Reuters published a report today on how fish piracy, the illegal harvesting and selling of seafood, is costing the global economy billions. The report is based on Oceana's ongoing efforts to combat the many problems facing the fishing industry and its transparency, or lack thereof. According to Oceana's research, illegally caught seafood could account for a minimum of 20% of seafood worldwide. The illegal trade threatens the jobs of 260 million people who are dependent on the seafood industry. Let's not forget about the fish in this scenario. Fish piracy has devastating effects on many species that are already threatened or endangered, such as blue fin tuna, many species of shark, and abalone.
Kudos to Oceana's work and Reuters reporting for bringing to light this blight on the industry. Piracy and mislabeling are real issues that the seafood industry must deal with and it only reinforces the importance of BRG's initiatives with our traceability program. Being able to trace your seafood purchase adds a value not only to the customer, but also to the fishermen who caught or farmed it. In order to keep our oceans healthy and fish stocks sustainable, seafood must be purchased responsibly at every level, from docks to markets to restaurants to diners.
More on the traceability program here.