Are you a Friend of the Sea? SMS Check Seafood Before you Buy It

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At the current rate of expansion, we expect in 2008 to become the main international certification scheme for sustainable seafood.

Fish stocks around the globe are dwindling. More than 1.000 fish species are included in the IUCN Redlist of endangered species. Among these, North Atlantic cod and salmon, swordfish, most species of sharks and rays, sturgeon and Bluefin tuna. 30% of the stocks are either depleted or overexploited and at least 20% are data deficient.

FRIEND OF THE SEA, a project for certification and promotion of sustainable seafood, allows now almost anybody around the world to obtain real-time seafood environmental status information, before purchase.

Whether at a restaurant, reading the Menu, or in a supermarket or local fish market, it is enough to send an SMS with the marine species name (e.g.: cod, salmon, gadus morhua) and the system will reply immediately with a comprehensive description of most recent stock assessment and fishing method impact and selectivity. If the product is from a sustainable fishery, the system will reply that it’s a Good Choice. If the fishery is unsustainable, the stock is depleted or on the IUCN Redlist of endangered species, the system will notify about the conservation concerns. (Friend of the Sea SMS system: US: 90430; UK: 07781489880 - standard mobile phone SMS charges apply)

FRIEND OF THE SEA is a main certification scheme for products from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. It is the only scheme in the world covering both wild caught and farmed seafood (offshore or inland), providing a unified logo for all certified seafood products.

Fisheries conform and are approved if the stock is neither depleted, nor overexploited nor data deficient and if the fishing method generates less than 8% discards (the average worldwide) and has no impact on the seabed.

FRIEND OF THE SEA has encountered a strong market response and in only 2 years since it launch, Carrefour, Coop and Iper markets around Europe have joined and assessed all their private label products. Both fresh, frozen and canned products are already on the European, US and African markets with the logo. Among these, organic salmon, halibut and cod farmed in the Shetland Islands; tuna fished pole an line in the Azores; Mediterranean anchovies, Atlantic sardines and Mackerels fished by purse seiners; turbot farmed in Northern Spain; Italian Caviar from farmed sturgeon and many others.

“At the current rate of expansion, we expect in 2008 to become the main international certification scheme for sustainable seafood.” affirms Dr. Paolo Bray, director of FRIEND OF THE SEA. “Key success factors are the simple and clearer message, the strictest approval criteria, the lower cost, and the non profit, industry independent soul of our mission.”


Paolo Bray - Director

Tel: +39.348.5650306


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