would lead toincreased sustainable yields and lowerfishing costs.Rebuilding stocks and reducing fishingeffort, however, involves political,social and economic costs in the shortand medium term. The resultingbenefits may take many years to flow,so reforms require a broad political consensus on resourcestewardship. Consensus means developing a common longterm vision of the future shape of fisheries and the key stepsalong a pathway to sustainability and profitability.Consensus means not only political consensus but building aresponsible private sector ‘from the net to the plate’.Successful reform must move the fishery along threeinterwoven axes: biological sustainability, social equity, andincreased productivity. The biological sustainability isunderpinned by robust and independent scientific adviceboth on fisheries and environmental requirements. In anideal world, the farther the decision-makers stray from theimplications and recommendations of the scientificconsensus, the greater should be their burden of proof andaccountability – not only with respect to determining theallowable catches, but also in addressing pollution andhabitat loss which make a large contribution to the crisis infisheries.

SolutionsFishing for solutionsStrengthened, transparent and equitable fisheries tenure canprovide fishers and fishing communities with incentives tomanage their fisheries for optimal economic and social outcomes.Effective use, access or ownership rights for fishers orcommunities are founded on an ethic of responsiblestewardship. Fishing rights and fishing obligations can beseen as complementary facets of the same coin, such that a‘fishing license’ could be replaced with a ‘stewardshipobligation’. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can be seen as aspecial form of tenure which has been used with some success.A reduction in fishing effort helps rebuild stocks and increasesnet benefits. It can be driven through a tenure regime thatcreates and balances public and private benefits. Theincreased returns from healthy fisheries can create economicopportunities, build the necessary social safety nets andimprove the livelihoods of fishers. Phasing out subsidies thatenhance redundant fishing capacity and harvesting effort is amajor step towards improved efficiency. Public finance may beneeded to bridge the period between the reduction of fishingeffort and the onset of the flow of increased benefits.Greater transparency in allocation of fish resources andgreater public accountability for fisheries management andhealth of fish stocks is important. Such a health check needsto take account of subsidies, environmental externalities anddepletion of fish capital, and underpins any coherent policydebate on fishery reform. The frequent failure of publicaccountability for the health of fish stocks largely amounts toan abdication of the responsibility for stewardship. Improvedtransparency can also help curtail corruption, supportinitiatives to certify sustainable fisheries and contribute to aninstitutional foundation to enable small-scale producers toaccess markets.Africa the NEPAD ‘fish summit’ also endorsed ‘rights-basedfisheries’. The world’s largest fishery, Peru’s anchoveta fishery, isalso moving towards a rights-based approach, where the fisherywould pay for a social safety net for retired fishers.Benefits for developing countriesEconomically healthy fisheries are fundamental not only tothe restoration of fish stocks but improved livelihoods,exports, fish food security and economic growth.Marine fishing operations are only one part of the $400 billionglobal seafood industry, but economically healthy catchingoperations underpin the sustainability of supply and theprofitability of processing and distribution activities, which aremajor sources of employment, particularly in developingcountries.The FAO estimates that for each person employed at seaanother three people are employed on shore. Fish is the mainanimal protein for over one billion people. It provideslivelihoods for over 200 million people and 90% of thesepeople are in developing countries.With political will backed up by sound economic arguments,reforms can ensure responsible stewardship of our marinefisheries, and provide a sustainable livelihood and food sourcefor generations to come.The Sunken Billions: the Economic Justification for Fisheries Reform wassupported by PROFISH, a World Bank partnership focused on policyinitiatives for sustainable fisheries. the tideIdeally, improved fisheries management can secure a triplebottom line of environmental, social and economic benefits. Thetransition to sustainable fisheries can be swift and radical, butmore often it will take a generation and requires vigilance,continuity and perseverance even when confronted with politicalchange and short-term expediency.Governance reforms have turned the tide in some fisheries. InIceland, New Zealand and Norway the strengthening of thefishing rights systems was fundamental to addressing theproblems facing the sector. Countries such as Peru and India aremoving from physical fish production targets to social andeconomic targets, and in small-scale fisheries in Mexico andPhilippines fishers are working with local and nationalauthorities and NGOs to build the frameworks for sustainablefisheries, including MPAs and co-management mechanisms.Strengthened fisheries tenure is supported by a growing numberof organizations that see the need to create incentives forresponsible stewardship. Promotion of ‘rights-based fisheries’ ispart of an ASEAN resolution on fisheries and food security. In© yumievriwanspring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 31

Catch SharesCan they prevent fisheries collapse?SolutionsTraditional fisheries management in the industrialised worldcreates incentives for fishermen to catch as many fish as theycan, as quickly as they can. This is because fishermen lackrights to the fish that they harvest. A classic example used tobe the Alaskan halibut fishery. Before 1995, Alaskan halibutwas managed using a seasonal closure system. Fisheryscientists and managers would determine the total number offish that could be caught, based on estimates of what could bereplenished through natural growth of the population. It wasthen up to individual fishermen to catch as much forthemselves as they possibly could. Once the total was reached,the fishery was shut down until the following year.Under this system, fishing for halibut in Alaska quickly turnedinto a fishing “arms-race”. Fishermen bought bigger boats,placed more and more hooks in the water, worked longerhours and crammed their holds full of fish in the hope ofgetting as much as possible before the total was reached. Inthe race to get back to port before the market would beflooded with fish, fishermen would discard large quantities offishing gear in the ocean. This gear would lie abandoned onthe ocean floor and continue to injure and kill marine life, aprocess known as “ghost fishing”.Year after year, the Alaskan halibut season got shorter asfishermen fished faster and harder to get as much as theycould before the total was reached. Soon, the entire year’scatch was being caught in just two or three days! This createdincredibly dangerous working conditionsas fishermen had little choice about whento go fishing. And, nearly every year,fishermen would catch more than the totalset by managers - on average 106% of thetotal. And this was despite the fact thatthe total was 115% of what scientistsrecommended it should be.Change came in 1995 when the Alaskanhalibut fishery adopted a form of “catchshare” system. Instead of havingfishermen compete to catch the total, theywere each allocated a permanentpercentage of the total based on theirhistorical catch. For example, if I hadhistorically caught 1% of the total then Iwas allocated 1% of the total in perpetuity. This year, nextyear, and every year thereafter, I am guaranteed the right tocatch 1% of the total. I can sell this 1% to someone else orincrease my share by buying someone else’s percentage,subject to certain conditions.The response to this change was dramatic. In 1995, theseason extended from three days to eight months. Fishermenslowed down their operations drastically and only fished whenprices were high and the weather was cooperative. Fishermenmade more money and fewer lives were lost. Furthermore,fishermen stopped exceeding the total. Not only did theycatch less than the allowed amount, some fishermen actually32 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | www.foodethicscouncil.orglobbied for theallowable catch tobe reduced. This isin stark contrastto the status quoin most modernfisheries, wherefishermen lobbyfor higher andhigher totalcatches. Finally,ghost fishingdropped by 80%after the switch tocatch shares. In2006, the Alaskanhalibut fisherybecame one of thefew fisheries inthe world to becertified as“sustainable” bythe Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). In fact, according tothe Environmental Defense Fund, catch share fisheries areseven times more likely to be rated “well managed”compared to traditional fisheries.The Alaskan halibut fishery is a story about the success of acatch share system. But there are justas many stories and anecdotes aboutThere is no denying that,using the 10% measure,something dramatichappened to catch sharefisheries after theyswitched to this newsystemJohn LynhamAssistant Professor in theEconomics Department at theUniversity of Hawai`i atMānoa. He has an MA andPhD in Economics from theUniversity of California SantaBarbara (UCSB), and a Mastersdegree in Ecology, Evolutionand Marine Biology fromUCSB. His research interestsare in environmental/resourceeconomics, marine ecologyand behavioral economicslynham@hawaii.eduthe harm of catch share systems.Critics point to a variety of negativeoutcomes such as increasedmisreporting, increased bycatch,failure to control total catches, “highgrading”(discarding fish of lowermarket value to maximize returnsfrom the catch share) and the transferof a public resource to privateindividuals.My colleagues (Christopher Costelloand Steven Gaines) and I wanted tomove the debate over catch sharesbeyond discussing anecdotes and putsome facts on the table. We were curious as to whether catchshare fisheries were achieving the ecological benefits theirproponents claimed or if they were just business-as-usual.We decided to test the performance of catch share fisheriesusing a famous measure of fishery health: the 10% collapserate. This measure defines a fishery as collapsed if the catchthis year is less than 10% of the highest annual catch in thepast. For example, if the catch in 2007 was 100 fish and thecatch in 2008 was nine fish then the fishery would beclassified as “collapsed” in 2008. This is a very controversialmeasure because it ignores the fact that there might havebeen 100 fishermen in 2007 and only nine fishermen in

