In Australia, there’s been a marked shift in the seafood industry. Now, it’s absolutely clear to the supply chain and the retailers that consumers want to know more about what they’re buying. They might not always choose certified goods at the counter, but they want to know whether their products are sourced responsibly, where they come from – and that someone’s taking care of these things. That’s not just true of fish: a great deal of progress has been made in free range chicken eggs, pigs, and so on. For Australia’s food sector, sustainability has become part of doing business.
My belly full from one too many meat-centric dinners I find myself thinking the Italians are onto something with their seafood-focused Christmas meals. I live in Canada, blessed by three oceans and millions of lakes, I work for the MSC… So why, oh why do I persist with my views that a holiday meal must include turkey or ham? Time to buck tradition!
Dr Amadou Tall is a former member of the MSC’s Technical Advisory Board. His vision is to see the MSC boost its presence in Africa and other developing regions as he believes there is now a political will to manage such resources responsibly.
How would you describe your time on the MSC Technical Advisory Board?
One of the first things I learnt on the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) was that there are lots of acronyms [laughs]. At a later stage I contributed along with colleagues to the MSC Chain of Custody Standard, including DNA testing. I also worked on the question of how to certify fisheries in Africa, where there are many artisanal fisheries. During my tenure I’ve had many proud moments. However, the highlights for me will be when we concluded the MSC Chain of Custody Standard review and when the MSC and the African Union InterAfrican Bureau of Animal Resources decided to work together.
Sweden’s Bothnian Bay vendace fishery, which produces the renowned Kalix löjrom (Caviar of Kalix), was MSC certified in June 2015. Fishing take place only five weeks a year, so I took the opportunity to visit the fishery in action during September. This was my first visit to a certified fishery, and I was amazed by the fishermen’s focus on sustainability.
The “red gold” Kalix löjrom is famous throughout Sweden and the Baltic region. Due to the uniqueness of its colour and flavour, the region’s special roe holds the status of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), much like Champagne or Parma ham.