Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sustainable Guidelines for Seafood

Just launched is a new site The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions . This is just the kind of consolidation that we need. Now that some of those have gotten together to set some basic guidelines for all my fellow fishmongers, chefs, cooks, and consumers to take a good look at. One problem that has troubled the entire issue of seafood sustainability is the fragmented and confusing messages from a myriad of experts. By the way I am not an expert, just a concerned fishmonger trying to make a difference. When I was looking to label all the seafood I currently buy, sell, and stock I collected data from no less than a dozen organizations with different guidelines, I think we are moving in a a better direction. Though brand new, the site offers specific ideas for everyone to use in their efforts at a better future for the oceans.

Below is the Alliance's press release

Businesses Seeking Expertise from the Conservation Community
Now Have Clear Steps for Moving Ahead on Sustainable Seafood
Groups Release Ambitious, Realistic Vision for Ensuring a Long-Term Seafood Supply
(Washington, D.C.) – More than a dozen Canadian and U.S. organizations today released steps companies
can take to develop and implement a comprehensive, corporate policy on sustainable, wild-caught and farmed
seafood. The “Common Vision for Environmentally Sustainable Seafood” highlights a clear path for achieving
sustainability in the seafood industry. For a full copy of the Common Vision, visit
These organizations – which all have a strong history of working with the seafood industry and policymakers
on environmentally responsible seafood issues – have partnered to form the Conservation Alliance for Seafood
“Our Common Vision outlines an ambitious but realistic path toward sustainable seafood that businesses can
follow to safeguard the future viability of their industry,” said Mark Powell, vice president for fish conservation,
Ocean Conservancy.
“In the past, we’ve heard from companies that there is too much competing information about environmentally
responsible seafood,” said Jennifer Lash, executive director, Living Oceans Society. “Seafood buyers and
suppliers now have clear and consistent input from a broad range of conservation groups about how to move
The Common Vision identifies six critical areas where companies can take action to ensure a sustainable
seafood supply and protect ocean environments:
• Making a commitment to develop and implement a comprehensive, corporate policy on sustainable
• Collecting data to assess and monitor the environmental sustainability of their seafood products;
• Buying environmentally responsible seafood;
• Making information regarding their seafood products publicly available;
• Educating their consumers, suppliers, employees and other key stakeholders about environmentally
responsible seafood; and
• Engaging in and supporting policy and management changes that lead to positive environmental
outcomes in fisheries and aquaculture.
Seafood buyers and suppliers can be a powerful force for improving the environmental performance of the
seafood industry. A number of businesses including Plitt Company, Ahold USA and Compass Group North
America have voiced their support for the Common Vision – and for the need to improve ocean health to
maintain the long-term viability of the seafood supply. To see what these companies have to say about the
Common Vision, visit
“It just makes good business sense for companies that buy and sell seafood to ensure a long-term supply of
seafood through direct support for environmentally responsible seafood policies and practices,” said Tobias
Aguirre, executive director, FishWise.
“We recognize that achieving the Common Vision is a journey with many steps,” said Rebecca Goldburg,
senior scientist, Environmental Defense Fund. “We want to join together with committed companies to move
forward, using this Common Vision as a guide.”
“The Common Vision outlines new opportunities for companies to expand enterprise in a more responsible way
with long-term benefits for the industry,” Bill Wareham, senior marine conservation specialist, David Suzuki
The following organizations developed and are actively supporting the Common Vision:
Blue Ocean Institute
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
David Suzuki Foundation
Ecology Action Centre
Environmental Defense Fund
Living Oceans Society
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Natural Resources Defense Council
New England Aquarium
Ocean Conservancy
Sierra Club British Columbia
World Wildlife Fund – US
For more information about the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions and the Common Vision for
Environmentally Sustainable Seafood, visit
More than a dozen conservation organizations from the United States and Canada have partnered to pursue a common
vision for sustainable seafood and work together as the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions. Using a range of
approaches, participating organizations bring conservation expertise to companies that buy and sell seafood. Our goal is
to preserve the health of ocean and freshwater ecosystems and ensure a long-term seafood supply

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