Seafood is indeed big business, conducted mostly by large corporations. Governments, businesses and industry bodies worldwide like to project that commercial fishing is sustainable. Yet they provide no proof of this statement and whenever audits or research is undertaken the conclusion is that there is no proof of sustainable offtake and the state of fisheries continues to decline.
Most of these effects could be contained with proper monitoring and regulation, but businesses fight those with all their might and in all but a few instances win.
The fishing industry is too powerful which is why, for decades, it has been allowed to get away with “notoriously opaque supply chains, and incomplete datasets, that are also inconsistent.” It is a global industry that needs an effective and powerful global regulator, which could be achieved by modernising CITES to be based on a positive (reverse) listing approach and industry paying the cost of regulation. To understand how this global regulation process can work download our report, Modernising CITES – A Blueprint for Better Trade Regulation.
The wasteful and destructive practices of the fishing industry have long passed their use-by date, but their power and scale prevents better regulation for not only marine species, but also terrestrial and freshwater species.
How long will we continue to let these industries stand in the way of modernising international governance?