Sunday, 22 July 2012

Day 12, Sustainable Seafood Co-op Grocery

We know that world fisheries are in trouble. Environmental Defense Fund cites Science's study of 11,000 fisheries that giving fishermen "shares" they can use/sell ("catch share") can effectively replenish stocks.

Shares grow in value as the fish are replenished. This increases fishers' stewardship, decreasing the "perverse incentive" to get as many fish as possible; in the long run overfishing would only leave fishermen without jobs.

Click for the image sources here...I modified the fishy to smile because the original one looked too unhappy for a purportedly positive practice.

I don't think the solution is only about better fishing practices, there is a lot going on globally such as increased temperatures and ocean acidification which will impact this stuff. But it's a start.

Update: Some Opposing Views on Catch Shares

A long post about the drawbacks of catch share, most of the arguments are consistent with the double edged sword of market mechanisms. I haven't read much else from this blog, but this single article did bring up issues like: Grandfathering, disempowering smaller groups, rewarding those who were initially wasteful, and puts it at risk of becoming "a highly controlled financial trading scheme dominated by investors and industrial seafood producers".

What do you think? Is it worth doing (in short term maybe) despite all of this so that we can at least save our fish and fishermen? Are there ways catch share could work but minimize some of the above problems? Or should we come up with better solutions? What might they be?

Another hit against is that EDF is a really big fan of catch share, but its board has many large financial institution people for example from like Morgan Stanely. Good point, they would definitely have a vested interest. I like EDF because instead of fully shunning large organizations, they try to work with them. But is that going a bit too far? 

The Daily Letter
Today's letter is supporting more sustainable commercial fishing practices - via a grocery store. There will be some more context in tomorrow's post as I'm trying to keep entries short.

To: FCL Co-op grocery stores

As a customer of your excellent grocery stories, I'm writing today about our role in the health of fisheries worldwide.

Your customers/owners and employees can only stand to benefit from having a long term supply of fish to consume. Co-op has already started to play a role in this by not selling several Redlist species; increasing customer awareness and finding alternatives to the SeaChoice “Avoid” list.

But there's still a lot to be done. I would like to see Co-op develop a phase-out plan for species such as farmed Atlantic salmon; including other products containing "Avoid" species such as pet food and supplements; and decreasing the sale of: Atlantic cod, haddock, farmed Atlantic salmon, Atlantic sea scallops, tropical shrimp and prawns, yellowfin tuna.

Sent to:
Co-op Home Office
Box 1050, Saskatoon, SK, S7K 3M9
401 – 22nd Street East, Saskatoon, SK, S7K 0H2
PHONE: 306.244.3311
FAX: 306.244.3403

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