USING THE POWER OF THE MARKETPLACE TO TRANSFORM FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE
The Seafood Watch Business Program guides and assists companies large and small as they shift their seafood purchases to more sustainable sources. This work helps move the marketplace towards environmentally-responsible fisheries and aquaculture operations.
Seafood Watch’s market-based approach reflects consumers’ growing awareness and concerns about issues affecting the world’s fish populations and the impact of seafood production on ocean health. More than 50% of U.S. consumers say that buying sustainable seafood matters to them – and many are willing to pay a premium for seafood from ocean-friendly sources. Making a commitment to offer ocean-friendly seafood is not only an important action to drive positive environmental change – it's also good for business.
Seafood Watch business partners make time-bound commitments to discontinue selling “Avoid” items and preferentially source “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” seafood items. Through the partnership program, restaurants, distributors and seafood purveyors are encouraged to purchase from sustainable sources, including seafood certified to select eco-standards and seafood from credible fisheries improvement projects (FIPs).
Seafood Watch counts more than 260 businesses – and the number is growing – as recognized Seafood Watch partners. The wide range of business signing commitments with Seafood Watch include major retailers such as Whole Foods Market, contract food service providers Compass Group and Aramark, and even pet food producers like Mars Petcare.
- Compass Group
- Bon Appétit Management Company
- Mars Petcare
- Whole Foods Market
A full partner list is available on the Seafood Watch website.
Implementing a Sustainable Seafood Policy
In addition to these formal, direct partnerships, Seafood Watch is a member of the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions – a coalition of leading conservation groups that work with businesses representing over 80% of the North American grocery and food service markets. Many organizations that belong to the Alliance rely on Seafood Watch science to advise their partners. As a result, an estimated 1,000 businesses with more than 100,000 locations across North America reference Seafood Watch recommendations to inform their purchasing decisions.
Seafood Watch works closely with chefs and culinarians from across the U.S. Chefs are tastemakers who influence the entire supply chain. They educate their customers about a diversity of delicious sustainable seafood species, build demand for "Best Choices" from the seafood suppliers and producers with whom they work, and raise awareness with policy makers. The Culinary program educates and activates this important audience with information updates and trainings, and supports culinary events and demonstrations at the aquarium and around the country.
At the core of this effort is the Blue Ribbon Task Force. This group of leading regional and national culinarians from across the U.S. gathers to exchange ideas and understand how they can have the greatest impact in advancing sustainable seafood and the initiatives of the Seafood Watch program. The Task Force includes more than 50 members selected for their leadership roles in their respective culinary fields.
Example Culinary Spokespeople
- Jonathon Sawyer
- Kerry Heffernan
- Michael Cimarusti
- Richard Blais
- Rick Moonen
- Susan Feniger
- Virginia Willis
- Rick Bayless
A full list of Blue Ribbon Task Force participants is available on the Seafood Watch website.
Experts available for interviews
- Shawn Cronin, Business Program Manager
- Sheila Bowman, Manager of Culinary and Strategic Initiatives