MSC has responded to the UN FAO’s report on the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) 2020

The UN Fisheries & Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) “The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020” (SOFIA) report indicates overfishing has increased from 33.1% in 2018 to 34.2% of wild stocks, saying “sustainability failures are complex and need tailored solutions”. 

The 2020 edition of The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture has a particular focus on sustainability. This reflects a number of specific considerations.

First, 2020 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (the Code);

Second, several Sustainable Development Goal indicators mature in 2020;

Third, FAO hosted the International Symposium on Fisheries Sustainability in late 2019; and

Fourth, 2020 sees the finalisation of specific FAO guidelines on sustainable aquaculture growth, and on social sustainability along value chains.

Marine Stewardship Council Chief Executive, Rupert Howes, said:

“The world’s appetite for seafood is greater than ever. But if we are to continue to meet future demands, we must accelerate the uptake of sustainable fisheries management globally.   

“Over a third of fisheries (34.2%) are operating at unsustainable levels, with this trend continuing to worsen slightly. But there are encouraging signs. For species where effective management has been implemented, such as Skipjack tuna, Alaska pollock and Atlantic cod, there have been improvements in stock recovery.   

“The global seafood industry has already moved at speed to adapt to the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic; when we emerge from this crisis it is vital that we ‘build back better’ with sustainability at its heart.  

“We know what works: establishing science-based management regimes, ending harmful subsidies, effective harvest control rules and clamping down on illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.  

“The call from the FAO to ensure that all fish stocks are managed within biological sustainable limits is welcome. This is essential to safeguard seafood supplies. The MSC provides a benchmark and tools to help fisheries all over the world achieve this.”  

Source: Marine Stewardship Council

MSC response to the UN ‘State of World Fisheries’ Report (SOFIA) 2020 

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