SolutionsCatch Shares2008. Unfortunately, many fisheries don’t collect accuratedata on fishermen and how much effort they exert, only onwhat they catch.The 10% measure is used by the UN’s Food and AgricultureOrganization and was also used in a scientific paper published in2006. In this paper, a group of scientists calculated the collapserate for nearly every known fishery in the world (roughly 11,000different fisheries). What they found caused uproar in thefisheries community and beyond: fisheries have been collapsingat such a fast rate that, if the trend continues, all the fisheries inthe world could be collapsed by the year 2048.What Chris, Steve and I did was to go through this list of11,000 fisheries and pick out the ones that haveexperimented with catch shares. How do these fisheriescompare to other fisheries? Does switching to a catch sharestop the trend towards complete collapse? Or are thesefisheries doing well regardless of how they are managed?What we found was pretty striking. The fisheries that are nowmanaged using catch shares were on the same trajectorytowards complete collapse before they switched to a catchshare system. The only real difference was that the year ofcomplete collapse was a little later than 2048, somewherearound 2056. But once these fisheries switched to catchshares, the trend halted. In fact, in some of our analysis, wefound that the trend reversed.There is no denying that, using the 10% measure, somethingdramatic happened to catch share fisheries after theyswitched to this new system. We believe it’s because of thechange in incentives but we can’t be absolutely sure becausethis wasn’t a proper experiment with randomly assignedtreatment and control groups. It could be that thesefisheries rebounded for some other reason that justhappened to occur at the same time as the switch to catchshares. We used a variety of statistical techniques to try toaccount for this potential bias (such as matching catch sharefisheries to similar-looking fisheries) but it remains apossibility.If catch share systems work, why haven’t they been adopted?Part of the reason is that there has been little evidence, untilnow, of their success. A bigger reason is concern overassociated negative impacts. Some environmental groupsremain unconvinced of the ecological benefits and are veryuneasy about any system that gives fishermen more controlover natural resources. Social justice groups are concernedabout loss of jobs, consolidation and exclusion of smallstakeholder groups. The challenge for advocates of catchshare systems is to find solutions that align incentives withlong-term sustainability but also address concerns aboutsocio-economic impacts. These solutions may includecommunity-owned catch shares, voluntary catch shares orspatially-based as opposed to species-based shares.Finally, as the history of catch share adoption has shown,the most important factor is support from fishermen.Fishermen often worry that they will lose out when therubber hits the road and catch shares are actually allocated.If fishermen aren’t willing to support a catch share system,it’s very unlikely to get off the ground .© Magnus Johnsonspring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 33

Responsible retailing andpublic policy interventionThe Co-operative approachSolutionsThe Co-operative Group is one of the world’s largest consumerco-operatives, with over 4,000 outlets and an annual turnoverin excess of £10 billion. Environmental responsibility is animportant part of our approach to sustainability andrepresents a major element of our brand identity and a keyelement in justifying customer trust. As a minimum conditionfor environmental sustainability The Co-operative recognisesthat nature’s productivity should not be diminished in termsof quality (biodiversity) or quantity (biomass). On thecontrary, it must be enabled to grow.The world’s seas and oceans are losing their biodiversity andbiomass at an accelerating rate. In UK waters there are 22species of wildlife considered to be facing the threat ofglobal extinction. Once common species such as Atlantichalibut and common skate are now listed as ‘criticallyendangered’. The biomass of cod in the North Sea fell fromover 250,000 tonnes in 1970 to just 37,000 tonnes in 2007 1and 2007 cod and haddock landings were respectively just26% and 40% of their 1997 levels. 2 Currently, only eight fishstocks of a total of 47 found around the British Isles areknown to be in a healthy state. 3The sea is subject to a range of impacts from humanactivities, but no other activity has such a large direct impacton the whole marine ecosystem as fishing. Overfishing oftarget species, destructive fishing techniques and high ratesof by-catch and discard are posing a serious threat to thesustainability of fish stocks and the marine environment.For example, it has been estimated that for every 1kg ofNorth Sea sole caught by beam trawl, up to 14kg of otherseabed animals are killed. In the North Sea, only half of theplaice caught by beam trawl are usually retained, decreasingto 20% in shallower inshore grounds. Proportions ofdiscarded cod andhaddock areestimated at50%. 4UK fishing fleetcatches areregulated andhave quotas aspart of the ECTotal AllowableCatch. On averagethese are over30% above theColin BainesEthics Adviser to TheCo-operative Group, he iscurrently responsible forenvironmental campaigningincluding The Co-operative’sMarine Reserves Now!campaigncolin.baines@co-operative.coopscientifically recommended levels of the InternationalCouncil for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). 5 There arealso studies which indicate these quotas are being ignoredand that illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU or‘blackfish’) catches are common and may exceed 50% ofdeclared catches in EU waters for some species, includingcod, whiting and mackerel. 6If the marine management system remains as it is, TheCo-operative expects marine ecosystems to degrade furtherand fish catches to continue to decline on the presenttrajectory. A recent study found that, unless the currentsituation improves, stocks of all species currently fished forfood are predicted to collapse by 2048. 7 Quick and decisivescience-led action is required to stop this decline and securefish stocks as a sustainable resource for the future.To address this challenge, we broadly support the keyrecommendations of The Royal Commission onEnvironmental Pollution’s twenty-fifth report “Turning theTide: addressing the impact of fisheries on the marine© French Duck34 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

SolutionsResponsible retailing and public policy interventionenvironment”, published in 2004. These include introducing aneco-system approach to fisheries, an extensive network ofmarine protected areas and no-take reserves closed tocommercial fishing, and measures to address issues such asby-catch, discard, gear controls, monitoring and over-capacity. 8Marine reservesIn particular, The Co-operative supports the Commission’srecommendation that the Government should establish anecologically coherent network of marine protected areaswith 30% of UK waters designated as no-take reserves (i.e.closed to commercial fishing anddredging). In arriving at this figure, thecommission cited 39 worldwidescientific studies, which indicate thatapproximately 20 to 50% of the world’sseas need to be protected to maximisecatches.The key reason for establishing marinereserves is that unlike most othermanagement options they can protectthe entire ecosystem, from spawningfish, to the creatures living in the oceandepths, to the seabed itself. Designedin the right way, they can protectcommercial fish, non-commercialspecies and features of the seabed thatmight be damaged. This makes them one of the most simpleand straightforward means for implementing the eco-systemapproach to fisheries.Marine reserves have been shown to be effective in helpingecosystems and fish populations recover from the effects ofoverfishing and habitat destruction. They also increase fishpopulations outside their boundaries through what areknown as ‘spillover’ effects. For example, as numbers of fishbuild up within the reserve, some will steadily migrate tofished areas. There is evidence that within a period of 5-10years, there is likely to be an increase in catches insurrounding fisheries as a result of effectively enforced notake reserves. 9The Co-operative recognises that marine reserves could, inthe short term, impact upon fishing communities bypreventing access to traditional fishing grounds. The UKfishing industry employs almost 13,000 people (down 32%compared to 1997) 10 and often provides valuableemployment in remote communities. Clearly theGovernment will need to assist those communities affectedin the short term. The alternative, however, is a muchsmaller fishing industry as employment in this sectorcontinues to decline along with fish stocks.The Marine Bill and ‘Marine Reserves Now’ campaignIn 2008, the Government announced the introduction of aMarine Bill. The bill is both welcome and essential, but doesneed to be strengthened if the Government is to achieve bothMarine reserves havebeen shown to beeffective in helpingecosystems and fishpopulations recover fromthe effects of overfishingand habitat destructionits stated vision of productive and biologically diverse oceansand seas, and if potentially irreparable damage to marineecosystems is to be avoided.The Co-operative considers urgent action so necessary thatwe have joined the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) tocampaign in partnership for ‘Marine Reserves Now’throughout 2009.During the campaign we are mobilising our customers,members and supporters to take action by calling upon theGovernment to strengthen the Marine Bill by:• Including a clear statutory “duty”to designate an “ecologically coherentnetwork” of marine conservation zonesin UK waters.• Including provisions within thebill for highly protected (or no-take)marine reserves to be created.• Removing the loophole that wouldallow sea fishing to be used as a defenceif damage occurs to protected features ofmarine conservation zones. If this wereallowed to remain, the value of the billwould be very greatly diminished.Additionally, we will be calling for a policycommitment from all political parties to designate 30% of UKwaters as highly protected marine reserves by 2020, withintermediate targets of 10% by 2012 and 15% by 2015. Thiswould make a significant contribution to ensuring ‘GoodEnvironmental Status’ is achieved for UK waters by 2020, asrequired by the EU Marine Strategy Directive. It would also gosome way to implementing other international obligations,such as the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Developmentagreement to develop a coherent network of marine protectedareas by 2012.As part of our campaign, The Co-operative is also funding anMCS study to pinpoint 50 high value sites for possibleinclusion within marine reserves. We are also helping toimprove the sustainability of the UK fishing industry byproviding funding to take four fisheries through MarineStewardship Council (MSC) certification in 2009/10.The Co-operative fish sourcingThe Co-operative takes the sustainability of its fish sourcingvery seriously and in recent years has delisted or removedfrom sale huss (dogfish), all skate and ray species, Europeanhake, monkfish, plaice, shark, snapper, eel (Conger andEuropean), Atlantic halibut and wild warm-water prawns. Ourgoal is to source our fish in line with the aims and objectivesof the MSC, of which The Co-operative has been a memberand key supporter since 1998.The Co-operative recognises that there is an ongoing issuewith over-fishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishingspring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 35

