Demand of European consumers, retailers and political pressure benefit nature and people in developing countries

Philippines, Vienna – WWF research on the socio-economic and environmental benefits of a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in the Philippines revealed the positive effects of European market driven changes towards sustainable development in developing countries. „Demand of European consumers, retailers and corporate buyers, as well as political pressure exerted by the European Union prompted noticeable change for the benefit of marine resources and livelihoods of people who depend on them“, states Simone Niedermüller, fisheries expert with WWF Austria.

The analysis of a Fisheries Improvement Project at two sites in the Philippines (Lagony Golf and Mindoro) – supporting 6,000 fishermen to shift their fisheries towards sustainable and better quality tuna for the European market – brought to light a multitude of positive effects, incentivised by:

  • EU laws and controls – e.g. ‚yellow’ and ‚red card’: impending import bans for failing to take measures against illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing
  • Demand for sustainable and better quality yellowfin tuna by European consumers, retailers and corporate buyers

The following improvements were observed:

  • positive ecological impacts: sustainable and legal fishing lead to sustainable fish stocks and fair competition
  • positive social impacts: better income leads to improved livelihoods
  • positive governance impacts and increased investments of national and local governments
  • positive socio-economic impacts on gender equality and civil society empowerment

The case study demonstrates „that global demand for sustainably caught seafood can have a positive impact on the livelihoods of artisanal fishermen and result in better management of marine resources in developing countries“, Niedermüller calls on consumers, corporate buyers and political decision makers to stay on and pursue this course.

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Sustainable Tuna for Europe How EU Consumers, Retailers and Politics benefit People and Nature in Developing Countries

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