High Liner will require wild-caught seafood and farmed products to either come from fisheries and aquaculture farms certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices program and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, respectively, or require those suppliers not certified to be on a clear, defined path toward being sustainable and capable of documenting measurable improvements. High Liner says it will collaborate with its NGO partner, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, to achieve these objectives.
The announcement follows moves by retailers and other organizations to promote sustainable seafood. Whole Foods Market recently launched the first in-store color-coded sustainability-rating program for wild-caught seafood. Other retailers have launched sustainable seafood rating systems including Publix, Target and Safeway.
Seafood restaurants are also looking for new sustainable solutions for their supply chain amid worries that overfishing could threaten the viability of the industry
For those fisheries that are not under assessment by MSC, High Liner Foods will ensure that they are “responsible” fisheries. This means those fisheries must use “best in class” methodologies to demonstrate documented improvements in fishing practices as reported by FishSource.org or evaluated by an equivalent standard. For those fisheries that have made sufficient improvements to enter into the MSC program, High Liner will require them to enter the full MSC assessment process.
In addition, by the end of 2013, all of the uncertified sources that High Liner works with must have undergone an independent evaluation, and enter a third-party assessment program such as MSC, GAA’s BAP program, or the ASC. Also, all sources undergoing improvements will be required by High Liner to report an improvement work plan and milestones to be achieved.