Agri Business

Urban consumers select preferences to make seafood trade unsustainable

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on August 24, 2021

The consumer's most favourite Hilsa fish. (file photo)   -  BusinessLine

Sustainable fishing is eroded due to their focus only on six species

A new study finds the urban consumers as one of the important reasons for the unsustainability of the seafood trade in India and suggests a collective of various stakeholders called seafood commons as a solution.

The study by a team of researchers from Ashoka University, InSeason Fish and Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning (FERAL), says that urban seafood consumers who pay high prices for seafood in India reject diverse options and choose only a few select seafoods.

Urban seafood consumption focuses on only six species groups on average through the year despite marine fisheries in India producing highly diverse and seasonal seafood catch consisting of at least 200 edible species. Due to this mismatch between seafood harvest and consumption, sustainable fishing in India is eroded.

In such circumstances, the researchers suggest that fisheries in India can be sustained only if all parts of the seafood supply chain are supportive. To ensure this, they recommend a novel, holistic approach, called the seafood commons, where fishers, traders and seafood eaters work together to support sustainable fisheries. In terms of policy, researchers recommend that regulations move beyond those on fishing and encompass the entire supply chain.

The study’s findings have key implications for how fisheries and seafood sustainability policies should be implemented in India, whose marine fishing resources have begun showing symptoms of decline. India is the third-largest harvester of marine captured seafood globally, following China and Indonesia and its fisheries are also highly integrated into globalised seafood supplies.

The study was conducted among seafood eaters in New Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Chennai funded by the Wipro Foundation through the Wipro Sustainability Seeding Fellowship.

Divya Karnad, the lead author of the study and Assistant Professor at Ashoka University, says, “Managing fisheries alone is not resulting in global seafood sustainability. Instead, globalised seafood supplies allow for some places to have sustainable fisheries at the cost of others, which have to make up the deficit. The only way forward is to bring the demand for seafood in sync with sustainable seafood supplies”.

Published on August 24, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like