To blood diamonds, sweatshop apparel and other products to avoid, now add slave shrimp.
The global fishing industry, and the Thai fishing fleet in particular, is increasingly being called to account for abuses that represent not just virtual slavery, but the real thing.
The new attention to human rights is expanding the definition of "sustainable seafood" to include not only fish and the oceans they swim in, but the working conditions of the people who catch them. Indeed, exploitation of people is almost always accompanied by exploitation of nature.
Now, the same tools that help buyers choose fillets from environment-friendly sources are starting to be used to trace seafood to socially responsible suppliers as well. At the big Boston Seafood Expo this week, the Obama administration announced a traceability program to track seafood from its harvest through its import into the U.S., part of a broader plan to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. California's Transparency in Supply Chains Act requires businesses to disclose their efforts, if any, to eradicate human trafficking and slavery from their supply chains.
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