Lancaster University - Transforming Tomorrow

Transforming Tomorrow 6 Oceans cover approximately 70% of the Earth's surface, and are the site of significant sustainability challenges, including: illegal fishing, forced labour in supply chains, antibiotic use in seafood production, plastic pollution and the response to climate change. The SeaBOS initiative works with ten of the world's largest seafood companies and a group of scientists, to co-develop a stewardship approach to these challenges. The ‘keystone actors’ framing was developed by the Stockholm Resilience Centre in 2015 when researchers identified there were several larger seafood companies that accounted for a relatively larger percentage of wild capture, fish feeds and aquaculture activities. These companies are called keystone actors after the ecology concept whereby keystone species play a disproportionate role in structuring ecosystem function. Keystone actors are companies of an economic size to be impactful as well as working across the globe because of their span of activities. The working hypothesis of the SeaBOS initiative is that if these member companies come together and work with science to develop best practice in response to challenge areas (see below) then there may be a cascading transformation across the whole industry. Within the SeaBOS initiative, science and business collaborate on the basis of shared commitments for change towards sustainable seafood production and a healthy ocean. The science team provides information and support for business as it seeks to further develop company policies, data gathering and corporate reporting. In this ‘dance’ both partners learn more about the possibilities for corporate biosphere stewardship (see also P14 for perspectives on stewardship). The commitments made by SeaBOS include the following: n Improve transparency and traceability in SeaBOS company operations. n Engage in concerted efforts to help reduce illegal, underreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seek to ensure IUU products and endangered species are not present in SeaBOS company operations, nor in supply chains. n Engage in concerted efforts to eliminate any form of modern slavery, including forced, bonded and child labour, in SeaBOS company operations and along supply chains. n Work towards reducing the use of antibiotics in aquaculture. n Reduce the use of plastics in seafood operations, and encourage global efforts to reduce plastic pollution. n Reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These are tough challenges, but ones the member companies are working towards (see opposite). In addition, working closely with business develops insight and expertise for researchers who are working in the initiative. Keystone actors and dialogues: The Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS) project