Searching for market-based sustainability pathways: challenges and opportunities for seafood certification programs in Japan.

Over the past two decades, there has been a proliferation of consumer-facing, market-based initiatives for marine conservation—most notably in seafood eco-labels and sustainability certifications. Yet, despite the growing recognition of these initiatives by consumers and retailers in North America and Europe and the (subsequent) acceptance of their role in seafood distribution by fisheries and fish marketing industries around the world, seafood certification programs have thus far made little progress in Japan. Here, the evolution of the three seafood eco-label and certification programs in Japan is examined and insights into the ongoing challenges they face in terms of the domestic supply chain network, consumer preference and their social-cultural attitude toward sustainability are provided. Despite an initial lack of success, seafood certification programs in Japan can be useful in enhancing consumer awareness for fisheries resource conservation and identifying Japanese domestic small-scale fisheries that are already engaged in sustainable fishing practices. A possible pathway for developing an eco-certification program suitable for the Japanese seafood market is provided through integration of environmental and cultural sustainability under the existing certification framework.

Transform high seas management to build climate resilience in marine seafood supply.

Climate change is projected to redistribute fisheries resources, resulting in tropical regions suffering decreases in seafood production. While sustainably managing marine ecosystems contributes to building climate resilience, these solutions require transformation of ocean governance. Recent studies and international initiatives suggest that conserving high seas biodiversity and fish stocks will have ecological and economic benefits; however, implications for seafood security under climate change have not been examined. Here, we apply global-scale mechanistic species distribution models to 30 major straddling fish stocks to show that transforming high seas fisheries governance could increase resilience to climate change impacts. By closing the high seas to fishing or cooperatively managing its fisheries, we project that catches in exclusive economic zones (EEZs) would likely increase by around 10% by 2050 relative to 2000 under climate change (representative concentration pathway 4.5 and 8.5), compensating for the expected losses (around −6%) from ‘business-as-usual’. Specifically, high seas closure increases the resilience of fish stocks, as indicated by a mean species abundance index, by 30% in EEZs. We suggest that improving high seas fisheries governance would increase the resilience of coastal countries to climate change.

Out of stock: the impact of climate change on British Columbia’s staple seafood supply and prices.

• Ocean physics and chemistry is being affected significantly by carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, impacting key  marine and coastal organisms, ecosystems and the services they provide us, including seafood.
• These impacts will occur across all latitudes, including in the waters of British Columbia and Canada. This will have
direct impacts on the fish species that are consumed by residents of B.C.
• The supply of B.C.’s “staple seafood” species such as Pacific salmon (e.g., sockeye and chum), Pacific halibut, groundfish species (e.g. sablefish), Pacific hake, crabs and prawns will be affected.
• This study predicts that by 2050: