Members of the Sustain­able Seafood Coalition are to commit to source seafood responsibly, and to introduce consistent environmental claims labelling, under codes published this week.

Under the labelling code, members - which include major retailers, brands and suppliers - have committed that all voluntary environmental claims such as ‘sustainably sourced’ and ‘responsibly sourced’ are consistent, clear and accurate. The sourcing code ensures members will commit to carry out annual risk assessments on fisheries, and audits on aquaculture sources.

Publication of the codes was welcomed by the BRC, which said it brought “retailers, brands and restaurateurs together to deliver a consistent message.”

Environmental law organisation ClientEarth, which administers the SCC secretariat, will publish a review of the implementation of the codes by members in 18 months.

“Huge numbers of consumers want to buy genuinely sustainable seafood,” said member TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. “However, identifying it can sometimes be a challenge due to a lack of clear information. “These codes make it that much easier for shoppers to find responsibly sourced fish. They represent a crucial step in the ongoing battle to ensure all the seafood on our plates is sustainable.”
The publication of the codes was welcomed by the British Retail Consortium. Head of sustainability Catherine Pazderka, said it had brought “an alliance of retailers, brands and restaurateurs together to deliver a consistent message”.
“We are working to ensure all our fish and seafood is sourced sustainably, and we want to ensure our customers have clear, consistent information so they can make informed decisions on what they want to buy,” said Tesco group sustainability manager Jonathan Gorman.