Technical Program loading...


Thursday, May 23, 2019

S10: Where Does the Sustainable Seafood Movement Go Next?

Session Chair: Megan Bailey, Dalhousie University;

10:00 – 10:15  |  3805740

Seafood certifications: a ‘hammer’ in the marine conservation toolbox?

Megan Bailey1;   Megan.Bailey@Dal.Ca
1Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada;

Seafood certifications are a prominent tool being used to encourage sustainability in marine fisheries worldwide. However, questions about their efficacy remain the subject of ongoing debate. One of the main criticisms is that they are not well-suited for small-scale fisheries or those in developing nations. This represents a dilemma because a significant share of global fishing activity occurs in these sectors. To overcome this shortcoming and others, a range of fixes have been implemented, including reduced payment structures, development of fisheries improvement projects, and head-start programs that prepare fisheries for certification. These adaptations have not fully solved fundamental incompatibilities, instead creating new challenges that have necessitated additional fixes. We argue that this dynamic is emblematic of a common tendency in natural resource management where particular tools and strategies are emphasized over the conservation outcomes they seek to achieve. This can lead to the creation of hammers in management and conservation. We use seafood certifications as an illustrative case to highlight the importance of diverse approaches to sustainability that do not require certification. Focusing on alternative, bottom-up models that address sustainability problems at the local level and increase fishers adaptive capacity, social capital, and agency may be a useful starting point.

10:15 – 10:30  |  3580462

Seafood watch recommendations effect on US ex-vessel prices

Tim Cashion1; Frederik Noack1; U. Rashid Sumaila1;
1UBC, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada;

Many seafood certification and eco-labeling programs have arisen to incentivize fisheries sustainability by informing consumers. To date, there is little evidence for the effect of these programs on fishers ex-vessel revenues. Here, we attempt to determine this effect from the Seafood Watch Program recommendations on US capture fisheries. We use mixed effects models and a segmented line regression to determine the potential change in ex-vessel price of a seafood product before and after a recommendation. As the Seafood Watch program has a graded recommendation (Best Choice, Good Alternative, and Avoid), we can also determine if there is an incentive for fishers to receive a more positive rating within these standards. Our preliminary results indicate a significant difference for fisheries that are assessed by Seafood Watch, but no significant difference between these fisheries and other unassessed fisheries in the USA. These findings illustrate the importance of broad coverage of eco-labeling programs for their impact on seafood markets.

10:30 – 10:45  |  3582378

Seafood traceability program performance: Evaluating the U.S. seafood import monitoring program

Andrew Steinkruger1; Kailin Kroetz2; C. Josh Donlan3; Jessica A. Gephart4; Patrick Lee2; Katrina Chicojay Moore5;
1Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States; 2Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C., United States; 3Advanced Conservation Strategies, Córdoba, Spain; 4National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, Annapolis, MD, United States; 5School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States;

The scope and complexity of global seafood supply chains challenge regulators and enable seafood mislabeling. Major seafood-importing countries have responded through unilateral action to prevent the entry of seafood products associated with mislabeling and illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing (IUU). We examine the scope and design of the United States Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), a unilateral traceability system implemented in January 2018. SIMP establishes information-based import controls for products prioritized through an opaque assessment of global seafood mislabeling and IUU. Despite the reach of SIMP, which targets species amounting to 54% of average annual seafood import value from 2007 - 2016, ex ante and ex post quantitative analysis of the program is limited. We undertake a quantitative ex post examination of the program, synthesizing data on seafood production, trade, governance, health hazards, and mislabeling. Our analysis underlines the urgent need for open data on globalized supply chains enabling seafood mislabeling and IUU, and for further analysis of the role of unilateral traceability systems in seafood sustainability.