Responsible retailing and public policy interventionSolutions(IUU or ‘blackfish’) and fishing methods that are destructiveto the seabed and marine habitats. In view of these complexchallenges, we introduced a strict responsible fish sourcingpolicy in 2008 to monitor and control supplies. We will notstock fish listed as ‘critically endangered’ or ‘endangered’ bythe IUCN, or as a ‘fish to avoid’ by MCS. We will not sourcefish where the origin or method of catch is unknown and willnever knowingly purchase IUU fish nor deal with suppliersimplicated in the practices of exceeding quota limits, fishingoutside prescribed areas, using banned fishing methods or thecapturing and selling of endangered species.We specify the use of selective fishing techniques designed tominimise their effect on other species and the marineenvironment; for example, our cod is only sourced from MSCaccredited fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, orline caught from well-managed Icelandic Atlantic stocks. All ofour suppliers are subject to audit and inspection on a regularbasis to ensure that the required standards are being met, andwe regularly review our fish sourcing policy inview of the latest scientific advice. 11The Co-operative’s responsible fish sourcingpolicy covers all own brand fish products,including frozen, chilled, canned and readymeals – in fact, any own brand product thatcontains fish or seafood. In 2008, TheCo-operative delisted its last fish productcontaining an MCS ‘fish to avoid’; a ready mealthat was accompanied with prawn crackersderived from unsustainably sourced warm-waterprawns.Many retailers have improved their fish sourcingpractices in recent years. However, annual MCSsurveys have identified a number ofunsustainably fished species still on sale inseveral major supermarkets, including marlin,Atlantic cod from overfished stocks such as theEastern Baltic, wild warm-water prawns andDover sole from the Western Channel. 12 TheCo-operative would recommend that thosesupermarkets that are yet to develop sufficientlyrobust fish sourcing policies do so as a matter ofurgency.We would also recommend that any foodretailer who wants to ensure that the marineenvironment recovers and flourishes into thefuture, and who wishes to continue to selltraditional fish species into the medium to longterm, supports the radical measures necessaryto achieve this.3 DEFRA (2008) England Biodiversity Strategy Indicators.4 Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (2004)Turning the tide: Addressing the impact of fisheries on the marineenvironment.5 Ibid.6 UK Strategy Unit (2004) Net benefits: a sustainable andprofitable future for UK fishing.7 Worm, B. et al (2006) Impacts of biodiversity loss on oceanecosystem services. Science. 314-787.8 Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (2004)Turning the tide: Addressing the impact of fisheries on the marineenvironment.9 Ibid.10 Marine and Fisheries Agency (2008) Op. cit.11 Sustainability inthe Food IndustryPublishing March 2009 ISBN 9780813808468 133.40NowAvailableEdited byCheryl J. Baldwin,VP of Science and Standards,Green Seal, USA and social factors and marketing information 1 Marine Conservation Society (2008) Silent Seas.2 Marine and Fisheries Agency (2008) UnitedKingdom Sea Fisheries Statistics 2007.Order online at www.wiley.com36 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

SolutionsGood CatchCooking for change, serving the futureThe sustainable seafood movement has come a long way inrecent years. Once on the fringes of the seafood industry,today sustainability is more closely integrated into theworkings of many businesses. On top of increasedexpectations of corporate responsibility, demand for foodfrom ethical sources has grown as consumers take moreinterest in social and environmental issues.To date in the UK, commercial sector leadership in improvingseafood sustainability has mostly come from retailers. Whilethe foodservice sector accounts for a notable segment ofthe seafood market, with seafood in out-of-homeconsumption accounting for 18% of meals compared to 8%of in-home meals, restaurants and caterers have in generalbeen slower to respond to consumer demands for sustainableseafood.The catering industry has the potential to exert significantinfluence up and down the supply chain. The purchasingpower of these businesses, which between them serve uparound 550 million portions of seafood each year, can affecttheir suppliers sourcing habits by demonstrating a demandfor sustainable seafood. Looking up the chain, restaurantsand related businesses can affect the attitudes and shoppinghabits of consumers. Dining-out experiences and seeingsustainable seafood dishes in restaurants can help createconsumer desire for sustainable options in the widermarketplace.The messages of high profile chefs have a marked effect onpublic opinion and behaviour too - the ‘Delia-effect’ is amajor trend.Until now, however, restaurants and caterers using thisinfluence to promote sustainable seafood have been theexception, not the rule. A recent survey, commissioned byfoodservice supplier M&J Seafood, shows that many UKchefs, restaurateurs and caterers are still flummoxed bywhat sustainability really means, some confusing it withissues such as quality. This lack of understanding remainsan obstacle for caterers trying to source seafood responsibly.The same survey results, published in the Sea of Changereport, also illustrate that despite growing public interest insustainability, most respondents don’t include basic seafoodsustainability information on their menus.Against this background, a group of environmentalorganisations have come together to improve awareness,sourcing and promotion of sustainable seafood in thecatering sector, and tap into the wider influence of chefs inthe media.Good Catch is a joint venture that brings together the workof four organisations: the Marine Conservation Society (MCS),the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), SeaWeb’s SeafoodChoices Alliance and Sustain. It emerged after communicationwith the catering industry revealed a need and desire forclear, consistent information, practical support andtraining on sustainable seafood. The Good Catch initiativeengages chefs,restaurateurs andtheir teams tohelp themnavigatesustainableseafoodinformation andimprove thesustainability ofthe seafood theybuy, serve andpromote.Emily HowgateProgramme Co-Ordinator forSeaWebs’s Seafood ChoicesAlliance. She manages theGood Catch catering sectorproject, an initiative runcollaboratively with theMarine Conservation Society,Marine Stewardship Counciland Sustain.ehowgate@seafoodchoices.orgPrior to thiscollaboration‘environmental organisations’efforts to improve the sustainability of the seafood servedin restaurants and catering outlets had been fragmented.The coordinated approach of Good Catch allows theorganisations involved to maintain their individual identitywhile contributing their unique skills to provide informationand support to the foodservice sector that is more ‘userfriendly’,cohesive and comprehensive.The tools and activities provided through Good Catch focuson enabling foodservice professionals to make responsibledecisions regarding the environmental sustainability of theirseafood. It has produced ‘The Good Catch Manual – a roughguide to seafood sustainability for chefs, restaurateurs andcaterers’, which brings together a range of practicalinformation for those in the industry wishing to make theirseafood more environmentally sustainable. The Manualcontains information and recommendations from the MarineConservation Society on over 50 species consumed in theUK, top tips for making change in foodservice businesses,suggested questions to ask suppliers, and an overview of theMarine Stewardship Council’s fisheries certification and ecolabellingprogram.Good Catch encourages shared responsibility along thesupply chain and some foodservice businesses and chefs areplaying an increasingly active and influential role in the UKseafood sustainability movement. “The British chef, as muchas the consumer, has a huge role to play in bringing backmarine life and promoting both clean seas and healthy fishstocks and biodiversity,” said Raymond Blanc of Le Manoiraux Quat’ Saisons. “The Good Catch Manual can help us onthis path of responsibility and I am proud to be an activeambassador for this cause.”Accessible and clear electronic communications form anotheraspect of the Good Catch suite of activities. The website, points users to various sustainableseafood information and support. This navigational rolemeans the website can be the first port of call for chefs andrestaurateurs who select the information route they wish totake, depending on their interest or query.spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 37

