Major European retailer slammed for false sustainable fish claims

Date: June 21, 2012

Today in a landmark ruling that should signal the end of a hugely destructive commercial fishing practice, France’s advertising authority, ARPP, ruled that the French supermarket giant Intermarché must pull all advertisements that claim its deep-sea fish are sustainably caught.  

The non-profit BLOOM Association based in France challenged consumer advertisements run by Intermarché that claimed its deep sea fleet, Scapêche, used sustainable fishing practices. The French Authority for the Regulation of Professional Advertising, ARPP, has upheld the challenge. The ARPP declared that the advertisements were misleading in their claims of sustainability and that their fishing did not contribute to “the preservation and the renewal of marine resources” as Intermarché had claimed.

It also warned that Intermarché’s own label claiming “Responsible Fishing” bore too close a resemblance to the Marine Stewardship Council label and risked confusing consumers. The ARPP ruled that Intermarché’s advertisements must be discontinued.

“This decision sends a clear signal to the seafood industry that deep-sea bottom trawling cannot be marketed as ‘sustainable'” said Matthew Gianni, co-founder and policy advisor at the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition.  “We hope the ruling convinces Intermarché to get out of the business of deep-sea bottom trawling, given the damage this fishery causes to its reputation.”

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Posted on Categories EU FisheriesTags