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Dutch Supermarkets Commit to Sustainable Fisheries Labelling

18 September 2013

NETHERLANDS - Dutch consumers were encouraged to make an informed choice for responsible farmed and sustainable wild caught fish last week during the Think Fish Week, an initiative by the World Wide Fund for Nature Netherlands (WWF-NL), the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).

In nearly 85 per cent of Dutch supermarkets ASC and MSC labelled products were promoted in-store, as well as through nationwide advertising campaigns. Consumers were informed that by choosing fish from a responsible fish farm or sustainable fishery they can make a difference and help preserve a healthy ocean. 

With the Think Fish Week the three organisers and the Dutch supermarkets aim to increase consumer awareness of the ASC and MSC. The MSC label and ASC logo guarantee well managed fish stock, the conservation of vulnerable coastal areas and minimised adverse impacts of aquaculture.

Environmental protection

Overfishing, by-catch and irresponsible fish farming can all result in permanent damage to the environment. If life in the ocean disappears, it will have major implications for humans and other animals. WWF works to conserve the environment through the fisheries, fish farms and through making the supply chain more sustainable.

WWF is the founder of the independent ASC (for farmed fish) and MSC (for wild caught fish) certification programmes. The labels ensure – from boat / farm to fork – that the fish is sustainably caught or responsibly farmed. Fisheries and farmers that use sustainable and responsible methods can also gain recognition through the MSC label and ASC logo.

Think Fish Week launch

On 10 September the three organisations organised an event in Amsterdam to celebrate the launch of the first Think Fish Week. Elies Arps from WWF-NL informed the audience of the urgency of sustainably wild caught and responsibly farmed fish. Camiel Derichs of MSC spoke about their work with sustainable fisheries. ASC’s CEO Chris Ninnes presented the successful developments of ASC over the last year and ASC’s impact on the Dutch market.

The Think Fish Week initiative has been embraced by the supermarkets. Supermarkets are one of the key drivers towards increased sustainability of the fish sector. In total 17 Dutch supermarket organisations participated in the Think Fish Week: Agrimarkt, Albert Heijn, Bas van der Heijden, C1000, COOP, Digros, Dekamarkt, Dirk van den Broek, EMTE, Hoogvliet, Jan Linders, Jumbo, Lidl, MCD supermarkets, Poiesz, PLUS, Spar and the supermarket purchasing organisation Superunie. During the Think Fish Week seafood with the ASC and MSC label were promoted in-store. Besides these supermarkets the catering supplier Sligro and the (business) caterer Sodexo also took part in the campaign week.

TheFishSite News Desk

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