Publicado por: pongpesca | 2010/01/27

WWF nets Marks & Spencer commitment to sustainable fishing

“The retailer is the first high street name to sign the Seafood Charter, which aims to protect Europe’s waters from overfishing.

A fishing boat heads out to sea at Eyemouth harbour, in the Scottish BordersA fishing boat heads out to sea. Marks & Spencer has signed a new charter that aims to protect Europe’s waters from overfishing. Photograph: David Cheskin/PA


Marks & Spencer has become the first major high street name to sign a new charter that aims to protect Europe’s waters from overfishing. The retailer, which is already undertaking a £200m green plan, hopes that joining conservation organisation WWF’s Seafood Charter (pdf) will underline its commitment to sustainable sourcing of its entire range of fish and shellfish.

By backing the new charter, the company has entered a joint commitment with WWF to work towards sustainable fisheries management and sustainable farmed fish production. Over the next few years WWF will help M&S evaluate the sustainability of its wild and farmed fish products and give the retailer guidance on identifying and developing more sustainable sources. The two organisations plan to tackle issues such as overfishing, bycatch and discards, and will work with fisheries to find solutions to improve their fishing practices.

WWF said the problems surrounding the management of Europe’s depleted fish stocks have been well documented, but that there was scope for building on the positive steps being taken around Europe to tackle the problem of dwindling fish stocks. In Scotland, for example, the pioneering Conservation Credit Scheme where fishermen are rewarded for sustainable fishing is yielding signs of improvement in some fish stocks and some fisheries are now in the Marine Stewardship Council-certification process. WWF said this model could be replicated by more fisheries across Europe.

A recent report from the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) said supermarkets should be doing more to help the environment and boost Britain’s dwindling fish stocks by offering consumers a wider variety of fish and seafood. It praised Marks & Spencer – along with Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose – for all having clear policies on sustainability, although the Co-operative chain led the way for its overall approach.

WWF said it is in discussions with other retailers and players in the seafood industry with the aim of encouraging more support for its charter, but praised M&S for its leadership in committing to sustainability on the full range of its products.

Sally Bailey, head of fisheries and seafood policy at WWF-UK said: “We are delighted to be working with one of the UK’s best known retailers to protect our fish stocks and safeguard the health of our oceans. The Seafood Charter may be directly targeted at retailers and processors, but it has implications for the thousands of fishermen in the UK and other parts of the world that depend on a healthy supply of fish to support their income, and ultimately the millions of people who buy, cook, and eat fish. Fish and shellfish are a renewable resource, if managed properly, and it’s vital we take action now to prevent any further decline in their stock levels.”

Paul Willgoss, head of technology at M&S, said: “We’ve had a sustainable fishing policy for over a decade, but now we’re going even further by being the UK’s first company to sign WWF’s Seafood Charter. As part of Plan A, our £200m ‘eco-plan’, we are working with WWF to ensure that by 2012, all of our wild fish are Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified or where MSC-certified sources are not available, our fish comes from fisheries that have sustainable practices in place that respect the natural environment.””

Fonte: – Rebecca Smithers – 26 de Janeiro de 2010

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