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Industry encouraged to use Seafish's Responsible Seafood Sourcing tool

07 October 2015 by
Industry encouraged to use Seafish's Responsible Seafood Sourcing tool

Seafish is urging operators to use its Risk Assessment for Sourcing Seafood tool (RASS) to aid responsible sourcing.

The free online platform now lists 280 fishery profiles containing information on stock status, the efficacy of management, as well as seafloor habitat and bycatch impacts.

Available to all seafood buyers in wholesale and foodservice, RASS gives greater clarity over the status of the seafood for purchasing both at stock and fisheries levels and was introduced to answer a need from the industry for clear and scientifically robust information on the impacts of fisheries.

Young's Seafood is one of many businesses using the tool to ensure its supplies adhere to the company's principles of responsible sourcing.

David Parker, marine biologist at Young's, explained: "We use RASS to assess the fisheries that we source our seafood from. We have our own metrics to assess if a fishery is responsible or not. Some of the information we need is easy to come by, but other information is harder to obtain and can take a lot of time, involving reviewing scientific journals, speaking with academics and talking to fishermen.

"With RASS we find that Seafish has already done a lot of that hard work for us. We use the data to inform our own assessment, and we can also request specific reports if there is a supplier that is not included on the database."

Tom Pickerell, technical director for Seafish, added: "Working with and having ambassador businesses from across the industry such as Young's Seafood and Papa's Fish and Chips is a huge endorsement for our responsible sourcing tool as a powerful reference resource for commercial seafood buyers.

"Over the past year we have seen a great pick up and would encourage more businesses to follow in the footsteps of these businesses as we continue to build on the number of fisheries and information available on RASS. Crucially the tool will also eventually address ethical and welfare issues around sourcing seafood that remains an area of great concern for the industry.

Seafish is funded by a levy on the first sale of seafood landed in the UK. Its services are intended to support and improve the environmental sustainability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the industry, as well as promoting sustainably sourced seafood.

RASS can be accessed at www.seafish.org/rass

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