28 May 2012: Louisbourg Seafoods has joined the World Ocean Council (WOC) as the first company from the fish harvesting sector to become part of the growing international business leadership alliance on Corporate Ocean Responsibility.

“Louisbourg Seafoods, a leader in responsible fisheries, is committed to providing high quality, sustainable seafood,” said co-owner/co-founder Lori Kennedy. “Unfortunately the efforts of individual fishing companies are not enough to ensure a healthy, sustainable future for fish stocks and the industry. Even well-managed and certified fisheries are at risk from developments beyond our control, including the loss of access to productive marine areas and the impacts of other activities on the marine habitats that support fish stocks.”

“The seafood industry must move beyond sustainable seafood to a more comprehensive concept of sustainable seas. Being a part of the WOC means that we can engage with other ocean users on the broader ocean stewardship challenges, such as governance, marine spatial planning, cumulative impacts, water pollution, biodiversity conservation, and invasive species,” Kennedy continued.

“We are particularly excited to explore the use of fishing vessels to collect ocean and climate data as part of the WOC ‘Smart Ocean/Smart Industries’ program. Through this we can contribute to better ocean and weather forecasting, and thereby improve safety at sea,” added Kennedy.

“We encourage other leadership companies in the seafood industry to join the WOC’s unprecedented ocean business alliance and work with other industries in ensuring we have a healthy and productive ocean that supports sustainable fisheries,” concluded Kennedy.

“The seafood industry has an especially compelling case for engaging with other ocean industries,” noted WOC Executive Director, Paul Holthus. “For example, ocean business community collaboration through the WOC is engaging the marine spatial planning (MSP) process to help maintain continued access for responsible economic activities, such as sustainable fisheries. Similarly, the WOC is often the only entity providing industry input into international efforts seeking to develop international marine protected areas and environmental assessments guidelines for high seas activities – developments that will affect a wide range of ocean-going activities, including fisheries.”

The WOC creates business value for the seafood industry through multi-industry collaboration to: a) address the threats to the continued supply of sustainable seafood posed by cumulative impacts to marine ecosystems, b) ensure proposed changes to ocean governance are well informed of, and support, the role of responsible economic activity, c) achieve synergies and savings in finding solutions to the environmental impacts the seafood sector shares with other ocean industries, and d) increase ocean observations and data that can lead to better ocean and weather modeling and forecasting.

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INFORMATION:

Paul Holthus +1 (808) 277-9008 paul.holthus@oceancouncil.org