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Supermarket Sponsors Boats to Boost Responsible Fishing

UK - Supermarket giant Tesco is to sponsor boats to enter the Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS)as part of the company's drive towards sourcing from Responsibly Managed Fisheries as part of their sustainable fisheries strategy.

Tesco will match the £25,000 awarded by industry authority body, Seafish, to help finance the assessment of about 150 catching vessels.

The Responsible Fishing Scheme was launched by Seafish in 2006 to promote good operational and environmental practices.

Developed to raise standards and demonstrate the seafood supply chain's commitment to responsible sourcing, the scheme has already certified over 200 boats and a further 300 are in the process of assessment.

As a result, more than 41 per cent of the UK fleet is now involved in the initiative and other fishing nations such as Holland are very close to adopting the scheme for their own fleet.

John Rutherford, Chief Executive of Seafish, said: "Tesco's involvement with the Responsible Fishing Scheme is a huge step forward for the UK seafood industry. As much as 85 per cent of seafood is purchased through the major multiples so it is tremendous that Britain’s largest retailer is actively helping to support responsible fishing practices.

"The scheme continues to exceed all expectations. Such has been the sector’s response that we are now hoping to set an international benchmark for vessel good practice and accountability."

Tesco Seafood Policy Advisor, Peter Hajipieris, added: "It is our policy to provide first-rate, affordable seafood in a responsible manner, heeding the needs of the environment as well as those of our customers. The Responsible Fishing Scheme is a major step forward in encouraging the UK fishing industry to adopt best practice and land higher quality fish with the added reassurance that the boat catching the fish is using responsible fishing practices.

"By supporting the initiative we hope to encourage greater awareness of the scheme in the global marketplace and help the UK seafood industry secure a more sustainable and profitable future."