Hong Kong seafood companies join the supply chain call for increased protection of high seas biodiversity

During a major United Nations conference on biodiversity, the Hong Kong Sustainable Seafood Coalition (HKSSC) has signed-on to the Global Tuna Alliance (GTA) and the Sustainable Seafood Coalition’s (SSC) joint position on Marine Biodiversity of areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) and joins them in calling for increased protection of the high seas.

CONTACT: Elspeth Shears, elspeth@mindfullywired.org

The ‘high seas’ encompass all areas that lie beyond national waters and equate to almost ½ of the Earth’s surface. However, these areas are under increasing threat from overfishing, mining, climate change, and pollution with only around 1% currently protected.

From the 7th to 18th March, nations from across the world are working on creating an international legally-binding treaty to manage shared marine biodiversity in the high seas. The Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on an international legally binding instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) aims to agree an international legally binding instrument on marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

The HKSSC, which includes 17 members has today joined the GTA and the SSC in recognising commercial fisheries as the largest direct driver of biodiversity decline in the High Seas and calling for the increased protection of these areas. We collectively ask for Governments to conclude a robust global treaty as soon as possible, including provision of marine protected areas. This is the first ever public effort by members of the seafood sector to contribute to the BBNJ process in the over 15 years of negotiations.

As well as profitable seafood supply chains, the statement signatories want to source from healthy and sustainable fisheries, which are directly linked to a healthy marine ecosystem. This joint position demonstrates how these companies are thinking about the bigger picture, stepping forward to make noise and calling on governments for action. Because after all, biodiversity is everyone’s business.


Notes to editors:

The Global Tuna Alliance (GTA) is an independent group of retailers and tuna supply chain companies who are committed to achieving more transparent, socially responsible, and environmentally sustainable tuna fisheries. Operating over 10,000 stores in 21 countries across five continents, they use their collective purchasing power to influence the policies set out by the tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (tRFMOs).

Dr Tom Pickerell is the Executive Director of the GTA: tom@globaltunaalliance.com

The Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC) is a group of businesses that collaborate to tackle pressing sustainability challenges facing seafood supply chains in the UK. Its members represent all sectors of the seafood industry, from the largest retailers to individual fish and chip shops. Its vision is, quite simply, that all seafood sold in the UK comes from sustainable sources.

Oliver Tanqueray is the Sustainable Seafood Coalition Coordinator at ClientEarth: OTanqueray@clientearth.org

The Hong Kong Sustainable Seafood Coalition (HKSSC) is an industry-led coalition, comprising of members from Hong Kong’s seafood industry and the wider business community including suppliers, buyers, restaurants, hotels, casinos and retail outlets. Members of the HKSSC aim to advance the sustainable seafood market in Hong Kong, by promoting responsible purchasing and consumption. Its vision is for all seafood imported into Hong Kong to be legal, traceable and biologically sustainable.

Jacqui Dixon is the HKSSC Technical Advisor: jacqui.s.dixon@gmail.com

Renee Lam is the HKSSC Secretariat at ADM Capital Foundation: renee.lam@admcf.org

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