The first African retailer to put its weight behind the pressure applied by the North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group’s (NAPA) for sustainability in the North-East Atlantic’s pelagic fisheries follows a Japanese member joining the group earlier this year.
Woolworths South Africa is a major retailer, carrying a range of products sourced from European waters.
‘We are delighted to welcome Woolworths South Africa to our collective of supply chain businesses who are vocal about their investment in a long-term, sustainable future for seafood from the Northeast Atlantic,’ said NAPA Project Lead Dr Tom Pickerell.
‘As our first member company from Africa, the global importance of NAPA’s mission is becoming increasingly clear – buyers, processors and consumers everywhere want to see Coastal States take co-operative action to agree quotas in line with scientific advice and commit to long-term management plans for these vital, valuable stocks.’
NAPA was launched in response to loss of MSC certification for Northeast Atlantic mackerel, blue whiting, and Atlanto-Scandian herring, and an emergent trend for unilateral quota-setting above the scientific advice within the Northeast Atlantic region.
Since its inception, NAPA has attracted more that 40 members – covering food service businesses, processors, buyers and retailers – representing more than €244 billion in pelagics purchasing power.
‘Reinstating the sustainability credentials of Atlantic mackerel, herring and blue whiting could not be more critical. As a leading retail business, we choose to take a responsible approach to sourcing seafood – to help safeguard environmental sustainability and offer better food choices for our customers,’ said Woolworths aquaculture and fisheries specialist Gert le Roux.
‘Joining NAPA’s coalition of like-minded supply chain businesses provides a powerful platform on which to speak out – to draw attention to the serious environmental situation unfolding in the Northeast Atlantic, and to highlight the very real business implications that the current lack of sustainability creates for the global marketplace.’
The Northeast Atlantic coastal states met in October to negotiate shared-stock management agreements for mackerel, Atlanto-Scandian herring, and blue whiting, and agreed on overall TACs, but not on how these should be divided.
Following the coastal states negotiations NAPA chair Aoife Martin commented that political leadership and collaboration are needed now more than ever.
‘In writing individual letters to Fishery Ministers and Heads of Delegations concerning their position, NAPA members are confronting the problem head on. It really is a case of Governments listening to the marketplace and the science, and we hope to see real change in the coming weeks,’ she said.