10:45 – 11:00  |  3585427

Impacts of U.S. seafood mislabeling

Kailin Kroetz1; Josh Donlan2; Jessica Gephart3; Sunny Jardine4; Katie Chicojay4; Patrick Lee1; Andrew Steinkruger5;
1Resources for the Future, Washington, DC, USA; 2ACS, UT, USA; 3SESYNC, MD, USA; 4University of Washington, WA, USA; 5University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA;

The complexity and opaqueness of seafood supply chains, one of the worlds most traded food commodities, has enabled mislabeling of seafood products. One potential, and commonly referenced, impact of mislabeling is negative biological impacts. Economic incentives can serve as an impetus for biological impacts. For example, biological impacts can occur through channels such as increasing illegal harvest of a species for which mislabeling allows products to be sold when they could not have been otherwise and increasing the profitability of harvest of poorly managed species when sold as more sustainable and valuable species. We use a novel dataset including the most comprehensive documentation of mislabeling built from the grey and academic literature, U.S. production and trade data, and Seafood Watch fishery scores, to assess the extent to which products from fisheries that have poor biological scores are mislabeled as products with relatively high biological scores. The analysis enhances our understanding of the scale and potential impacts of seafood mislabeling; a key to improving the design of regulatory efforts and consumer engagement programs aimed at minimizing mislabeling impacts.

11:00 – 11:15  |  3588010

Challenges and incentives of the octopus’ fishery value chain in Mexico

Eva Coronado1; Silvia Salas1; Ma-Fernanda Cepeda1;
1Cinvestav, Merida Yucatan, Mexico;

Global trade of seafood has increased exponentially in the last two decades, incentivizing catches and participation of new stakeholders, at the same time the markets are demanding high-quality food and sustainable processes. The value chain analysis assesses the extraction, distribution, and commercialization of products; as a first step, this analysis requires to know the chain structure and identify key actors. In this study, we analyze the value chain (VCH) of the octopus fishery in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The aim of the study was to map the chain structure, to identify key actors, and to learn about challenges and incentives these actors face within this chain. Data came from official sources of local, national, and international agencies, and interviews were conducted addressing key actors. We analyzed the fluxes of the product upstream the chain and the commercial arrangements among stakeholders. The Mexican octopus is commercialized in the European Union, Asia, and at the national and regional market, the fluxes are complex and sometimes difficult to track. The mapped valued chain showed the diversity of actors involved including the participation of middlemen, in the process; all of them showed flexible ties and high dependency of some actors from the powered nodes, represented by few actors. Despite regulations exists along the VCH, some actors were difficult to track, limiting tradability of the products. Before the challenges that international markets place and given an increasing demand of the product, more work needs to be done to sustain a viable VCH, that can provide economic benefits and sustainable communities.

11:15 – 11:30  |  3611752

The return on investment of electronic traceability in Indonesian tuna supply chains

Helen Packer1;
1Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada;

Full chain seafood traceability is being hailed for providing win-win benefits for both the environment and businesses such as improved fisheries management to enhanced business intelligence. Even though some level of seafood traceability is mandatory for importing seafood products in certain countries (e.g. EU, US), electronic traceability can be considered to fall under the umbrella term of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as it remains largely voluntary and contributes to improving the transparency of environmental and social practices in supply chains. Some of the socio-economic and environmental benefits of full chain traceability are clear, including preventing IUU products from entering supply chains, preventing seafood fraud and ensuring that social or environmental claims made about seafood products are verified. However, beyond complying with import regulations, the business benefits of traceability remain to be demonstrated as seafood businesses are only just starting to implement traceability in their businesses and their supply chains. Testing an ROI model, this research investigated the monetary and non-monetary benefits of electronic traceability in two Indonesian handline tuna supply chains. Preliminary results suggest a positive ROI. However, while many of the benefits are difficult to quantify in monetary terms, these are nonetheless significant and important to seafood businesses and should therefore be included in future ROI analyses for electronic traceability and CSR in general.

11:30 – 12:10


A panel discussion will follow oral presentations.


Note: this page was created with another browser window/tab so if you want to return to the rest of the schedule, just close it.

Printed from: