For over 30 years, ocean conservation has been a priority for WWF. Much of our work focuses on reducing the negative impacts of fisheries and aquaculture on oceans and other ecosystems. The goal is an economically viable global seafood production system that is environmentally sustainable, socially responsible, and resilient in the face of change.
To drive this work, WWF collaborates with companies around the world that lead long-term commitments to source sustainable seafood and to engage their supply chains to develop transformational improvements in the seafood industry. These commitments build upon WWF’s global work with fishing and farming industries, businesses, governments and local communities to safeguard marine wildlife, the natural environment, and the livelihoods of people who depend on the oceans for their wellbeing.
During our 20 years of engagement with companies we have developed a successful approach to helping our partners fulfill their sustainability commitments. WWF has the most public, comprehensive seafood partnerships – working with over 100 leading global companies on their commitment to seafood sustainability. This global scale and collective engagement drives efficiencies of scale and impact along seafood supply chains.
STRATEGIES FOR LEADING COMPANIES
WWF recommends companies take a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to sustainable, responsible, and traceable seafood sourcing. This includes both engaging and transitioning new and existing seafood supply chains in the following areas.
© Sindre Kinnerød | WWF
Seafood Certifications and Standards
WWF encourages the use of credible third-party certification programs and their standards to ensure the most sustainable, responsible, and traceable supply chains.
For wild caught fisheries, WWF currently supports the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as the world’s leading certification program because of its thorough environmental criteria, credible certification procedures, and traceability requirements. The MSC is an independent global non-profit organization that sets standards for sustainable and traceable wild-caught fisheries around the world; and fisheries are third-party certified against those standards.
For farm-raised seafood, WWF currently supports the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) as the most credible aquaculture certification scheme. ASC is an independent global non-profit organization that manages standards for responsible farming of a number of key aquaculture species. The ASC standards include both environmental and social indicators, as well as traceability to farm level for certified products.
© Jürgen Freund | WWF
Transitioning Fisheries and Farms
To increase the volume of sustainable and responsible seafood sources globally, WWF encourages companies to fully engage and drive comprehensive improvements in their current supply chains.
This industry transition is a phased approach toward sustainable and responsible production that includes comprehensive Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) and Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIPs). WWF implements FIPs and AIPs globally for many species, such as warm water lobster, tuna, mahi mahi, blue swimming crab, shrimp, and salmon. WWF also supports other NGO or industry led FIPs and AIPs. WWF encourages all FIPs to be posted on FisheryProgress.org – a global FIP website that provides third-party verification of FIP guidelines and progress. This site also identifies opportunities for businesses to track and engage in FIPs.
For canned tuna, WWF encourages actively seeking product from MSC certified fisheries and comprehensive FIPs. At a minimum, companies should ensure that all canned tuna is sourced from International Seafood Sustainability Association (ISSA) members in full compliance with International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) conservation measures. The ISSF advances science-based initiatives to harvest tuna sustainably, increase traceability, eliminate illegality, and move fisheries toward meeting the MSC standard.
© Meridith Kohut | WWF-US
To verify sustainable and responsible practices, and to reduce risk, seafood companies must be able to trace their products through their supply chains back to the fishing vessel or farm. Implementing robust traceability systems in supply chains makes it possible to obtain reliable, relevant information about many of the fundamental characteristics and qualities of seafood products. WWF’s traceability principles provide goal statements around traceability, and can be used as a benchmark that is applicable to a variety of traceability systems.
The MSC and ASC offer a solution through their joint chain of custody standard – demonstrating a verifiable connection back to a sustainable fishery or responsible farm.
WWF is also actively supporting the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability, a business-to-business platform for developing best practices in seafood traceability along the entire supply chain.
How to Build a Comprehensive Seafood Commitment
In addition to the basic considerations listed above, WWF helps companies create comprehensive, public seafood sustainability commitments that are measurable, rigorous, and time-bound to address a full range of issues to drive improvements in the seafood industry.
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WWF CORPORATE ENGAGEMENT
WWF is the world’s largest conservation organization, actively engaging over 100 companies around the world on public, transformational commitments to increase sustainable, responsible seafood sourcing.
In the US, WWF is working with the following leading seafood buyers on their public commitments to transition to sustainable, responsible sourcing. Many are multinational companies that have extended their commitments throughout their global operations.
- Costco Wholesale
- Hilton Worldwide
- Hyatt Corporation
- Mars Petcare
- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
- SUPERVALU Inc.
Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Shop ‘n Save, and Shoppers
- Sysco Corporation
- The Kroger Co.
Baker’s, City Market, Dillions, Food 4 Less, Foods Co, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Gerbes, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, Mariano’s, Metro Market, Owen’s, Pay Less, Pick ‘n Save, QFC, Ralph’s, Roundy’s, and Smith’s
WWF is working with the following suppliers who are Fishery Improvement Project Participants and/or engaged in Aquaculture Improvement Projects with WWF. These suppliers have publicly committed to working with WWF to transition targeted fisheries and farms in their supply chains.
- Anova Food LLC
- Beaver Street Fisheries, Inc.
- Blumar Seafoods
- Coral Sea Fishing
- The Choice Group
- D&E Import LLC
- Hilo Fish Company, Inc.
- IncredibleFish Inc.
- Los Fiordos
- Lotus Seafood, Inc.
- Netuno USA, Inc.
- Norpac Fisheries Export
- Orca Bay Seafoods, Inc.
- Pescanova USA
- Sea Delight, LLC
- Tequesta Bay Foods, Inc.
- The Fishin’ Company
- Western United Fishing Company
WWF also works with Bumble Bee, which sources MSC certified seafood for its Wild Selections® products and donates a portion of the sales to support WWF marine conservation and fishery improvement programs.
June 23, 2017
Bumble Bee launched a line of canned seafood products called Wild Selections, sourced exclusively from fisheries certified to the sustainability standard of the Marine Stewardship Council. Wild Selections sends 13 cents of each can sold to WWF for direct investment in conservation work, primarily three WWF-led comprehensive fishery improvement projects: Vietnam yellowfin tuna, the Vietnam blue swimming crab, and the Thailand blue swimming crab. These fisheries aim to improve their environmental performance and, ultimately, earn MSC certification. Funding from Wild Selections also goes toward grants for research to investigate threats and identify solutions to help strengthen fisheries.
You can read more on this story and discover other stories by visiting our News page.
Become a FIP Participant
By signing on to support a FIP you are joining forces with other leaders in the industry that seek to help conserve marine ecosystems, protect livelihoods, and increase the number of sustainable fisheries and the overall supply of sustainable seafood.
© Antonio Busiello | WWF-US