SolutionsGood CatchThe challenge of communicating sustainable fish and fisheriesinformation is that, because advice changes so frequently,keeping up-to-date can be hard for foodservice professionalspressed for time in a busy kitchen. For example, the MarineConservation Society ratings included in the printed GoodCatch Manual, change over time to reflect differences in fishpopulations, government regulation or industry management.Likewise, the fish species available from Marine StewardshipCouncil sources are growing as more fisheries achieveaccreditation through the eco-labelling scheme, providingrestaurants with more choice of certified seafood. So whilethe printed Manual is a practical reference for chefs to haveto hand Fish Flash, a monthly e-bulletin, is also produced.This complements the Good Catch Manual by sharing recentand ongoing developments with readers.Seafood-themed workshops form another component of GoodCatch. They cover topics such as a ‘rough guide’ to seafoodsustainability; engaging front of house staff; communicating arestaurant’s responsible seafood efforts to customers; andsourcing, serving and labelling MSC certified seafood.September 2008 saw the inaugural workshop (at BillingsgateMarket in East London) officially launch the Good Catchinitiative during Seafood Fortnight. Attended by around 50people from restaurants and related businesses, theworkshop provided participants with presentations,discussions, a kitchen demonstration and market tour.Feedback showed many attendees felt they were highlylikely to make sustainability changes in their business havingattended this workshop.Asked why he became involved in the sustainabilitymovement, Peter Weeden of Paternoster Chop House noted:“When I was starting out in this business, sustainabilitywasn’t on the agenda. So much has changed over the lastfive years, and it’s obvious my customers take an activeinterest in knowing where their fish comes from and how itwas caught. For me, it’s a real pleasure to be able tocommunicate my efforts to them, and also to my peers.‘Good Catch’ makes it that much easier to make positiveseafood choices.”Given the sheer number of restaurants in the capital, andthe importance of Billingsgate Market in supplying many ofthese catering outlets, the London venue for the first GoodCatch workshop was a strategic choice. The groups behindGood Catch are now keen to build on the momentum of thisinitial event and take the workshops and other materials toa wider audience across the UK.While the e-bulletin, Fish Flash, has a wider reach - over 1,000foodservice professionals and other individuals signing up inthe first few months - it represents just a drop in the ocean.Considering that there are around 250,000 foodservice outletsin the UK there is much work still to be done.The Good Catch organisations are now taking steps to movebeyond the strong group of early supporters. One possibilityis to increase the reach of seafood sustainability messagesthrough a ‘pass it on’ push which will capitalise on theexisting support for Good Catch and encourage the chefs andrestaurateurs currently engaged to spread the word and gettheir catering sector colleagues involved.The enthusiasm and innovation of the foodservice individualsinvolved in the initiative are among its greatest assets, so the‘pass it on’ effort hopes to harness this strength to increasethe swell of energy behind sustainable seafood.Good Catch workshops are now being planned at differentvenues around the UK and will be connected with localrestaurants who are already relatively well progressed alongthe sustainability path. Having restaurants involved in thehosting of the workshops helps create a participatoryenvironment and encourages peer-to-peer learning.While professionals in the foodservice sector were the initialtarget audience of Good Catch, catering colleges are nowpart of the progress too. Teaming up with colleges looking topresent sustainability within the curriculum gives the GoodCatch organisations a notable opportunity to influence andengage the next generation of chefs who will be leading thenation’s future eating habits.As one Good Catch workshop attendee noted “… it was greatlearning about how we can do things better” – and putsimply that is what it is all about, helping people do thingsbetter. It is early days for Good Catch but by working withthe industry and listening to the challenges they are facingthis initiative stands a chance of making a sea change.© Emily Howgate38 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

SolutionsAsian aquacultureSupplying the shortfall in global fish demandAquaculture’s ancient Asian beginnings are only now coming ofage in terms of global food supply, as production edges towardssupplying half of the total fish consumed worldwide.With natural stocks coming under increasing pressure, demandcontinues to grow rapidly, resulting in a ‘supply crunch’ ascompetition intensifies for limited amounts of fish. Thiscompetition sees fish processed into ingredients (fishmeal andoils) for livestock and cultured fish diets as well as for directhuman consumption.While the economic drivers towards intensification ofaquaculture that demand such high quality feed ingredients arecommon to other forms of food production - a desire forgreater productivity and returns - a range of factors are shapingthe speed and form of aquaculture development.Traditional aquaculture evolved in areas with a highdependence of fish and limited wild stocks. Inland, suchsystems tended to be closely integrated in terms of water, landand nutrient use with other forms of food production. Variouscarp species raised together in the same system (polyculture)on fertilisers and supplementary feeds continue to constitutethe backbone of Asian aquaculture by volume, and these remainappropriate for relatively low input systems.But domestic demand for fish has soared with the trend tourbanisation and this has stimulated more intensive anddiversified production of a range of cultured fish.Often located in peri-urban areas, aquaculture has emerged as acommon form of diversification from rice production in manySE Asian countries. The popularity of fresh and live fish hasencouraged the industry to grow, giving benefits to producersand consumers alike. Aquaculture of both vegetables and fishhas often developed as a de facto treatment system for wastesand byproducts around cities such as Kolkata, Ha Noi andPhnom Phen.Both small scale and industrial aquaculture can provide manybenefits to poor people, through employment and access tohealthy food. A crucial challenge is maintaining the diversevalues that such systems afford as demand changes and citiesgrow.It is the global demand for white fish products that is nowdriving wholesale change in aquaculture in some parts of Asia,with subsequent environmental and social implications.Pangasius, a type of Asian river catfish, has proved to be onesuch catalyst. From serving local markets, this fish is nowexported large-scale from Vietnam. In common with carp, ithas no absolute requirement for fishmeal, and the market forfillets allows producers to make fishmeal from the processingwaste – resulting in net fishmeal production.However, the global implications for this growth in intensiveaquaculture in Asia, has impacts on other key feed ingredientssuch as soybean products. Alternatives to further stimulatingthe production of Latin American soy, that has its ownenvironmental and social issues, are urgently required.Dave LittleLecturer at the Institute ofAquaculture, University ofStirling. His research focusincludes the area of aquaticresource fundamentalissues for industrialaquaculture in Asiainclude reducingenvironmentalimpacts frompolluting effluentsand strengtheningof benefits to localcommunities. Intensive production tends to cluster in areas ofrelative water abundance but actions to reduce pollutingeffluents and improve health management are urgent.Thresholds of intensification and improved application oftechnology that encourage local water and nutrient reuse areurgently required. For these to work, however, action by themajority of producers rather than a few is necessary. Decline inmargins received by producers and the attraction of immediatereturns by ignoring sustainable practice can defeat thedevelopment of common action.These pressures also tend to drive consolidation to larger,vertically integrated units of production, sometimes resulting inhousehold enterprises being pushed out of the market.However, sector expansion almost certainly benefits more peoplethrough various service roles, particularly processing, than directproduction. Thus the recent trends towards value addition awayfrom whole fish towards ready-to-eat forms are likely to benefitmuch larger numbers of people through more employmentopportunities. Market information that allows producers andprocessors to respond to changes in demand are critical andthese industries are in general well served by entrepreneurslocally and in their emerging markets.Standards developed by organisations that support best practiceand reward producers through the market are emerging asimportant forces for stimulating change. But potential forconfusion and overlap is great, which risks undermining thewhole purpose.There is criticism of the increasing dominance of exports fromAsia and other tropical regions entering the European and NorthAmerican markets. This can be motivated by competition with ahome grown industry (the ‘catfish’ wars in which the USdomestic catfish industry fought to reduce imports ofVietnamese catfish for instance).European and North American reliance on imports of ‘seafood’from aquaculture production in developing countries has led tonew concerns. For some, the reliance on global supply chains andrequirements for management and traceability are seen as beingonerous and liable to subversion.Others question such trade from the perspectives of impacts onclimate change, negative social and environmental impacts inboth producer and consumer countries or because of a desire for‘local food’. Future analysis of these impacts will inform thisdebate and contribute to developing ethical standards ofproduction and processing that, in turn, can inform consumers.spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 39

