Fishermen, world-renowned fisheries experts, leaders in environmental conservation, and interested stakeholders convened for discussions on seafood sustainability, and demonstrated a cooperative spirit that is encouraging for the future of sustainable seafood.
The video prominently features Dr Andrew Jackson, of IFFO, The Marine Ingredients Organisation, an international, not for profit organization that represents and promotes the fishmeal, fish oil and marine ingredients industry worldwide.
Dr Jackson discusses a heartening change in attitudes at the Summit toward mutually productive and long-lasting relations joining the fishing industry and marine conservation communities. A
s he states in the video, the dialogue at sustainability conferences has improved over the course of several years. According to Dr Jackson, “Instead of standing at either side of the room and throwing things at each other, we started a dialogue,” he said. “It’s better to sit down and talk, rather than exchanging insults.”
IFFO supports and applauds SeaWeb’s work in driving an ongoing dialogue on vital issues in the fishing industry, drawing together representatives from all sides, including industry, academia, and environmental interest groups, to find a common approach.
In recent years, the industry has made great strides to improve its responsible practices by encouraging the introduction of more precautionary practices in the management of fisheries.
IFFO leads this important development with the introduction of IFFO RS Global Supply Standard. The industry continues to develop these advancements as the current standard only covers 42 per cent of the fishmeal and fish oil global production.
According to Dr Jackson, IFFO is now working on encouraging the remaining 58 per cent of producers to demonstrate the same responsible behaviour. Achieving this standard requires a coordinated approach from all sides of the industry, and the SeaWeb Summit is an important forum for this discussion.
Saving Seafood also spoke with Fabien Cousteau, accomplished oceanographer and grandson of renowned explorer Jacques Cousteau, and who last year completed Mission 31, where he spent a record-breaking 31 consecutive days underwater documenting marine life in the Florida Keys.
Mr Cousteau echoed Dr Jackson’s remarks on the productive, evolving dialogue between fishermen and environmentalists.
Mr Cousteau told Saving Seafood that there is an increasing sense of optimism in the ability of governments, industry and non-governmental organizations to cooperate and advance common goals. He views conferences like SeaWeb’s annual Summit as part of that process and solution.
“SeaWeb has actually provided a platform for seemingly completely disparate groups coming together and going from having arguments to having cooperative discussion on how to best proceed,” he said.