Sustainable Seafood 101

Sustainable Seafood 101

Sustainable seafood is becoming more important, as suppliers respond to consumer demand for environmentally friendly practices of harvesting marine life. More and more, companies are setting goals to ensure that their practices are sustainable, and seeking recognition through certification companies ( Learn more ).
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Certification of Sustainability
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Certification of sustainability is something that seafood suppliers ( Learn more ).
These certifiers, along with consumers and major players in the seafood industry are working together to implement change toward sustainability in the seafood industry ( Learn moreoptions.
As consumer demand for seafood continues to grow, the time is ripe to evaluate how seafood is being caught and sourced. With this goal in mind, it is pertinent to ask how food retailers, producers, and restaurants are doing their part to ensure a sustainable future for seafood.
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Catering to Consumers  
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Some 22% of grocery shoppers say sustainability is important when purchasing seafood, but despite this relatively low percentage, sustainability has become a hot topic in recent years.
FMI Director of Research Steve Markenson explained that his organization is seeing “a majority of folks hungry for information about seafood in general, and a majority want to be more knowledgeable about seafood sustainability.”
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Sustainability in the Restaurant
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In the restaurant sector, many chefs believe that the positive environmental impact of servingsustainable seafood is worth it. ( Learn moreoptions.
Nathan Gould, chef de cuisine at O Ya in Boston and owner and chef at Martha’s Vineyard Smokehouse, told Forbes that he truly cares “about sourcing ingredients and especially seafood in a sustainable manner to ensure future populations of chefs and diners have access to the same ingredients that I have.”
Writing for FSR magazine, chef Thomas Card explained that “a large majority of American consumers are willing to pay more for seafood that is certified as sustainably and responsibly sourced” and that consumers “agree that it is essential to protect the ocean’s resources for future generations.”
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Moving Toward Sustainability
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For their part, grocers have been making the move toward sustainable seafood for several years, with many big players taking on major initiatives. Albertsons has recently announced that over 100 of its own branded seafood products will now bear the Responsible Choice logo for sustainable sourcing, and Walmart’s Great Value canned tune will now be sourced exclusively from suppliers that are Marine Stewardship Council-certified.
Giant Food recently joined the Ocean Disclosure Project in an effort to help support transparency in the seafood supply chain.
Ira Kress, Giant Food president, explained that the company wants for shoppers “to be able to trust that when they purchase any seafood product from Giant, that it is coming from a verified source.” For Giant Food, participating in the Ocean Disclosure Project “represents our assurance to total transparency and being able to offer products that are in line with our commitment to sustainable sourcing throughout every department of the store.”
Food Producers
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Many food producers are also taking steps toward sustainability, with Bumble Bee Seafoods planning to have all of its branded seafood recognized as sustainable, or on the way to sustainable certification ( Learn moreyears.
Restaurants
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Chefs Yoni Lang and Jeff Miller, who recently opened Rosella sushi restaurant in New York City, have put a major focus on serving sustainable seafood to their patrons.
“The sustainability aspect is more about a refusal to serve products that are destructive to the environment,” Miller explained to Eater New York. The result is “a new world of fish, flavors, and products for us, and there’s just no going back now.”
The National Restaurant Association also offers a guide for those restaurants who want to increase their seafood sustainability.
 

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