Japan has a long tradition for appreciation of seafood, and Japanese society is known to be particularly concerned with the quality and food safety of the seafood consumed.
The versatile nature of seafood requires special care to be taken to ensure the desired quality and necessary food safety, said DNV Business Assurance Country Manager for Japan, Mr. Naoki Maeda during a seminar headed by Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Ms. Lisbeth Berg-Hansen.
Mr. Naoki Maeda insisted that fisheries and aquaculture industries are facing particular challenges related to sustainability – environmental, social and economic issues. Wild fish stocks need to be harvested responsibly to maintain the basis for future protein production.
One third of the world’s fish stocks are currently suffering from excess fishing pressure, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is still a threat to fish stocks.
Global trade and increased awareness has resulted in eco-labelling schemes such as the “Marine Stewardship Council for responsible fishing”. About 15 000 MSC-labelled products are currently available.
“In Norway, fisheries representing more than 75 per cent of the total national catch value have joined the program. DNV Business Assurance is the chosen Certification Body for all of these fisheries.
Food safety in the seafood value chain was on the agenda at a full day seminar during an official visit to Japan by Norway’s Prime Minister, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, followed by other Ministers and by an extensive business delegation. By including the Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, the importance of seafood related matters was underlined.
The core of credible verification systems for safe and sustainable seafood is independent accredited standards and verification through independent and competent third party assessments.
Confirmation of safe and responsible practices in resource management and seafood production is important to the consumer, but it is also important to all players in the seafood value chains.
“For seafood production, safety and sustainability is not a “nice to have”, it is a “must have,” says Naoki Maeda, Country Manager for DNV Business Assurance in Japan.