Turning the Tide on Unsustainable Fish Supply Chains—Stories from China and the United States | Wilson Center
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Turning the Tide on Unsustainable Fish Supply Chains—Stories from China and the United States

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During the Chinese New Year festival, it is common for people to greet each other with the phrase 年年有鱼  “May There be Fish Every Year.” A clever word play salutation as the word “fish” sounds exactly like the word “surplus.” Fish appear aplenty in China as the country’s aquaculture and marine fishing industries are booming—but many production practices are unsustainable. Overfishing and pollution have greatly depleted China’s coastal fishery resources and areas such as the East China Sea are nearly bereft of fish. China’s expanding aquaculture industry relies heavily on fishmeal made from wild-caught fish, a practice that is damaging wild fish stocks. The United States—a notable top importer of fish and shellfish from China—also has faced challenges in protecting fish stocks in its coastal waters.

At this February 9th CEF meeting speakers will discuss efforts in China and the United States to promote more sustainable seafood and aquaculture supply chains. Han Han—founder and CEO of China Blue—China’s first NGO devoted to promoting more sustainable aquaculture—will talk about her organization’s partnerships with Chinese fishing industry and the launch of iFish, China’s first seafood sustainability database. Braddock Spear, head of the Systems Division at Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, will talk about how his organization creates information tools that provide data on the status of fisheries and seafood stocks to corporate partners who can then take actions to improve the sustainability of the seafood they purchase. Laurel Bryant, the Chief of External Affairs for the Office of Communications in NOAA Fisheries, will talk about how the United States has used science-based stewardship to “turn the tide” on overfishing problems and build up collapsing fish stocks in its coastal waters.