What exactly is responsible fishing?
Responsible fishing is a type of fishing that does not damage marine ecosystems. It ensures that natural fish stocks are still able to reproduce so that species are not depleted.
Responsible aquaculture involves livestock rearing methods that do not damage the environment (rearing practices, foods, etc.). It's all about maintaining a balance so that water-dwelling species are not threatened, marine plant life does not deteriorate, etc.
Why do we need to take action?
The current state of affairs gives cause for alarm. We are taking too many fish out of our oceans. According to the WWF, 31% of the world's fish stocks are over-farmed. And in the Mediterranean, the number is closer to 93%. Illegal and unregulated fishing activities contribute hugely to this: in the short term, they could be responsible for depleting up to 26 million tonnes of fish per year – that's more than 30% of world fishing.
It is therefore urgent that we implement initiatives and take action to promote more responsible fishing. That's why Carrefour has been supporting the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) labels for many years. Carrefour was also the first French retailer to have obtained MSC and ASC certification for its fishmonger stalls. As of 2018, all Carrefour hypermarket fishmonger counters are now certified, and they will soon be joined by Carrefour Market fishmonger counters. At the same time, Carrefour is also expanding its range of organic aquaculture and Carrefour Quality Line products.
Is this really so new?
Consumers have only relatively recently realised just how fragile our oceans are and how their fish stocks are being depleted. The sector is starting to take a stand, from production through to distribution. But nothing will be possible unless we all change our own behaviour.
Carrefour has banned all species under threat from its fish counters (such as sharks, grenadiers and emperors). It has decided to stock a wide range of MSC-certified, ASC-certified and Organic products at all of its counters. But consumers also have a major role to play: by opting to buy products labelled as “responsible aquaculture and fishing” products, and by varying the species that they purchase.
What is the long-term aim?
Carrefour's aim is to ensure that by 2020, all of the fish that it sells at its deep-frozen foods counters and in tins are obtained through responsible fishing practices, as well as half of all fish sold at its fresh fish counters.