About one billion people, mostly in developing countries, rely on fish as their primary source of animal protein and approximately 10% of the world’s population relies on fishing and aquaculture for their livelihood. Sustainable fishing maintains fish stocks responsibly with a view to ensuring the effective conservation, management and development of living aquatic resources. Several issues undermine this goal.
Over-exploitation of important fish stocks, known as overfishing, is one of the major challenges. Illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing affects between 11 and 26 million tons of seafood each year, resulting in global economic losses estimated at USD 50 billion annually. Another serious concern in the fishing industry is the protection of workers. Working conditions on fishing vessels are among the worst in the world, with crew members facing violence, low or withheld pay, and, in extreme cases, imprisonment aboard the ship.
Several guidelines, such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organisations’s Code of Conduct for responsible fishery, have been developed to promote sustainable fishing, but many obstacles remain. In this context, we decided to develop guidance on fisheries for our business units. We will consult with relevant experts in developing our guidance.