We all have our daily batch of bad news, from what is happening in Ukraine, to climate change impacts. It is important to know what is going on in this world, but even more important to know what actionable decisions may be made at all levels, including ours, to improve the situation.
There is no shortage of alarming news on environment. However, we also need to acknowledge what is going well.
In this sense, reading Nicholas P. Sullivan’s latest piece a few days ago (The information age is starting to transform fishing worldwide, Tufts University), which was syndicated across several platforms globally, was kind of a relief. Arguing that changes in behaviour, technology and policy are occurring throughout the fishing industry, he focuses on the positive aspects and the dynamic they can generate. “There is no shortage of gloomy information about how overfishing, along with other stresses like climate change, is affecting the world’s oceans” he writes. “Nonetheless, I believe it bears emphasizing that over 78% of current marine fish landings come from biologically sustainable stocks, according to the United Nations. And overharvested fisheries often can rebound with smart management.”
Digitalisation allows traceability systems to share data as never before. International partnerships, like the Agreement on Port State Measures, targets illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and provides the basis for shared management of shared stocks. Business to business initiatives challenge existing frameworks through new voluntary standards, promotion of best practices and new ways of collaborating in a pre-competitive manner. Such engagement also exists between producers and consumers and contributes to shaping new buying patterns.
At the marine ingredients level, Sullivan’s observation seems a good reflection of the reality. Challenges do exist but the industry’s willingness to drive positive change shouldn’t be overlooked.