New online tool to drive climate change strategy in the seafood sector

The fishmonger chooses seafood.  (Image provided with Seafish publication)
The tool will help identify the most important carbon emission points in supply chains. (Image provided with Seafish publication)

A NEW online tool designed to support the seafood sector’s response to climate change and the transition to net zero has been launched.

Seafish, the public body supporting the UK seafood industry, has developed a seafood carbon profiling tool to help businesses measure their carbon footprint and help meet net zero targets.

The tool, now available online, allows companies to register and gain access to an online platform where they can enter data about their supply chain, such as greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon footprints can then be generated and hot spots identified to enable companies to address greenhouse gas emissions issues in their supply chains.

Stuart McLanaghan speaks at the podium.
Stuart McLanaghan says the platform will make a huge difference in the sector’s transition to net zero

Stuart McLanaghan, Responsible Sourcing Director at Seafish, said: “This (new) tool is an important part of our work to support the UK seafood sector’s transition to net zero.

“It is aimed at the entire UK seafood supply chain, but we anticipate that the main users will be buyers from the retail, foodservice and processing industries.

“The tool provides a number of benefits to the industry, but most importantly it will enable the industry to identify the carbon footprint of its seafood products and understand key points.

“This is important because robust data and information are needed to help businesses plan and make informed decisions to drive transformation to accelerate the decarbonization of shared seafood supply chains.”

The tool aims to help decarbonise the seafood sector in line with the UK’s 2050 net zero target (2045 in Scotland).

The tool is available for industrial beta testing and for use in the seafood industry from late 2023, once improvements are made.

It also includes a public area where visitors can access frequently asked questions and see the indicative carbon footprint of seafood products typically sold in the UK.

One of the organizations involved in this development is the UK-based seafood importer, processor and distributor, New England Seafood.

Cassie Leisk, Director of Human Resources and Planet Group, said: “The tool is easy to use and really intuitive.

“You don’t need to have much knowledge or experience in coal to have access to it.

“It’s something that anyone in the industry can benefit from, whether they work on sustainability or work specifically on carbon.

“For me, it’s helpful to translate quite detailed technical information into something simple that anyone can access.”

The tool builds on Seafish’s two previous carbon profiling tools, which enabled companies to assess the carbon impact of their wild-caught seafood products.

One organization that already knows how it can help businesses meet their own greenhouse gas emissions targets is one of the UK’s largest retailers, Tesco.

Ben Lambden, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture manager at Tesco, said: “This tool is incredibly important as it enables us to fully understand carbon emissions across our entire supply base.

“So at a basic level, with wildlife fishing and aquaculture, (this tool) allows us to really understand where we are at and how we can best achieve our goals.

“The beauty of this tool is that it is constantly evolving, so as you continue to use it, more data will be added and viewed, so it should become easier to use.”