LITTLEFISH

At this year’s Boston Seafood Show, which opened on March 20th, worldwide organic farming advocate Naturland is urging the fishing industry to consider more eco-friendly fishing techniques.

Hans Hohenester, chairman of the Naturland board of directors, says current fishing practices are unnatural, unsustainable and contaminate waters with harmful chemicals and antibiotics.

That’s why Naturland has impressive standards and strict procedures for ensuring organic and sustainable production:

Among the criteria are, for example, low stocking densities, regeneration of valuable natural habitats and the prohibition of chemical additives and genetically manipulated plants in fish feed. Besides this, social criteria are imposed for the treatment of the employees of the Naturland members. From organic shrimps from Vietnam to organic trout from Germany, Naturland offers a wide range of products from organic aquaculture.

In 2007 Naturland passed its standards for sustainable fisheries/wild fish and initiated a pilot project for Lake Victoria perch with traditional fishers in Tanzania. The criteria applied include the sustainable use of existing fish stocks, abstention from critical fishing methods, high social standards for fishermen and employees, and organic processing to the Naturland standards.

To provide the consumer with clear information on the source of the products, Naturland has designed its own “Naturland Wildfish” logo. The production, processing and export of fish and seafood are important sources of income for many southern countries, and these can only be maintained by practicing organic and sustainable forms of production. Consumer awareness of this principle is growing daily. It is the responsibility of trading partners from the north to impose clear quality criteria as an incentive for their suppliers to adopt these principles.

Naturland promotes organic farming all over the world. In addition to fish, Naturland works with coffee from Mexico, tea from India, olive oil from Greece, spices from Sri Lanka and tropical fruit from Uganda.

In other fish news, a 2010 investigation revealed fish served in restaurants and sold in grocery stores across California contain high levels of mercury; one-third of the fish purchased at grocery stores is unsafe for consumption.

And last year, the European Union failed to impose stricter fishing quotas on Bluefin Tuna; over-fishing has pushed Bluefin to the brink. Some experts want to put Bluefin Tuna on the endangered species list.

Image credit: Telstar Logistics