Technological changesThe fishing industry gears up for the futureSolutionsFisheries are a vital source of food, employment, recreation,trade and economic well-being, and fishermen have acrucial role in the stewardship of the marine environment.Fishermen understand very well that they have to be partof the movement to manage marine resources better. Theyadhere to a whole host of management measures designedto control fishing effort, such as limits on how much fishcan be landed and the number of days that boats canspend at sea, as well as closed areas and closed seasons.Fishing gear falls into several broad categories, with thetype of gear used determined by the fish species beingtargeted. Active gears, also known as towed gears, areused to chase and often concentrate the fish and aretypified by bottom trawls, beam trawls and dredges. Thesetrawls generally work on specific areas of the seabed. Forinstance, beam trawls are designed to catch flatfish thatusually found on sandy ground. Dredges are used tocollect bivalve shellfish like scallopsand mussels on the seabed.These days, there is much more focuson the modification of fishing gear tominimise the environmental impactof fishing on marine life, improveefficiency and reduce the level ofdiscards or bycatch, which wastesvaluable resources.Minimum mesh sizes and minimumlanding size regulations and somezoning of fishing areas has been usedfor many years to manage fisheries.Increasingly, technology is beingapplied to modify fishing gear to bemore selective so that bycatch anddiscards are reduced, either byavoiding the capture of certainspecies or helping unwanted fish toescape alive. Fishermen believe that reducing wastage cancompensate for the impact of declining quotas and othermanagement measures – in other words, fishermen wantto make the most of what they are allowed to catch.Many fisheries are based on a mixture of species and fishthat are not wanted can be caught inadvertently. Someselectivity problems can be solved relatively easily by theuse of a sorting grid which separates species according totheir size, such as prawns and fish. However it is moredifficult when there is a mix of species that are fairly similarin size such as cod, haddock, whiting, plaice, sole andmonkfish.Seafish offers advice to fishermen so that they can find theright technology solution for fishing targeted at a specificspecies. Options being trialled by gear technologistsinclude using behavioural differences between species toguide them to different parts of the gear, as in a separatortrawl; inserting‘windows’ of‘square mesh’ orother devices atstrategic points inthe gear; usingflexible grids inlarge pelagictrawls to allow therelease of smallfish; using a largemesh eliminatortrawl to allow codto escape, andusing an inclinedgrid for sizeselection oflangoustines.There is also a resurgencein interest in seine netting(the seabed version of apurse seine) as aneconomical, moreenvironmentally friendly,highly adaptable andflexible method of fishingJohn RutherfordChief Executive of Seafish, aNon Departmental Public Bodythat works across all sectors ofthe industry to promote goodquality, sustainable seafood.www.seafish.orgResearch has also focused on thedevelopment of more fuel efficienttrawl designs with less twine surfacearea and hence less drag. T90 or turnedmesh netting is a relatively recentdevelopment used for whole trawlconstruction which needs 30-40% lessnetting material to produce a trawl,compared to the equivalent sizedconventional net. Coverless trawls arebeing developed as a means of reducingnon-target bycatches of finfish speciesin targeted Nephrops fisheries.Work is also underway looking at newmaterials for scallop dredge constructionto reduce benthic impact andconstruction costs; fitting specific-sizedescape panels in traps to allowundersized fish to escape, as well asinstalling pingers (an acoustic deterrent device fitted onto afishing net) on gill nets to keep cetaceans clear of the nets.There is also a resurgence in interest in seine netting (theseabed version of a purse seine) as an economical, moreenvironmentally friendly, highly adaptable and flexiblemethod of fishing. The catch quality is very good becausethe fish are only in the seine nets for under an hour, thenets have low bottom impact and it is a fuel efficientmethod, using less than 50% of the fuel consumption of asimilar sized trawler.New technology is the future but sometimes it is necessaryto look back to go forward. Seine netting has been a provenfishing method for over a century. The MFV Radiant Star -the first new seine netter in Shetland in over 20 years— istestimony to the fact that revisiting older technology canalso provide benefits.40 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

SolutionsThe efficiency trapProfit or need?The Victorian Era economist William Stanley Jevons madethe counterintuitive observation that as an industrialprocess becomes more efficient, the rate of consumption ofraw materials by that industry increases. The ‘JevonsParadox’ first described the rapid rise of English coalconsumption driven by the introduction of increasinglyefficient steam engines. Intuitively one would expect coalconsumption to drop as engine efficiency grew. However,more efficient engines meant cheaper energy. As a result,steam power became an economically attractive option fora myriad of new uses. Steam engine efficiency and coalconsumption increased in lock step, driving the IndustrialRevolution.Today we face a Jevons Paradox in food production. The socalled Green Revolution of post-WWII saw theamalgamation of a suite of technologies (syntheticfertilizers, pesticides, farm mechanization, large scaleirrigation, hybrid varietals) that together dramaticallyincreased the productivity of an acre of land. Over thedecades we have become very efficient at producing food.However, it is still not enough. More than 80,000 peopledie daily as a result of food deficiency.But, with the conventionaltechnologies of the Green Revolutionexhausted – impassioned pleas for aGreen Revolution II (utilizing newtechnologies such genetic engineering)are now the norm, as well as calls for aBlue Revolution (a recapitulation onthe seas). With these revolutionarytactics we will defeat global hunger, sothe argument goes.But examining the numbersdramatically changes the context of the argument.Approximately 1.3 billion people could be fed with thegrain and soy fed to US livestock each year. A typical acreof farm land will produce 20,000 lbs of potatoes or 165 lbsof beef. If US meat intake were cut by 10% (yielding itsown health benefits), just the grain and soy not consumedby cows could feed 60 million people (and thus eliminatethe crisis).The global food crisis is an issue of food access, not foodproduction, of social justice, not agriculture. More thanenough food is produced globally to provide every citizenwith a culturally and nutritionally appropriate diet of 2,500calories per day. Producing more food that is inaccessible tothose who need it most is of no benefit.This brings us back to coal, Jevons and efficiencies.Efficient steam engines increased coal consumption. In asimilar vein, efficiency of food production today is of ascale only dreamed of a generation ago. But “Efficiency” isa double edged sword. The success of the Green Revolutionwas in redefining the productive capacity of the farm.There is limitedprofitability infeeding theworld’sdisenfranchisedpopulations, butthere is money tobe made inconvertingabundant, cheapgrain to relativelyexpensive protein.Approximately80% of grainproduced in theApproximately 1.3 billionpeople could be fed withthe grain and soy fed toUS livestock each yearDr. John VolpeLeads the Seafood EcologyResearch Group at UVic inCanada. He uses data intensiveapproaches to uncover linkagesbetween ecological and socialsustainability, particularly withregard to marine-based foodproduction systems.jpv@uvic.caUSA is fed to livestock, not people. Beef cattle consume7lbs of grain per pound of live weight – a 14% conversion.The market price of beef is high enough relative to grain sothat a loss of 86% (by food weight) remains more profitablethan selling the grain. The Green Revolution has by andlarge led to cheap protein for the developed world, notmore food globally. Likewise, efficient auto / plane / shipengines cover more miles for the samecost – giving birth to suburbs and “jetfresh” fruit and produce.The lesson here is that efficiency onlyyields benefit if consumption or useremain constant. Current energy ratedappliances (that is refrigerators,freezers, washers, dryers) are moreefficient than ever. They are also farlarger than ever. The net change inenergy consumption is modest at best.And here lies the rub with efficiency asit relates to sustainability. We as a society have two optionsin how we process surpluses yielded by efficiency. We canmaintain the status quo of consumption / use of theproduct, in which case efficiency manifests as reducedconsumption of inputs. Or we can apply the benefit ofefficiency so as to reduce the cost of increasedconsumption. There are few arenas where this trade-off ismade more clear than that of seafood.Though it did not garner the status as of a ‘revolution’,tremendous technological advances in commercial fisheriesoccurred as the Green Revolution reached apogee: the rise todominance of the diesel engine, onboard freezers, theperfection of long-lines and draggers, and the seeminglylimitless sophistication of instrumentation in the wheel house.In total, we became as efficient at removing fish from theocean as we did coaxing crops from the earth. So efficientin fact that we removed fish faster than they could replacethemselves. This was particularly true for those species inpossession of the unfortunate combination of lowreproduction rates and high market value like tuna,spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 41© Deddeda Steler

