From 1 to 7 November the first Sustainable Fishing Week promoted by MSC Marine Stewardship Council will be held in Italy, with the aim of raising awareness among as many people as possible of the importance of consuming fish products caught using sustainable practices that preserve fish habitats and populations. Preserving and protecting the marine environment is crucial for the delicate balance of the planet, which is threatened by pollution, climate change and overfishing affecting about one third of global fish stocks.
MSC is a certification and labelling programme that is recognised and accredited worldwide: those who use the MSC blue label (on the packaging of frozen, canned, refrigerated products and pet food) show that they are selling certified sustainably sourced seafood, so consumers know they can buy fish without harming the environment. The MSC fishing standard is based on the FAO Code of Conduct and adheres to the following guidelines:
- leaving enough fish in the sea for the stock to reproduce;
- minimising the impact of fishing on the marine ecosystem;
- managing fishing in such a way as to be able to adapt to changes, while respecting existing laws and scientific evidence.
Fortunately, the demand for certified, traceable and sustainable seafood products is growing all over the world: a sign that awareness of the relationship between human health and the environment is becoming an essential requirement for many consumers.
The high level of participation in the first edition by many important companies (Bofrost, Conad, Consilia, Consorcio, Carrefour Italia, Eismann, Eurospin, Findus, Frosta, Lidl, Ocean47, Rio Mare, Rizzoli Emanuelli) is an encouraging sign, even though it cannot yet be said that the Italian market has reached a satisfactory level in terms of sustainable seafood supply; much work needs to be done, especially in the fresh sector, which represents about 50% of Italian seafood consumption: to date, there is still no chain of custody certified fishmongers that can offer sustainable fresh fish.