Year by year again «European Seafood Exposition» in Brussels the world's biggest seafood show. Because Europe the biggest fish importer. Because the oceans around Europe have already been depleted.
Year by year more exhibitors. Year by year more exhibitors displaying a «sustainable» choice. Sustainability sells, with or without a label. Increasingly without.
Yet among the thousands of exhibitors and visitors, there are also fishmongers who think beyond the day. Who for one want to know seriously what a label can get going. If it will lead to a decrease in fishing? 'Cause this is the problem, they say: that too much fish are taken from the sea, isn't it? And is a label changing anything in this?
Thoughtful fishmongers like these get even more thoughtful when answered: Of course there are too much fish taken because too much fish are eaten. Sure, this aims at fish sales. So we are selling too much fish?, one of them asks. And he replies himself: Yes, you're probably right. Today, we are selling also the fish we will lack in our counter tomorrow.
Unfortunately such thoughtful people are a small minority in the industry. And they act within narrow boundaries if they want to stay in the industry. For them and for all of their colleagues it would be much easier if consumers would simply buy less fish. Then the market could play again, under changed basic conditions.