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Greenpeace praises FishChoice for adding labor abuse policy, takes swipe at MSC for failures

Group highlights what it sees as MSC's failure to implement a robust auditing mechanism.

Greenpeace is lauding a new interim policy from NGO FishChoice that it says provides an effective auditing mechanism for forced labor, child labor and human trafficking that could be occurring in the Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) listed on its platform.

The policy is much stronger than the MSC's Chain of Custody standard, which Greenpeace and other NGOs say lacks any meaningful complaint mechanism, Andy Shen, a senior oceans advisor at Greenpeace USA, told IntraFish.

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FishChoice has contacts for more than 600 seafood companies and supplies its members with sustainability details on 5,000 seafood products, according to its website. Its companion site FisheryProgress provides information on the progress of global fishery improvement projects (FIPs).

Shen said the FishChoice policy also provides a swift course for action if an abuse is detected.

"FishChoice also says in its interim policy they will require offenders to provide immediate remediation of abuses, as well as providing plans and procedures for preventing future human rights abuses. That is very important," he said.

The revised labor requirements in the MSC's Chain of Custody are problematic in assessing high-risk countries, and audit programs ineffective, Greenpeace said in June in a statement signed by Conservation International, the Freedom Fund, Greenpeace,the International Labor Rights Forum, Human Rights Watch and eight other groups.

The MSC told IntraFish in June its continuing to engage with labor rights groups, and it "will continue to work with existing social standard setters to strengthen best practice and support new solutions to tackle this issue."

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