Seafood giants to ban illegally fished COD

Eight of Europe’s largest seafood buyers, including Young’s Seafood, McDonald’s Europe and Igloo-Birds Eye, have pledged not to sell cod fished illegally in the Barents Sea.

One out of five fish caught in the Barents Sea is fished illegally, says the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Greenpeace estimates "pirate fishing" accounts for 25% of the global catch and is worth $9 billion a year.

In response to concern over the impact of illegal fishing on stocks, the EU fish processors association AIPCEE last September agreed voluntary guidelines to tighten procedures and introduce a chain of custody into the cod and haddock supply chain.1In a letter to Norwegian fisheries minister Helga Pedersen, manufacturers committed to follow the guidelines and refuse fish from black-listed ships.

While the companies "applaud" the move to publish a black list, the group has called on Norway to also publish a "white-list" of legal fishing vessels. The firms also want clearer legal standards for listing and transparent criteria for delisting.

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