Fish and fish products are a natural part of people's diets. Around 14kg of fish are consumed in Germany per head each year, the worldwide average is around 20kg. Worldwide production has doubled over the past 30 years and the demand for fish continues to be strong. Because natural stocks have significantly declined due to intensive fishing, fish are becoming increasingly caught from breeding farms instead of in the wild. Yet the intended friendlier fishing method has not lead to a reduction in the ecological risks in the industry, but rather generated its own specific problems.
The main risks in the industry arise from the initial fishing through to the processing of the product. Due to the low formal requirements placed on the work activities carried out on fishing boats and in the processing chain, the social risks are also concentrated on this phase of the value-added chain. The product labelling is also often insufficient due to lack of transparency when the fish are sold to consumers and thus it is rarely possible to trace where the fish was caught and by what method.