Pangasius on the RED LIST by WWF


Pangasius has been moved onto the red list of various updated seafood guides published by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) this year.

The freshwater farmed fish, a staple in the portfolios of seafood companies in Europe, is on the red list for guides WWF has launched for 2010 in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Norway and Denmark, having been previously on the yellow list.

Being on the red list means WWF advises buyers to look for an alternative seafood choice. For species on the yellow list, WWF recommends consumers can stil  buy, but chose as secondary to species on the green list.

The downgrading is “down to problems with governance,” WWF International Global Seafood Leader, Mark Powell, told IntraFish. “Changes can take place when we have new information. This year we have updated our scoring mechanism for farmed fish and we are in the process of doing the same for wild fish.”

In some cases, the guides have different ratings or more detailed ratings, depending on what is available in themarket, he said.

So, for Germany and Belgium, organic pangasius is on the green list. In the guide for Belgium, pangasius is also on the yellow as well as red list, with the red list marked for pangasius sold in retail giant Delhaize Group.

The WWF looks at the various sourcing points available in the market and distils that into the guide, that is, by its very nature, abbreviated, Powell said. “We give our business partners much more detailed information. For example, the information on pangasius that a retailer like Edeka wil  get wil  be much more comprehensive.”

The WWF is moving toward a harmonized, global stance on communicating information to consumers and businesses on seafood, said Powell.

The most information is included as to the reason behind the red listing on the Danish list. “A major problem is that farms pollute the natural environment around them, because nutrients, medicines and pesticides are washed into the surrounding rivers and lakes, and because there is a risk that the farmed fish spread disease to wild fish stocks,” the listing reads. “Furthermore, there is no assurance that the feed used in production does not come from overfished wild stocks.”

The listing also mentions the move toward Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)-labeled pangasius, which is expected to hit markets in 2011.

“As long as the ASC is not in the market, you do not know pangasius is farmed sustainably. Therefore, WWF recommends that you find an alternative. Try one species from the green list instead,” reads the Danish guide. The WWF red listing follows an attack on pangasius by a politician in Europe and an anti-pangasius feature on the U.S. TODAY program.

Last week, Conservative member of the European Parliament Struan Stevenson caused a stir in the seafood industry when he said pangasius is farmed by “slave labor” in the “filthy” Mekong River in Vietnam.

U.K.-based seafood firms Findus Group and Birds Eye Iglo Group both issued statements defending pangasius’ place in the European seafood market.

Source: IntraFish Media

Read also on our blog:

WWF Pangasius ranking: science or marketing? (13 december 2010)

Pangasius on the RED LIST by WWF: Vietnam rejects WWF claim, says its catfish clean (6 december 2010)

Pangasius on the RED LIST by WWF: the Vietnamese response (7 december 2010)

Pangasius on the RED LIST by WWF: WWF answers to VASEP (7 december 2010)




3 Responses to Pangasius on the RED LIST by WWF

  1. Pingback: Pangasius on RED LIST by WWF: WWF answer to VASEP « Qualasa Expertise, be part of the move…

  2. Pingback: WWF Pangasius ranking: science or marketing? | Alaska salmon's Blog

  3. Pingback: WWF Pangasius ranking: science or marketing? « Qualasa Expertise, the Vietnamese Seafood News

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