As expected, Thailand was downgraded to Tier 3 by the US State Department in their annual Trafficking in Persons Report in June. In addition, several media reports about the problem of human trafficking in the seafood industry were released in the past months.
On occasion of these incidences, SeafoodSource organized the webinar “Trafficking in Thailand: How Importers can Avoid the Pitfalls” on June 31st.
The webinar was about how severe the trafficking problem is, and what the industry can do to improve working conditions and ensure that human slavery cannot be found in the supply chain.
Katrina Nakamura was invited to speak at this webinar and introduced the Labor Safe Screen. It is an online diagnostic tool (input and results are 100% confidential) for the seafood industry to verify that labor is safe across the supply chain and to pin-point where risks are. In those cases where extreme risks are found, simple steps are recommended to improve working conditions.
Click LaborSafeScreen_Summer 2014 to download the slides.
The Sustainability Incubator is working with local organizations on improving Hawai’i fisheries and promote local seafood.
Hawai’i Longline Fisheries
In cooperation with the Hawai’i Seafood Council, a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) pre-assessment of the pelagic Hawai’i Longline Fishery with focus on bigeye tuna and swordfish was updated for 2014.
The update is geared toward helping Hawaii-based seafood companies demonstrate the sustainability of Hawaii pelagic seafood products to US retailers, who require proof of standing against the MSC standard. More and more US retailers expect fisheries to meet the MSC standard (as shown by consistent 80 scores across the MSC indicators) or otherwise to operate a ‘fishery improvement project’ until such time as the set scores are achieved.
A detailed work plan supplements the pre-assessment and shows how the required scores will be reached and exceeded for any remaining indicator scoring below that number.
Hawai’i SmallScale Fisheries
Together with Conservation International’s Hawai’i Fishtrust (http://www.conservation.org/projects/Pages/hawaii-fish-trust.aspx), the Sustainability Incubator is developing sustainability standards for small-scale fisheries in Hawai’i. The standards will be combine Marine Stewardship Council pre-assessment industry standards, and traditional ecological knowledge and practices for pono (responsible) fishing specific to Hawai’i.