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First fishery improvement project launched in Japan
2016-11-11 15:43:39 copyfrom： hits:
Japanese sea perch. (Photo: Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Information Center)
Friday, November 11, 2016, 01:40 (GMT + 9)
The non-government organisation Ocean Outcomes (O2) and Kaiko Bussan Inc. announced the launch of Tokyo Bay Sea Perch Fishery Improvement Plan (FIP), which is intended to ensure the growth of the Asian sustainable seafood market.
Asia’s share of global seafood production is about 69 per cent but only 11 per cent is certified as sustainable seafood production, including Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certifications. This is why launching this FIP poses importance, as the first one in Japan.
“Fishery improvement, while a new concept for Japanese fishermen, makes sense. We harvest, process, and sell the sea perch we catch, so our business is completely reliant on abundant sea perch resources. As the resource declines, so does our fishery. This project will ensure we’re harvesting the optimal amount of sea perch while not negatively affecting the amazing environment in which we work,” highlighted Kazuhiko Oono, CEO of Kaiko Bussan, Inc.
As a first step in the project, Ocean Outcomes collaborated with Kaiko Bussan to complete an assessment of current fishing practices calibrated against internationally recognized best practices standards.
The assessment found opportunities to modify fishing practices and gather additional data as steps which could better inform fisheries management and lead to more sustainable practices overall.
These opportunities, described in detail in the FIP work plan, include plans to better monitor bycatch of endangered, threatened, and protected species, plans to collect fishery data to better evaluate and monitor stock abundance, and a commitment to work towards a more collaborative management plan.
The first FIP project was introduced by Seafood Legacy Co., Ltd. to Seiyu GK, a subsidiary of Walmart Stores, Inc., who decided to support this project so as to improve the sustainability of the sea perch fisheries in Tokyo Bay.
The FIP is a collaborative project between fisheries stakeholders, such as fishermen, businesses, distributors, and NGOs, to improve the sustainability of a fishery.
As part of the project, Seiyu test marketed the “Tokyo Bay Sea Perch FIP” product in four stores in the Kanto area and received positive feedback from customers regarding the quality, freshness and the reasonable price of the products.
Going forward, Seiyu will discuss its support for this project including continued “Tokyo Bay Sea Perch FIP” product sales in stores and project grant contribution.
Tokyo Bay is a major fishing ground for sea perch and a historically and culturally important sourcing region for edomae sushi and the “Tokyo Bay Sea Perch FIP” is deemed to ensure sustainable fisheries management and the enjoyment of sea perch for generations to come.
“Responsible and sustainable fishing practices, which the participants of “Tokyo Bay Sea Perch FIP” have committed to undertake, are very important for the future of marine resources in Japan. As a company that relies on shared marine resources, we consider it our corporate social responsibility to provide environmentally friendly products to our consumers,” concluded Kumie Wama, Vice President of Corporate Affairs in Seiyu GK.
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