Crown Princess Victoria participated in a virtual keystone dialogue with the seafood industry and ocean experts to discuss sustainable fishing practices this week.
In a speech where she advocated for sustainable fishing, Crown Princess Victoria said: “Transforming the global seafood industry is no small task. It is more like turning an ocean liner around: it is difficult, because of its size. But its size is also what makes it worth turning.”
The virtual keystone dialogue was hosted for SeaBOS, the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship initiative that was created to see if keystone actors have the ability to change the seafood system to be more sustainable.
According to Keystone Dialogue’s official website, SeaBOS “connects the global seafood business to science, connects wild capture fisheries to aquaculture, and connects European and North American companies to Asian companies. The ambition is to lead a global transformation towards sustainable seafood production and a healthy ocean. The initiative will actively contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular Goal 14 – conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.”
Crown Princess Victoria attended the virtual meeting on Monday and Tuesday this week, joining industry experts—including representatives from the 10 largest seafood companies in the world—to discuss new measures.
Crown Princess Victoria continued her speech, saying that she had been following SeaBOS’s progress, praising them for having the courage to listen to science “and the integrity to let that knowledge guide your decisions. Even when that has meant challenging standard business practices. At the moment, the world needs that kind of leadership. Maybe now more than ever.”
She continued: “We are facing a catastrophic decline in biodiversity, both on land and at sea. Climate change is causing marine species to disappear from their habitat twice as fast as land animals. And rising water temperatures put farmed fish at increasing risk of disease. Meanwhile, combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing remains a huge global challenge.
“Ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the global seafood industry: You are used to working towards clear and ambitious goals. You know the power of honouring your commitments. And you are not afraid to exercise leadership.
“I am convinced that if anyone can achieve a global transformation towards sustainable seafood production and a healthy ocean, you are the group to do it. And if you do that – if you show the world that this can really be done – I know that others are going to follow.
“There is a wide range of industries that depend on the ocean. And many other sectors that depend on other ecosystems and the services they provide. These industries are looking to you right now. They are ready to follow in your footsteps – to take your lead. But they need to know that it will be worth the effort. They need to see results.”
Crown Princess Victoria acknowledged that it will be a difficult task, one that is great and complex, but said “I need to stress how urgent it is that we keep moving ahead, on all fronts.
“This is not the time to postpone important decisions. This is not the time to duck away from responsibility. This is the time to set ambitious and time-bound goals. The time to act – and to turn the ship around. Before it is too late.
“So please, let us show the rest of the world that this can be done. And let us make the most of these coming two days.”
The Royal House noted that when the virtual keynote dialogue ended on Tuesday, several goals were set with deadlines on how to act. Crown Princess Victoria praised the move, saying, “By committing to ambitious and time-set goals, you have shown that SeaBOS is not just a place for nice talks, good intentions and pleasant company.
“No: SeaBOS is a gathering of responsible and action-oriented role models, ready to be bold and to act for the benefit of themselves and the ocean they depend on. The ocean we all depend on.”