Time to crack down on seafood industry's worst abuses

By Michael Posner & Nishan Degnarain

Michael Posner

But given the rising demand for seafood, growing complications in the supply chain, and the mounting evidence of human rights abuse, collective action is the only way forward.

Over the last year, a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning news stories have revealed human trafficking, forced labor, and other abuses in the seafood industry. The complexity of global seafood supply chains and significant gaps in regulation have made it very difficult to track, much less remedy, these abuses.

Recently, the U.S. government has begun to expand its efforts to monitor and better regulate the seafood industry, recognizing the links between environmental sustainability and food safety. But these efforts have paid too little attention to addressing labor abuses. The solution to these labor problems will require increased regulation, improved corporate sourcing practices, and greater transparency, all predicated on a sharing of responsibility between industry, governments and other stakeholders.

According to the World Bank an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide depend on fish for nutrition. Demand for seafood will continue to rise in the future, as population growth, increasing income, and the rising middle class in developing countries like China and India drive demand.

Read the full article as published by CNBC.
Michael Posner is a Professor of Business and Society and Co-Director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.