Looking to use their market power to reduce and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing worldwide, several U.S. squid producers and suppliers are working with European, Canadian and Australian companies to create an IUU Working Group, with technical support from Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP).
Companies participating from the United States include Aqua Star (Seattle, WA), Beaver Street Fisheries (Jacksonville, FL), Crocker & Winsor Seafoods (Needham, MA), Lund’s Fisheries (Cape May, NJ), Netuno (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Panapesca (Pembroke, MA), Sun Coast Calamari (Oxnard, CA) and The Town Dock (Narragansett, RI). They have joined forces in partnership with Bidfood (Australia), Cabomar (Spain), Congalsa (Spain), Export Packers (Canada), Grupo Alfrio (Spain), Sea Farms Ltd (UK) and Worldwide Fishing Company-WOFCO (Spain) to address IUU squid fishing through their global squid supply chains.
The Squid IUU Prevention Working Group was formed by some members of SFP’s Global Squid Supply Chain Roundtable (Global Squid SR), which brings together squid producers and suppliers to work together in a pre-competitive environment to drive improvement efforts in squid fisheries practices, management and policy. As importers and distributors of processed squid products, the Working Group members are united in their desire to clearly prohibit IUU-sourced squid product and labor and human rights abuses in their supply chains.
“Given the latest news about the increase in risks associated with IUU fishing, as well as human rights violations and labor abuses in global squid production, supply chains need to act urgently to tackle and eradicate these problems” said Carmen Gonzalez-Valles, SFP’s markets engagement director for Europe. “We expect this industry-led working group to lay the foundations for impactful collective action against human right abuses and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in global squid fishing, processing and distribution.”
Over the next several months, the U.S. companies will work together with their international peers, and with the support of independent technical experts, to develop a joint workplan to tackle IUU fishing and human rights abuses by eliminating sourced raw material identified as high risk from their supply chains and communicating with customers and suppliers about their commitment to combatting illegal squid fishing worldwide. While the participants’ home countries already have programs in place to reduce IUU fishing, other areas of the world need additional education and support.
“I am proud to be working with such an esteemed group of companies under the guidance of SFP,” said Crocker & Winsor Seafoods President Robert Hallion. “Our coalition will work with the entire supply chain to educate and support a fishery free from IUU.”
As part of the Global Squid SR, the working group has aligned closely with work done by the Committee for the Sustainable Management of the South Pacific Jumbo Flying Squid (CALAMASUR) to advocate for conservation management measures for jumbo flying squid at the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO), and has communicated with SPRFMO delegates to promote the sustainable harvest of this species in the region. Additional plans in other squid fisheries are being developed, and the working group will invite other squid producers and suppliers worldwide to join in the effort this year.