Retailer Call To Action: Save the Sea
Aug 08, 2011

Retailer Call To Action: Save the Sea

By EJF Staff

EJF calls UK fish sellers and retailers to sign our Call to Action to address the negative environmental and social impacts of illegal pirate fishing.

Fisheries are vital to food security and employment in many countries around the world, including many of the poorest. Without sustainable fisheries millions of the world’s poor will go hungry and lose the chance for a better future. At a time when world fish stocks are under unprecedented pressure and concerns over food security are increasing, it is crucial that lawmakers, industry and consumers work together to ensure that the seafood we sell and eat is caught sustainably.

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) or "pirate" fishing operations are targeting developing countries that lack the capacity to address the problem. Pirate fishing undermines sustainable fisheries management, devastates marine environments and jeopardises the livelihoods and food security of many of the world’s poorest communities. An estimated 119 million people are directly dependent on fisheries for their livelihoods, 97% of whom are from developing countries.

In March 2011 EJF provided evidence linking pirate fishing in West Africa to European markets, resulting in the seizure of over 1,100 tonnes of illegal fish in the Spanish port Las Palmas de Gran Canarias. EJF welcomes the lead taken by UK industry to improve the transparency of the production chain and ensure that seafood from illegal and unsustainable sources does not enter UK markets.

Improving the sustainability of fisheries by ending pirate fishing will directly contribute to the achievement of several of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, including: Ending Poverty and Hunger; Environmental Sustainability; Economic development; Child Health & Maternal Health; Global Partnership.

You can prevent pirate fishing by supporting EJF’s efforts to:

  • End the use of Flags of Convenience, which allow pirate fishing operators to hide their illegal activities;
  • Develop a global record of fishing vessel information to bring transparency to the world’s oceans and the vessels that fish them;
  • Encourage compliance with European Union regulations to prevent illegal fishing;
  • Maintain transparent UK production processes.