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Fish Ratings – Hong Kong – 04 Apr 2021: Fish Ratings has assigned a provisional Ethical, Saintly and Good (ESG) Relevance Score of ‘5’ to Green Spotted Puffer, reflecting its surprisingly aggressive nature as well as the difficulty of distinguishing the species from several others that have the same label.
Fish Ratings’ ESG Relevance Scores are different from those of other marine life rating agencies, such as Krill Rating Agency, in that they do not represent moral judgements on the ethics of specific fish. That would be too easy.
Instead, Fish Ratings uses an esoteric scoring system to generate a number from ‘1’ to ‘5’ that indicates the relevance and materiality of ESG elements to an existing rating decision. While the numbers give the appearance of scientific rigour, the scores are actually subjective, allowing investors to agree or disagree with the way in which we have treated ESG at both a fish and oceanic level, and prompting them to make their own judgements instead (which they would have had to do without the ESG Relevance Score anyway).
Green Spotted Puffer (dichotomyctere nigroviridis, or tetraodon nigroviridis) is carnivorous and frequently known to eat other fish with which it shares an aquarium at the first sign of weakness, a factor which severely limits its ESG appeal, notwithstanding its “green” label.
The fish is also extremely demanding, requiring large quantities of slightly brackish, low-nitrate water and frequent cleaning, owing to its propensity to devour any other fish that might keep algae in check.
Virtually nothing is known about the conditions required for D. nigroviridis to breed, so fish that are issued into the market have always been caught in the wild and often carry parasites. For this reason, Green Spotted Puffer should be quarantined in a special purpose vehicle before being added to a portfolio.
The combination of these poor ESG attributes effectively caps Green Spotted Puffer’s Fish Default Rating (FDR) at its current level of ‘B+’.
“The East Pacific green fish market operates on local guidelines that differ somewhat from commonly accepted global standards,” said Zhang Qiande, Associate Director at Fish Ratings. “Fish collectors with specific ESG mandates should apply rigorous due diligence processes, even when fish are labeled as ‘green’.”
Furthermore, owing to lax labeling standards, the name Green Spotted Puffer may refer to any of three similar Asian pufferfish in the genus Dichotomyctere.
D. nigroviridis is the greenest of the three, though some might argue that its colouration is more acid yellow.