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Weekly Overview: Seafood Leaders Create Initiative to Commit to Ocean Stewardship

Lucy Towers
20 December 2016, at 12:00am

GLOBAL - Eight of the worlds largest seafood companies have issued a 10-point statement committing to action on ocean stewardship following the first keystone dialogue between scientists and business leaders.

Through the keystone dialogues, companies have committed to improving transparency and traceability, and reducing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in their supply chains.

Antibiotic use in aquaculture, greenhouse gas emissions and plastic pollution will also be prioritised.

The businesses will also commit to eliminating any products in their supply chains that may have been obtained through modern slavery, including forced, bonded and child labour.

The eight companies include: Thai Union Group, Dongwon Industries, Maruha Nichiro Corporation, Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Marine Harvest, Cermaq, Skretting and Cargill Aqua Nutrition.

To implement the commitments, the companies will create the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship initiative that will, for the first time, connect wild capture fisheries to aquaculture businesses, connect European and North American companies to Asian companies and connect the global seafood business to science.

In market news, Marine Harvest Canada is to acquire the assets of Gray Aqua Group, which is is based on the East Coast of Canada and currently in receivership, for C$15 million, debt free.

The assets include one hatchery in New Brunswick, two farming licenses in New Brunswick, seven farming licenses in Newfoundland, and one processing plant in Newfoundland.

Marine Harvest will shortly start to detail a production plan and investment framework for the East Coast of Canada, including building an organisation capable to produce 15,000-20,000 tonnes gutted weight equivalent of salmon per annum. 

In disease news, following the outbreaks of white spot disease on prawn farms in Queensland, Australia, the state of Western Australia has issued an import restriction on prawns and worms from the affected state to prevent the spread of the disease.