A matter of choice

 
Published: Sunday 31 March 1996

-- IT HAS come a full circle. Humans, who were responsible for the debacle in the first place, are now being asked to act as saviours too. The world's depleting fish stocks could get a boost if a new initiative of the World Wide Fund for Nature (wwF) and Unilever Plc, one of the world's largest buyers of frozen fish, gets underway.

The scheme, announced on February 22 this year at London, UK, lays emphasis on consumer choice by hoping to prevail upon them to buy products from those firms which backed sustainable fishing worldwide. This should go a long way in restoring the number of fish in the oceAs. Says Michael Sutton, director of WWF'S endangered seas campaign, "In a few years' tim@ we want the consumer to be able to go to a supermarket and choose between fish products which come from well-managed stocks and those which do not".

An independent Marine Stewardship Council (msc) would be created which will promote sustainable fishing and also Jay down standards for individual fisheries. Unilever and WWF will spend two years to discuss the formation of the msc. Products made of fish caught in accordance with the standards would be marked with alogo which will allow environmentally aware consumers to buy from 'responsible producers'.

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