Greener than Thou: MSC, developing countries and the

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
 Bans of late 1990s
 Upgrading of factories, new SOPs, clearer CA
 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
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
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
 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
 Assessment and re-assessment process
MSC and developing countries
 Only few developing country fisheries
 Lack of initial involvement with DCFs
 As of 2006, 3 DCFs certified, all in upper-middle
income countries (incl SA hake) + 2 under
 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
 Ecolabelling as ’market risk-management’
 Food safety problems for the most part
 Sustainable fishery management
 Keep supporting the self-monitoring
 Clarifying and revising the role of BMUs +
appropriate financing
 Net swaps
 Limited role for ecolabelling
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