Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Seafood Summit: Day 2 - Thoughts as we enter a new day

 A thought-provoking plenary session kicked off Day Two of the 2011 Seafood Summit with a pre-filmed video presentation by Dr. Ray Hillborn.   He then joined the conference to take questions from participants via live link from New Zealand.  Dr. Hillborn presented his thoughts on the state and trends of the world fisheries, and the efficiencies of eating from the sea versus the land.  Hillborn indicated that based on the work he and others have undertaken recently that the majority of fish stocks are stable and not in rapid decline. One of the conclusions he reached was that terrestrial agriculture has greater overall impact and uses far more energy and resources than fishing.  He highlighted the example of the relative efficiencies of protein generation to feed Chilean anchoveta to fish (aquaculture) rather than farmed animals. The overall message was that the state of fisheries is not straightforward and that we need to look at the broader elements which includes the state of the ecosystem, and how it is modified and maintained.

If ever there was a need to clone oneself it is at the Summit! The array of interesting sessions makes for tough choices.  The morning’s offerings included exploration of food security in the Coral Triangle, the challenges of traceability in Mediterranean farmed Bluefin tuna, to the role of producers businesses and governments in eliminating confusion about sustainable choices for consumers.

Dr. Alan Knight
Alan Knight (The Virgin Group) highlighted that sustainability is a challenge facing all supply chains and raised the question for what's next for ecolabels and product stewardship. He poised the question of how many ecolabelling schemes do we need to solve the problems of the planet and recommended the need to coordinate these schemes.  He also emphasized the importance of ‘knowing your product’s story’ and that business and CSR needs to get to grips with that story.

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