The efficiency trapSolutionsswordfish, grouper and snapper. Indeed fundamentaleconomics of supply and demand ensures the formerbegets the latter. High value species attract the prices theydo because their production is ecologically expensive andso nature produces relatively few. Tremendous ecologicalcapital is invested in a tuna or swordfish, which by the timeit is an adult will have consumed hundreds of poundssmaller fish, which themselves will have collectivelyconsumed thousands of pounds of yet smaller fish who inturn will have consumed millions of pounds of planktonand the like. It is therefore not surprising that the oceanssupport only a limited supply of such creatures. Nature isinefficient by design. With precipitous decline of theocean’s predators, the world’s fishingfleets have increasingly turned theirattention to the dwindling predator’sprey, which are now harvested with thesame cold efficiency. The onlydifference being that these fish are notdestined for the fishmonger.Of the ten largest fisheries in the world(measured by biomass harvested),currently only three species areharvested for direct humanconsumption. The other seven areso-called “reduction fisheries” where the catch is reduced toits protein and lipid components (everything elsediscarded) which are in turn processed into livestock feeds– the fastest growing and dominant user of which is theaquaculture industry. Like grain and cows, it takes a lot ofsmall fish to make one large fish – representing asignificant net loss of food. But, there is greater profit inconverting vast quantities of small fish into relatively few,valuable fish destined for the affluent world than there isselling the smaller fish directly for human consumption.Like the Green Revolution, the Blue Revolution owes itsexistence to the technological advances that enableefficient (read: cheap) acquisition of vast quantities of rawmaterials (smaller edible fish) to be consumed in theproduction of ecologically inefficient but profitableproducts (which are for sale at your local fishmonger).Currently every major aquaculture research programme inthe developed world (the global incubator of technologicalinnovation) is focused on high trophic level (akacarnivorous) species. Why? Because modern large scaleaquaculture is driven by profit, not need. And who couldblame an industry for seeking maximum profitability?However it is important to be clear: modern industrialscale aquaculture has very little to do with satisfyinghuman need; it has everything to do with satisfyingmaterial desire. Again, hardly a sin but that truth doesundermine the argument that the Blue Revolution is in anyway an answer to the global food crisis. Indeed the BlueRevolution is a solution in search of a problem.Perhaps the greatestinsult the industry hascommitted against wildsalmon is the devaluationof all salmonA good amount of willful ignorance would be required tooverlook the fact that the perceived global food deficit interms of high quality marine protein would be solvedovernight if we chose to feed people instead of farmedsalmon, shrimp and the like. But for the sake of argument,let’s let the Blue Revolution argument play out a littlelonger and take a closer look at farmed salmon.Farmed salmon is the poster child of the aquacultureindustry. Where I live, in British Columbia, Canada, threefarm salmon are brought to market for every one wildcaughtsalmon. This is big business even in a wild salmoncapital like BC. The result of all this salmon on the marketis depressed prices and a concomitantincrease in salmon consumption.Salmon is no longer a celebrationfood. Perhaps the greatest insult theindustry has committed against wildsalmon is the devaluation of allsalmon. Indeed the globalization ofsalmon has transformed this fishfrom a seasonal, high-value delicacyto a low-value commodity availableyear-round. Not so long ago, salmonwas a miracle of nature, a product ofwoodland streams and vast productiveoceans, each population evolutionarily and ecologicallydistinct from its neighbour the next river over. On thewhole, irreplaceable. Today, to most consumers salmonsimply means a cheap slab of artificially fed and pigmentedflesh stripped of its identity, place of origin and inherentvalue leaving only the material value of its homogenousand deeply unremarkable biochemical construction. Howfar we have come.Just as organic agriculture is as much about celebrating thehuman-nature enterprise as it is flavour and health, so toocould aquaculture. However, organic agriculture isinefficient by nature. No one would consider farmingorganically if the sole objective was maximizing output andprofit. However, if the goal is superior quality food,nourishing the land and the people that work it as well asconsumers, then there are few better options. In foodproduction systems, creative inefficiency is the root of notonly sustainability but also flavour. While inefficiencyshould not be universally sought, it does has its virtues. Wehave been farming the seas, lakes and rivers for literallythousands of years and sustainable aquaculture practicesremain common throughout the world where social,ecological and economic sustainability are created andprotected. However in none of these scenarios isproduction efficiency maximized.If you run the numbers – and I have – you see in starkterms that maximum efficiency in any seafood productionsystem is neither sustainable nor resilient.42 spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

SolutionsArtisanal fishingPaving the way to a sustainable futureLast year, 12 million artisanal fishers caught 30 million tons offish for human consumption, providing jobs for about 200million men and women in fishing communities. To catch thisfish, they used five million tons of fuel - each ton of fuelcatching eight tons of fish. By comparison, the industrial fishingsector, employing half a million fishers, uses one ton of fuel tocatch two tons of fish, and, although they provide the samequantity of fish for human consumption as the artisanal sector,they are also responsible for up to 20 million tons of fishdiscards.Although these figures 1 do not reflect individual situations,,they clearly show that by providing food and jobs whilst usinglow amounts of fuel, artisanal fishing is the best model to facethe challenges of the new millennium. Far from the miserableimages often portrayed, artisanal fishing represents a dynamicsector, capable of innovation and, if given appropriateattention and support, could represent the best option for thefuture as much in the North as in the South.Nowadays, in world fisheries, the main limiting factor is thegeneral over-exploitation of fish. This has an impact on the waythe artisanal fishing sector needs to develop. In West Africa, forexample, decreasing fish resources and swelling populationsmean that for coastal communities to continue making a livingfrom fishing, each fisherman must fish less, but earn more byimproving the quality and adding value to his product, takingaccount of the fact that women from the fishing communitiesare key in these value-adding operations.This link between product quality and the value of thelandings of the artisanal fleet has also been studied in othercountries like Canada. Studies showed that the value of fishlandings had increased considerably following the collapse ofdemersal fish stocks in 1992 because the industry focused onfresh (such as fillets and crab), and live products (like lobster).“We had moved from a situation of high volume/low value,associated with industrial production, to a situation of lowvolume/high value associated with artisanal fishing”, says MarcAllain, a fisheries expert from Canada.The same goes for exports from the artisanal sector inMauritanian fisheries, where the superior quality and goodpotential for value addition is an intrinsic characteristic ofartisanal fishing. In 2005, artisanal octopus sold for 200dollars/tonne more than the product caught by the freezertrawlers. As regards the valuable demersal species, only theartisanally caught products meet the quality conditionsrequired for export to European markets, attracting averageprices of 4.5 Euros/kg, whilst the same fish in frozen formcaught by the industrial fleet gets less than 2 Euros/kg. Thevolume of fresh fish exports from artisanal landings reaches6,000 tonnes per year.It can often be misleading to talk about the ‘value added’ of fishprocessing because in most cases processing adds no realvalue to the product. As soon as it comes out of the water, fishbegins to losevalue. If we reallywant to optimisethe value of thelandings, we mustkeep the fish aliveor chilled for aslong as possible to‘preserve itsvalue’.‘Focusing on liveor chilled productsfavours artisanalfishery for severalreasons’, explainsDr. AhmedMahmoud Cherif, afisheries expertBéatrice GorezCoordinator of the Coalitionfor Fair FishseriesArrangements, a Brusselsbased organisation thatsupplies information to coastalfishing communities topromote their participation indecision making processesaffecting their livelihood,particularly fisheries relationsbetween the European Unionand ACP countries.www.cape-cffa.orgfrom Mauritania. Firstly, artisanal fishing trips are short in timeand close to the landing centres, allowing products to be keptchilled or alive with minimal investment (in ice and insulatedboxes). Secondly, the gears used in artisanal fisheries (longlines, traps etc) allow fish to be caught alive and in a very goodcondition. Finally lower catch rates allow for improvedhandling on-board, which preserves the value of the product.But the trend towards fresh or live products may also haveserious adverse knock-on effects for employment. Loss ofshore jobs, particularly amongst women, have not been fullycompensated for by the increasing crew sizes needed forbetter on board handling.However, in other fisheries, the link between value added andartisanal processing is very clear. This is the case in the greymullet fishery in West Africa. One ton of mullet landed by theartisanal fleet and processed for the extraction of poutargue(dried and salted fish eggs) can yield, on average, close to US$4,500, providing 91% of the value added on turnover. One ton ofthe same mullet from the industrial fishery, in frozen form andnot suitable for the production of poutargue, when exported forthe African market attracts a price well below US$ 300!Another important issue for the future of artisanal fishing isthe fact that wild fish will become an increasingly rarecommodity. Fresh wild fish of excellent quality will become aluxury product. It is questionable whether artisanal fishingcommunities will benefit from this trend or be marginalizedby the processes associated with privatisation of resourceaccess. This also will have consequences for the poorestsectors, which currently depend on wild caught fish for theirown consumption. “Hence the importance of fisheries policiesand the provisions made for the artisanal fishing fleet, whichcan use economic arguments to support their demands forspecial protection”, concludes Marc Allain.1 Figures from Conservation Biology Magazine, Le Monde (October 2008)spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 43

