May 8, 2008 Washington – The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) sees the “Common Vision” statement released by a coalition of environmental groups today as a step in the right direction when it comes to focusing on sustainability. However, it is concerned about a process that lacked input from the businesses that actually feed Americans -- the seafood community.
“It is good to see these groups focusing on sustainability and acknowledging the vital role the seafood community plays in those efforts,” said NFI president John Connelly. “However, the common vision is their common vision. Its calls for action were not developed with the input of the full seafood community. We have in the past and will continue to maintain a full commitment to the sustainable use of our global resources. Perhaps better than anyone we know the commitment it takes to successfully harvest enough fish now to feed Americans, while leaving plenty for future generations. It is the key to our livelihood.”
Today’s release calls on seafood businesses to support, “policies and practices that protect the oceans and the long-term viability of our seafood supply.”
“As a community we are and have been fully vested in supporting projects that promote the health of the oceans and the seafood supply,” said Connelly. “We continue to demonstrate that commitment day in and day out through partnerships with environmentally minded groups that help us promote sustainability, safety and certification. Our efforts to incorporate comprehensive programs and strategies are ongoing.”
The coalition says it “recognizes that fulfilling the vision for environmental sustainability is a journey involving many steps.”
“This is their vision for sustainable seafood and we are pleased that they are taking proactive steps to fulfill it. But step one should be recognizing that the seafood community are stewards of suitability and our input and efforts are vital to success. A common vision requires input from the full community-- not a statement that is developed behind closed doors,” said Connelly.