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Sustain / Food Facts / Like shooting fish in a barrel (2005)

Sustainable fish updates 2010

Summer 2010

We have continued developing plans for a new campaign to promote sustainable fish, to be modelled on the success of Fairtrade Towns. Funding applications have been submitted to the Defra Inspiring Sustainable Living Fund and two charitable foundations with an interest in promoting biodiversity.

Government fish buying standards
Meanwhile, we continue to lobby Defra and the Office of Government Commerce to improve their standards for procurement of only demonstrably sustainable fish, and the prominence and urgency of implementing these standards. We have expert support in this endeavour from other members of the Good Catch group the Marine Stewardship Council, Marine Conservation Society and Seafood Choices. Responses by Defra and the fisheries minister to several of our Parliamentary Questions and Freedom of Information requests have so far been highly unsatisfactory.

London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games
We have requested a meeting with the new Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon to discuss opportunities to support sustainable seafood at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and in public sector catering. For more information about Sustain's work on Food for the Olympics, see our separate pages.

Spring 2010

Government policy on sustainable seafood
We continue to take a keen interest in pursuing government on the details (or lack of them) in seafood standards for government procurement. It has emerged that Defra's supposedly 'sustainable' fish standards are as full of holes as a fish net! This is significant because their poor standards probably form the basis of:
  • The claimed 'sustainable seafood' element of the Healthier Food Mark
  • Office of Government Commerce seafood standards for government procurement
  • The development of Defra's Sustainable Seafood Roadmap with the industry.
Sustainable Fish City
We have also been developing plans for a new campaign to promote sustainable fish, to be modelled on the success of Fairtrade Towns. Our target is for London to become the first ever Sustainable Fish City by 2012, to coincide with the London 2012 Olympics which, thanks to Sustain, has its own sustainable seafood policy. If you'd like to know more, or get involved, contact:

Food Facts: A series of short reports on over a dozen different products, shows how people's shopping choices - as well as government policy - can protect the environment, enhance social justice and improve health.


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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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