Good Governance

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September 2010, Hamburg: WWF, EDEKA and Kutterfisch ask Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki to put an end to the short-sighted scramble for fish.
© WWF
Strong market demand and poor governance often support unsustainable fisheries. WWF and its partners call upon governments and fisheries organisations to improve the way fisheries are managed, monitored and controlled.
At its root, the fisheries crisis can be seen as a failure of good governance because ultimately, whether our oceans are sustainably managed depends on the legal, commercial and social rules and behavior of our society. 

WWF promotes a wide range of measures to combat illegal fishing and to reduce fishing pressure in order to allow over-exploited or depleted fish populations to recover and ensure that commercial fish stocks remain "healthy" . 

WWF´s Smart Fishing approach focuses on:

Traceable fisheries, transparent markets

Transparency and traceability of fisheries  is oriented towards ensuring sustainability and legality, backed up with effective monitoring and control measures. In the Southern Ocean, for example, an effective international catch documentation scheme has sharply reduced illegal catches of toothfish (“Chilean sea bass”).

Creating a reliable system for seafood traceability

In a groundbreaking statement issued during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos at the end of January 2013, WWF joined public and private sector leaders calling for a new global seafood traceability system to ensure that consumers, businesses and governments have full access to information about commercial marine fishing practices. 

Creating such a reliable system will require harmonizing both legal and commercial practices across national boundaries and subsectors of the seafood industry, ranging from small scale producers to global retail chains in the EU, US and Japan. The statement recognizes the urgent need for tracing fish products from "bait to plate" to link markets to sustainability and ending illegal, unfair fishing practices all over the world. 

Certification
 
Fisheries products labeled under the Marine Stewardship Council come to the market with a chain-of-custody certification that provides traceability for a growing list of seafood products, including important sources of highly traded whitefish (e.g., Alaskan pollock). Meanwhile, private enterprises can bring innovative information technology to the seafood traceability business.

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