What is the Council of FoodPolicy Advisers?ColumnThe food policy challenges for the lastgeneration have concerned food safetyrather than food security. Agriculturalproduction has been taken for granted;we haven’t worried about levels of selfsufficiency; the food retail sector hasdelivered a cornucopia of choice at evermore competitive prices. The proportionof our income spent on food hasdecreased and the amount of time wespend preparing our meals has dropped.For the majority of consumers our foodlives have never been so easy.But things are changing fast – and withit the food policy challenges. Theinternational food price increases of lastyear, the food demands of a rapidlyincreasing world population and thecataclysm of climate change nowstretches food policy concerns farbeyond food safety. In this changed,new, world the aim must be to ensurethat all the concerns of food policy -food safety, nutrition and health, theimpact of food production andconsumption on the environment,affordability and social justice - are foregrounded,balanced and made to havegreater salience.To help ensure that these issues get theattention they require, Hilary Benn hasset up a Council of Food Policy Advisers.Covering food production, supplies,prices, distribution, consumption andrelated aspects of food policy, theCouncil is made up of 15 individualswho have a rich and wide expertise inthe food system, from farming and thefarming community, sustainableproduction and sourcing, foodbusinesses, retailing, public and privatesector catering, regulation, science, thethird sector and the consumer.The Council needs to move beyondfurther description of the problems –enough good work on that has beendone already - into practical solutions.Deciding the right policy aims, takinginto account the various conflictingpressures and goals; identifying theright levers for change (fiscal, price,education, training, regulation andothers) and the most appropriate levelof action (local, national, EU andinternational) are early requirements.Working through these issues willpresent significant challenges. Certainly,it is not easy. But it is necessary. And ifwe get it right now then we will beseveral steps nearer to achieving asustainable, secure and safe food supplyfor the British population for a worldvery different from the one we havetaken for granted for so long.Identifying a healthy sustainable (lowGHG) diet.• What are the food consumptionpatterns which the new worldrequires?• Do we have the right knowledge andskills in place to achieve it?• Working out how a healthysustainable (low GHG) diet can besourced at a national level, once a2-50C rise in temperature, areduction in water and lessproductive land are factored in.• What changes must we make todomestic production and imports?Identifying ways to facilitate adoption of ahealthy sustainable (low GHG) diet.Dame Suzi LeatherChair of the Council of FoodPolicy Advisers and of CharityCommission. Previously wasChair of the Human Fertilisationand Embryology Authority andthe School Food Trust.Priorities for the Council of Food Policy Advisers• What are the barriers to its commonadoption by consumers?• Developing a model to allowindividuals to make informed choicesat the point of sale, helping themnavigate through complex andconflicting issues• How accessible and affordable is itlikely to be?Identifying ways to facilitate adoption ofa healthy, sustainable (low GHG) diet inpublic procurement.• Engaging government with themodel• Public provision based on the model.• decision on compulsory, rather thanvoluntary, models of procurementstop press...stop press...stop pressSustainable fish advice – FSA consultationThe Food Standards Agency is conducting a public consultation on proposals to review itsadvice to consumers on eating fish in the light of sustainability issues. The Agency iscommitted to taking wider sustainability issues into account in its advice on nutrition andfood safety.Current advice is that we should eat at least two portions of fish a week, one of whichshould be oily. The evidence regarding the health benefits and safety of eating fish isfirmly established and is not being re-examined. The consultation addresses concernsover fish stocks and in relation to other environmental impacts of fishing.The Agency’s commitment to incorporate sustainability into its policy making is part of aGovernment-wide strategy on sustainable development. Much is being done by otherGovernment departments as well as non-Government organisations and the industry toimprove the sustainability of fish stocks and it is the Agency’s intention to support and drawon this by ensuring consumers have the information they need to make informed choices.Views and comments on several issues relating to how the FSA can best provide accessto information for consumers on these issues are requested by 31 March 2009. The fullconsultation package and other information is available at spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

ColumnCertified sustainable fishingA buoyant industryWhen the world economy started on itscurrent downward trajectory, there weredire warnings from many of the moresceptical commentators that this wouldbe the end of ethical foods. Consumerswould switch to looking after their own,abandoning their principles and ditchingMarine Stewardship Council (MSC)ecolabelled fish for something cheaperwith no label. They would swap Fairtradecoffee for the unlabelled house brandand switch organic for ‘regular’vegetables. It’s true that supermarketsare reporting a drop in sales of organicvegetables but Fairtrade and MSClabelled products are still going strongwith both showing an increase in sales,rather than a drop, as consumers stick totheir ethical guns.Since 2006, the number of MSC-labelledproducts available worldwide hasquadrupled. It took seven years to reachthe 500th product but, in January thisyear we announced the 2,000th. Threehundred of those products are availablein the UK’s supermarkets, restaurantsand cafeterias. That growth shows nosigns of slowing, in fact, it may beincreasing as worldwide sales of MSClabelled seafood passes the $1billionmark.MSC labelled products are now availablein 36 countries around the world andevery ocean has at - least one fisheryeither in assessment or certified. TheMSC itself is growing into a global entitywith offices in London, Edinburgh,Seattle, The Hague, Berlin, Sydney andTokyo. Today, MSC certification isincreasingly integrated with nationalpolicies and markets as retailers andgovernments – particularly in NorthernEurope – build MSC certification intotheir policies and long-term strategies.In 2007, the Dutch retail sector committedto selling only fish that had been MSCcertifiedby 2011. In the same year, thewhole Dutch fishing fleet – working withthe Dutch government – committed toachieving certification by 2012. Denmarkhas made a similar commitment and theFrench government has already agreedto pay for the assessments of the first 10French fisheries to enter the programme.But these assessments aren’t guaranteesof certification. Neither are they easy.The MSC assessment process involves ateam of independent scientists assessingthe fishery against a stringent standardestablished over a two-year consultationwith some of the world’s best fisheriesexperts. The assessments are stakeholderand peer-reviewed making it the bestscience available. Reports run to hundredsTraceability in seafood isvital and can preventillegal, unregulated orunreported ‘pirate-fished’seafood from entering thesupply chainof pages and frequently include certainconditions that they need to fulfil inorder to maintain their certificates. Someof these are simple – improving records,observers on boats – but some are moreinvolved, reducing the bycatch of seabirdsor managing the fishery to improvethe fish stocks up to a sustainable level.Many of the fisheries that enterassessment also make changes duringthe process in order to get certified. Oneexample is the Dutch brown shrimpfishery which started its assessment in2007. In order to pass their assessment,they have committed to modifying theirfishing gear to avoid a wasteful plaicebycatch. The individual changes are smallbut together they are adding up to makea difference building a growing ecologicalcase for certification.Traceability in seafood is vital and canprevent illegal, unregulated orunreported ‘pirate-fished’ seafood fromentering the supply chain. In June, lastyear, EU fisheries commissioner Joe Borgrecognised the power of traceabilitywhen the Council adopted his proposalon traceability: “By making traceabilitythroughout the market chain the normfor all fish and fish products entering theEU market, we have taken a major steptowards depriving these criminals oftheir profits.”Any fish bearing the MSC eco-label has tobe fully traceable which means certifyingRupert HowesChief Executive of the MarineStewardship Council, theworld’s leading marine ecolabellingand certificationprogramme for wild capturefisheries. Prior to joining theMSC, Rupert was Director ofthe Sustainable EconomyProgramme at Forum for theFuture. Previously Rupert wasa Senior Research Fellow atthe Science Policy ResearchUnit, Sussex University and aResearch Officer at theInternational Institute forE n v i r o n m e n t a n dDevelopment (IIED).www.msc.orgevery link in the supply chain under theMSC’s traceability standard. In arestaurant setting we call it ‘Ocean-toplate’traceability.With the reported cost of certificationtypically between $20,000 and $200,000for larger, more complicated fisheries,mandatory traceability and the need forchanges in the way people catch fishyou might expect that fisheries wouldwant to avoid certification. Yet in the pasttwo years, matching the growth in thenumber of MSC products, the number offisheries in the MSC programme hasquadrupled. Between 8% and 10% of theworld’s wild-caught seafood is now atsome stage in assessment or alreadycertified. As consumers drive the changeby increasingly demanding provablysustainable fish and genuine traceability,a credible and robust assessment andcertification programme like the MSCcertification programme can make a realcontribution to shifting the entireseafood industry on to a moresustainable fish. Help to be part of thechange – demand certified sustainableseafood!spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 45

