Greener than Thou: MSC, developing countries and the

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When the market helps:
Standards, ecolabels and resource
management systems in East Africa
Stefano Ponte (DIIS),
Reuben Kadigi (SUA)
and Winnie Mitullah (Univ. of Nairobi)
SAFE Final Conference,
Zanzibar 31 May-1 June 2010
Objective of the paper
 Examine the role that standards and
management practices play in maintaining a
rewarding and sustainable export fish
industry in East Africa
 Two steps:
 Maintaining access to EU markets by complying
with food safety standards
 Application of regulations, stndards, ecolabels and
fishery management systems to ensure the
sustainability of the resource
Complying with food safety
standards 1
 EU food safety regulation on imports of fish
 Application of EU rules in fish exporting
countries
 Bans of late 1990s
 Upgrading of factories, new SOPs, clearer CA
roles
 EU inspections in 2000 – green light
Complying with food safety
standards 2
 EU follow up inspection in 2006
 Fine-tuning of regulations and SOPs
 Lack of upstream controls (on the lake)
 Landings for export only in approved sites
(Tanzania)
Sustainability and fishery
management systems 1
 Traditional ’rule and punish systems’
 Fish/net size regulation for Nile perch:
 6 in. net min size; 20 in. fish min size
 juvenile fish
 illegal to trade it even in local market
 In practice: difficult to monitor/control
 Top-down punitive measures do not work in the long
term
Sustainability and fishery
management systems 2
 Changes in demand – ’the market helps’
 Self-regulation (NEW!)




Fish processors (started in Ug, extended to Tz and K)
Do not buy NP under regulatory size
Own inspection unit (self-financed)
CAs impose sanctions (closure of plants)




Motivations: Market vs. Sustainability
Does it work beyond the landing site?
Motivations, incentives, ’blame’
Alternative markets for juvenile fish (DRC, Sudan)
Sustainability and fishery
management systems 3
 Community involvement in fishery management
 Beach Management Units (BMUs)





More awareness on sustainability issues
Lack of resources and incentives
Difficult to confiscate gear
Need to address constraints under which fishers operate
Net swaps, not military operations
Ecolabelling
 Market-based initiatives that seek to address
the challenges of fish stock management
 Ecolabels
 Pocket guides & advisory lists
 Procurement guidelines
 Role of NGOs in promoting these
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
 Main features of MSC
 Chain of custody
 Logo
 Certification against 3 principles
 Status of stock
 Impact of fishery on the ecosystem
 Performance of the fishery management
system
 Assessment and re-assessment process
MSC and developing countries
 Only few developing country fisheries
(DCFs)
 Lack of initial involvement with DCFs
 As of 2006, 3 DCFs certified, all in upper-middle
income countries (incl SA hake) + 2 under
assessment
 2010: still only 3 (of which one in a low-income
country) certified and 5 under assessment
Ecolabelling initiatives on Lake Victoria 1
 Pre-assessment for MSC
 To counteract negative images of the
industry (e.g. Darwin’s nightmare)
 To encourage more active government
engagement in sustainability
 To stimulate value addition
 Unlikely to lead to full assessment
 Naturland certification (Tanzania)
 Kyoga Wild (Uganda)
Ecolabelling initiatives on Lake Victoria 2
 Issues
 Collective vs individual initiatives
 Environmental and certification outcomes
vs. Stimulating focus on sustainable
management
 Ecolabelling as ’market risk-management’
Conclusions
 Food safety problems for the most part
fixed
 Sustainable fishery management
 Keep supporting the self-monitoring
system
 Clarifying and revising the role of BMUs +
appropriate financing
 Net swaps
 Limited role for ecolabelling
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