For large brands that want to offer more sustainable seafood to their customers, there are two choices: (1) Buy fish from sources that are certified as sustainable, or (2) Improve fisheries and move them towards certification.
By Wendy Goyert and Pablo Guerrero
Fishing for mahi mahi in Ecuador may look much like the artisanal craft it has been for decades, but practices on the water are very different than just a few years ago.
US businesses are backing Peru’s mahi mahi fishery in a big way. The Peruvian government recently received a letter from 26 major US-based seafood buyers and importers pledging their support for the Peruvian mahi mahi fishery improvement project (FIP) and urged officials to actively participate in the advancement of the fishery toward the MSC standard. The US is the top importer of mahi mahi from Peru, so this level of economic demand for responsibly sourced seafood is especially significant.
The U.S. government issued new regulations in December 2016 to restrict the import of seafood caught by vessels engaged in illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. While the rule is a step in the right direction, it does not cover shrimp and abalone. World Wildlife Fund has urged that the rule be expanded to include them as soon as possible and, ultimately, all species. WWF’s fact sheet on the IUU regulation provides an overview on how the rules are changing, what it means for the seafood industry, and the benefits that companies can expect as a result.
Kien Giang province is nestled in the southwest of Vietnam, featuring a prominent coastline along the Gulf of Thailand. Here in these tepid waters lives the blue swimming crab, a crustacean with an olive-green body and front claws the color of the sky on a clear day.
WWF is working with some of the world’s most innovative farmers to improve shrimp production.
Shrimp has quickly become the most popular seafood in the US. Each of us eats about four pounds of it every year on average, but have you ever wondered where all that shrimp comes from?
By all accounts, Glenn Pritchard and Mia Isaacs should be rivals. They each own a seafood processing plant and exporting company in The Bahamas, and both stake a claim to the lucrative spiny lobster business. Their products reach restaurants at home and massive markets in North America, Europe, and Asia.
But one unmatched necessity brings these two competitors together without a second thought: a healthy and robust lobster population in Bahamian waters.
Between 2015 and the two first months of 2016, over 10% of farmed salmon production in Chile, or more than 100 thousand tons, has been certified according to the ASC standard, a certification and labeling scheme for responsibly farmed seafood which came off the ground with support of WWF and the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) in 2009.
At the break of dawn on a warm February day, I was travelling in a van heading south along the Peruvian coast to the small port town of Pucusana. This is a place rich in culture and tradition, and home to a mahi mahi fishery where the community is working to conserve and secure its fish stocks for future generations of family fishers.
It’s like something from a spy novel. A caravan of seven cars moving illegal goods – the first car is a decoy with legal product and paperwork. As inspectors check that car, the others loaded with contraband pass without even slowing down. They aren’t moving jewels, stolen art or weapons. They’re moving fish.