Reacting to a report by WWF, RSPB and the Marine Conservation Society attacking the fishing industry with regards to climate change, SFF chief executive Elspeth Macdonald has stated that wild-caught fish is already a climate smart choice, with the industry producing healthy protein with a much lower carbon footprint than meat and most vegetables.
‘Our industry’s carbon emissions are tiny in comparison to those from households and land-based transportation. Of course, as with all sectors, there is more work we can do, and indeed only today the UK Government has announced that it wants to accelerate the development of zero-emission vessels as part of its hydrogen strategy,’ she said.
‘This is an industry that has a proud record when it comes to innovation and the adoption of new technology, with skippers constantly evaluating how to do things better. We work with government to ensure we are protecting marine features including key carbon sinks such as maerl beds, based on a robust process underpinned by evidence.’
She commented that contrary to what NGOs allege, this is the reason why fish stocks in UK waters are in a healthy state, with the overall whitefish biomass at record high levels and catching (mortality) at an all-time low.
‘Our industry is committed to sustainability; indeed healthy stocks can be harvested in a much more carbon efficient way than unhealthy ones. We must not lose sight of the fact that we are producing food, and wild caught fish are a far better choice in terms of carbon footprint than other protein birthplace,’ she said.