Small fisheries losing out

Sir, The recertification of the PNA tuna fishery by the MSC is detrimental to ocean conservation and unfair to small-scale tuna fisheries.

Since the PNA was certified, the number of endangered sharks caught by purse seiners in its waters has almost doubled and illegal shark finning activities continue. It is totally unacceptable shark fins are obtained and transported on the same vessels as MSC-certified tuna. The extent of the problem has been deliberately misrepresented. Instead of greater transparency, the recertification has led to manipulation of scientific data and will lead to increased pressure on observers.

International instruments such as the Sustainable Development Goals make it clear small-scale fishers should have equal market access. Inequality in the certification process means such fisheries have to jump through hoops while industrial tuna purse-seiners, such as the PNA, get a free pass. The MSC has missed an opportunity to drive real improvements in tuna fisheries.

Martin Purves, managing director, International Pole & Line Foundation

Bumpy labels welcome

Sir, Arla trials ‘bumpy’ new food expiry label in a bid to slash food waste. As dairy products are the most frequently wasted, this is a really encouraging innovation.

The objective of legislation on ‘best before’ dates is to ensure food safety and quality. Date-marking technology looks broadly at the conditions and reactions of the product and utilises a ‘buffer zone’, meaning some products will be disposed of unnecessarily.

The advantage of this bumpy label innovation is that it reacts to the specific product and its specific conditions and informs the consumer whether there is a ‘need’ to dispose of the product yet or not.

It remains to be seen if this will actually aid the consumer any more than the less technical ‘sniff’ test.

Jessica Burt, associate of food law, Mills & Reeve

Spot the fraudsters

Sir, From my job at the Austrian Trade Commission and friends at other trade commissions in London, I know what a huge problem identity fraud is.

Luckily most (foreign) companies realise something is not right before sending off the goods, but obviously enough get tricked to keep those fraudsters going. Fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated and harder to spot.

GDLondon, via