The wholesale company METRO Deutschland and the hypermarket chain Real are expanding their commitment to sustainable fishing and join the initiative against illegal discards in the fishing industry. The EU-wide introduction of the landing obligation at the beginning of 2019 challenges all actors in the supply chain to take measures to ensure sustainable fisheries management in the coming years. The signatory companies therefore appeal to the Federal Government and industry to work towards the adoption of guidelines and measures that further improve both the ecological and social aspects of fishing. This applies in particular to the prevention of fish from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).
The landing obligation requires the landing of all quoted fish in the catch in order to be able to offset them against the catch quota and to ensure complete documentation. In order to achieve this goal, the signatory players from the fish trade and industry demand the effective implementation of the current legislation as well as the obligation to properly document and fully record the catch. To this end, the signatory companies are advocating, among other things, the creation of appropriate incentives for a change in fishing practices and to improve control measures through the targeted use of camera and sensor technology on board in order to prevent illegal discards.
The introduction of the landing obligation is both an opportunity and a risk for sustainable fishing in the North-East Atlantic, North Sea and Baltic Sea: "A turnaround has been achieved in recent years. In the German seas, many fish stocks, including commercially important ones, have recovered because overfishing has been effectively contained. It must be our common goal that this trend continues", appeals Franziska Autenrieth, Head of Quality Management Food Real. If the landing obligation is implemented without gaps, marine ecosystems will benefit from healthy fish stocks, but industry will also benefit from profitable, robust and high-quality fisheries. However, poor implementation not only threatens to seriously damage the quality of scientific stock estimates, but also the currently recovering fish stocks are threatened by possible overfishing and illegal discards.
Against this background, METRO Deutschland and Real adhere to strict purchasing guidelines in order to curb the main factors endangering fish species: Overfishing and illegal fishing / trade. METRO Deutschland and Real take care to follow the guidelines of independent institutions for the welfare of the seas and fish, e.g. the red list of species that may not be fished, or only under certain conditions. In addition, conserving fishing methods are promoted, so that, among other things, the catching of young animals and by-catch is avoided. METRO Deutschland and Real are continuously and successfully expanding their ranges of sustainably certified fish and seafood products. With the METRO PRO TRACE App, 90 % of the fresh fish assortment can be traced back to the ship or the farm. The app also provides information on the catch category, fishing area, country of origin (for aquaculture) and production site.
Andrea Weber, Director Corporate Responsibility METRO AG and responsible for sustainable fisheries at the company: "At METRO we want to be part of the solution. We play our part in achieving the sustainability goal 14 of UN Agenda 2030 to sustainably conserve and use oceans, seas and marine resources. One of our commitments is that 80 % of our 12 best-selling fish species will be sustainably certified by 2020".
METRO is a leading international specialist in wholesale and food retail. The company operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2016/17, METRO generated sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers. With its sales brands METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as delivery services and digitalisation initiatives METRO sets the standards for tomorrow: for customer focus, digital solutions and sustainable business models.