2021 Key finding

Sustainability strategies need to be followed by concrete targets

Integrating sustainability objectives in the overall business strategy is the first step, however over half the companies are yet to translate those high-level objectives into actionable timebound targets for all issues relevant for the seafood industry. 70% of companies have sustainability objectives, yet only 27% have translated those into timebound targets. Concerningly, 30% of the companies did not disclose a sustainability strategy with seafood-relevant objectives.

We consider governance and strategy as the cornerstone of companies’ action towards conducting more responsible business. Our indicators analyse high-level expectations of what companies should be doing around this topic by setting the minimum requirements to achieve the improvements needed.

The industry needs to set holistic time-bound targets and report progress more clearly

The average score in this measurement area is slightly higher than in the other measurement areas (31/100) with 21 companies (70%) disclosing sustainability objectives. However only 9 companies (BioMar, Cargill, CP Group, Mowi, Nissui, Nomad Foods, Nueva Pescanova, Nutreco, Thai Union) have translated those objectives into time-bound targets and report progress against those targets. 9 companies still do not disclose a business strategy with integrated sustainable development objectives.

Pre-competitive initiatives as a platform for policy advocacy

Improving policies is necessary to ensure the seafood sector develops in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible way and companies have a powerful voice that can influence policy. 80% of the companies report on examples of advocacy activities, either done individually or collectively with other companies. However, only 30% of the companies demonstrate activities clearly aimed at improving public policies and legislation. Examples of these are the sharing of scientific data to improvements in fishery management plans or advocating for improved legislation to protect workers on fishing vessels. Overall, companies must improve their reporting on how these policy advocacy activities lead to regulations that support social and environmental objectives outlined in the SDG 2030 agenda.

The main way companies engage in policy advocacy is through pre-competitive initiatives with 22 of the 30 companies being a member of at least one pre-competitive initiative involved in policy advocacy e.g., SeaBOS, the Seafood Task Force, the International Sustainable Seafood Foundation (ISSF). This is very encouraging as pre-competitive collaboration is necessary to achieve the SDGs and outputs can benefit the industry as whole, not only the members.

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Key finding

Certifications and fishery improvement projects are the main way industry addresses ecosystem impacts of fisheries, but too many fisheries remain unreached

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