ooksreviewsCan we afford the future? The economics of awarming worldFrank Ackerman | 2009 | Zed Books | ISBN 978-1-84813-038-8Conventional economic thinking on climate change puts atrisk our much needed response to global disaster. Costbenefitanalyses are intrinsically biased, favouring‘business as usual’ practices. Ackerman argues thatsolutions to climate change are indeed affordable and thatthe alternative is irreversible and unacceptable. Isn’t ourfuture worth it? SRTen technologies to save the planetChris Goodall | 2008 | GreenProfile | ISBN 978-1846688683Reviewing 10 existing technologies that address climatechange, Chris Goodall takes us on a whistle-stop tour ofrenewable energies, electric cars and carbon offsettingthat can safely deliver the transition to a low-carboneconomy. This optimistic book calls for public and privatesupport for research and development on energy and acommitment by richer countries to make the transitionpossible. SRMaking poverty: A historyThomas Lines | 2008 | Zedbooks | ISBN 978-1-84277-942-2Shining a spotlight on the effects of international tradeand globalisation on rural communities around the world,Tom Lines asks whether we can make poverty historywithout understanding the history of poverty. The bookfocuses on commodity markets and agricultural prices,arguing that rising prices can only make a difference topoor farmers if we reform international trade to favourthe farmer, not the financier. EBSustainable farmland management:Transdisciplinary approachesFish, Seymour, Watkins & Steven eds. | 2008 | CABI | ISBN978-1-84593-351-7Bringing together experts from a wide range ofdisciplinary backgrounds, this book attempts to map apath through the complex issues around sustainablefarmland management. Its editors argue that new ways ofvaluing farmland, including social, economic and culturalimpacts, require a transdisciplinary approach todeveloping a 21st century strategy for the future ofagriculture. EBInnovation AfricaSanginga et al eds. | 2008 | Earthscan | ISBN 978-1-84407-672-7Combining the experiences of organisations andindividuals, Innovation Africa brings together a vastcollection of papers that seek to understand currentinnovation processes and advise for future sustainabilityand development. Comprehensive and diverse, it isrecommended for anyone looking for a detailed overviewof the subject. SARThe rough guide to foodGeorge Miller & Katharine Reeve | 2009 | Rough GuidesISBN 978-1-84836-001-3Covering a wide range of major global issues includingGM, climate change and fair trade, as well as explainingfood origins and consumption habits, The Rough Guidesucceeds in provoking the reader to question what theyeat. Complex debates are nicely compressed intoaccessible, bite-sized chunks with references for furtherreading. SARSustainable agriculture and food security in an era ofoil scarcityJulia Wright | 2009 | Earthscan | ISBN 978-1844075720Forged out of challenging circumstances, Cuba’s postindustrial agricultural system has for many years beenheld up as an alternative to conventional agriculture.With current debates focusing on food security and selfreliance, and the Transition Town movement investigatinghow to live in a post oil society, this is a timely bookproviding an in depth and well researched look at Cuba’saspiration to develop high input production systemsdespite lack of availability of agrochemicals and fuel. CDBook reviews by: Liz Barling, Clare Devereux, SamRichards and Santi Ripoll46 summer 2009 volume 4 issue 1 |

estaurant revieweating out© Jeremy PhillipsonKristian's Fishand ChipRestaurantNorth Shields Centre,North East EnglandJeremy PhillipsonAssistant Director of the UKResearch Councils’ RuralEconomy and Land UseProgramme. He is based atNewcastle University.How I rate itOverall: ****Fairness: ***Health: ****Animals: ***Environment: **Taste: ****Ambience: *****Value for Money: ****(maximum five stars)A haddock the size of a whale, a field ofchips with mushy peas on the side andenough batter and salt to send mycholesterol levels into outer space – thisis speciality cuisine, a food institution,nutritious meal for the masses.Snow falls outside Kristians, a traditionalquayside fish and chip restaurant inNorth Shields. Twenty metres away isthe fish market, flanked by fishing boats,large and small, antennae twitching. Thefriendly waitress doesn’t know where myhaddock was landed, though I’m told itprobably wasn’t across the road. She hadrecommended cod, origin alsounknown.But among the clinking tea pots,stretching stomachs and motherlywaitresses busying themselves with traysand tea cups, conversation is about theweather and the challenge of eating thevast fish basking on every plate. This isbasic and comforting cuisine that warmsthe cockles, an eating experiencerepeated thousands of times over at thisvery moment in towns and citiesthroughout Britain.Old photographs of the fishing communitydecorate the walls. North Shields, likemany fishing communities throughoutEurope, has undergone major changesover recent decades. Policy-inducedrestructuring, together with modernisationand technological developments, haveshrunk the fishing industry. The socialcosts are reduced fishing employment,fewer viable fishing enterprises andcommunity structures being undermined.Where once the community was boundtogether by dependence on fishing, it isnow dominated by commuters who workin Newcastle. This spells trouble for therenewal of social capital in the industryand the transfer of ecological knowledgefrom father to son.The social objectives of fisheries policyhave all but disappeared from view -either handled in an ad hoc way and latein the policy process, or falling betweenthe gaps in a complex multi-levelmanagement system. Unsurprisingly, thepriority has been to stop the chronicdecline in fish stocks. But as policy looksahead to concerns of future generations,it is in danger of missing the dilemmasfacing the fishing industry today.Thinking about the sons and daughters ofthe characters in the sepia photographs,the challenge to me seems to be how dowe balance these priorities?To do this we must elaborate what thesocial objectives of fisheries policy shouldbe and how they might best be pursued.Fisheries policy affects so many aspects ofpeople’s lives - from security ofemployment and income and concernsabout fishing rights and the structure ofcommunities - to those broader publicconcerns about the health of humanbeings, the marine environment andsustainability of living resources.Consumers seem less concerned with thefood miles and carbon footprints involvedin bringing fish to the table, than they arewith most agriculturally produced foods.People like the commuters moving intoNorth Shields are, however, beginning toexert an influence on fishing. They want toknow where their fish comes from, andwhether it was caught using ecologicallyfriendly methods. As I finish my chips, Iponder this potential marketingopportunity for the fishing industry andfood businesses like Kristians.But trudging back to my car through thesnow and biting northeast wind, mythoughts turn to the fishers, risking theirlives at sea, facing the elements on slippery,heaving decks to put food on our tables.spring 2009 volume 4 issue 1 | 47

food ethicsforthcoming events1st - 2nd Mar ‘073rd Mar ‘095th - 8th Mar ‘09USDA Outlook - Agriculture at the Crossroads: Energy, Farm & Rural PolicyUSDA | | Arlington VA, USAMartin Radcliffe Fellowship Lecture 2009: Madhur Jaffrey Reflects on Food & CultureOxford Brookes University | | Oxford, UK18th Annual Meeting: Association for Practical and Professional EthicsAPPE | | Cincinnatti, Ohio, USA8th Mar ‘0910th - 12th Mar ‘0912th Mar ‘0913th Mar ‘0915th - 19th Mar ‘0924th Mar ‘0926th - 27th Mar ‘0926th Mar ‘0926th Mar ‘092nd Apr ‘097th Apr ‘0922nd Apr ‘0929th - 30th Apr ‘09Exploring Food, Connecting CommunitiesRoyal Anthropological Institute | | London, UK3rd International Energy Farming Conference3N Kompetenzzentrum Nachwachsende Rohstoffe | | GermanyRural Land Use in the North: Future ChallengesNorthern Rural Network | | York, UKFood for the Future - What is the Role of Oorganics?SPRU - University of Sussex | | Brighton, UKInternational Food and Drink EventFresh RM | | London, UKAn Evening with Sir Don CurrySCI Horticulture Group | | London, UK56th BCCC Technology Conference: Drivers for SuccessFood and Drink Federation | | Stratford-upon-AvonTackling Obesity Conference 2009: Healthy Weight, Healthy LivesGovnet Communications | | London, UKForests and Climate ChangeEarthwatch Institute | | London, UKFuture Leaders in the Biotech IndustryBioCentury | | New York City, USAHunger and Climate Change: Some Practical AnswersPractical Action | | London, UKThe Green Agenda: Are we Engaging Consumers?Kingston University | | London, UKCIWEM’s Annual Conference 2009: Water and the Global EnvironmentCIWEM | | London, UK29th Apr - 1st May ‘09 Valuing our Life Support SystemsNatural Capital Initiative | | London, UK8th - 10th May ‘0918th - 20th May ‘0918th May ‘0927th May ‘09Real Food FestivalLondon | | London, UK1st Nordic Organic Conference: Towards increased sustainability in the food | Gothenburg, SwedenBio International Convention: Heal, Fuel, Feed the WorldBiotechnology Industry Organization | | Georgia, USAClimate Change: Farmers’ SolutionsIFAP | | Copenhagen, Denmark

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