MSC welcomes Wal-Mart's commitment to sustainable seafood – Fishupdate.com

MSC welcomes Wal-Mart’s commitment to sustainable seafood Published:  27 January, 2006

RUPERT Howes, Chief Executive of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) today welcomed the recent announcement by Wal-Mart that the company is seeking to source all of its wild-caught fresh and frozen fish for the North American market from fisheries that meet the MSC’s independent environmental standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

The decision will lead to dozens of fish products bearing the MSC’s distinctive blue eco-label becoming available to Wal-Mart’s North American customers in coming years.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr Hoes said: “This is a big and exciting development, demonstrating a leadership position.”

An immediate target is to ensure all seafood that already comes from certified fisheries will carry the MSC eco-label in Wal-Mart stores later this year.

“It is hoped that this commitment to the MSC programme will encourage other fisheries into the assessment process and provide a powerful new route to raise awareness of sustainable seafood choices with the North American public,” Mr Howes continued.

Conservation International and WWF will be working with Wal-Mart and its suppliers to make improvements in less well managed fisheries, including strengthening management practices, rebuilding stocks, reducing environmental impacts, and encouraging support for broader marine ecosystem management and protection efforts. As fisheries improve, Wal-Mart and suppliers will encourage them to participate in the MSC certification programme.

Currently, 40 fisheries worldwide are engaged in the MSC programme, representing over three million tonnes of seafood and 14 of these have met the MSC standard.

Worldwide there are now more than 300 seafood products bearing the MSC eco-label in 24 countries.

Together the global retail value of MSC-labelled seafood in 2004/05 was $133,609,933.

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