It makes good business sense for a company that sells seafood to buy its products from sustainable sources. Sea Delight, a leading frozen fish distributor, recently made its sustainable seafood policy public — and front and center — on its website.
Sea Delight partnered with FishWise, a sustainable seafood consultancy, to develop the policy. Moving forward, FishWise will collect data on the seafood Sea Delight procures and use the data to assess, monitor and create an evaluation framework.
Sea Delight has set certain measurable goals for its supply chain, including:
- Increase the overall percentage of fishery improvement projects (FIPs) and/or Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Green- and Yellow-rated products bought by the company every year.
- Work with one new supplier every year to directly implement FIP activities.
- Create a company traceability policy by the end of 2015.
Although Sea Delight does not require products to be eco-certified, but rather meet its criteria for food safety and quality, the company relies on eco-certifications from Marine Stewardship Council, Global Aquaculture Alliance–Best Aquaculture Practices and Aquaculture Stewardship Council. Sea Delight also relies on the sustainability ratings from Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise and SeaChoice.
“Sea Delight is one of the first seafood distributors in the U.S. to publicly set out clear and measurable sustainability goals,” FishWise Executive Director Tobias Aguirre said in a statement. “This includes increasing sourcing from fishery improvement projects — multi-stakeholder efforts to address environmental challenges in a fishery. It also directs Sea Delight’s suppliers to actively participate in these projects and implement procedures.”
Sea Delight created the Sea Delight Ocean Fund (SDOF) in 2012, a nonprofit organization that funds seafood sustainability projects. SDOF receives 1 cent per pound of seafood imported into North America by Sea Delight. The funds are then allocated to sustainability projects.
The dire situation of global fisheries
The world’s global seafood supply is in trouble unless something is done to stop overfishing. About 90 percent of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, overexploited or have collapsed, according to Seafood Watch. The global fishing fleet is operating at 2.5 times the sustainable level. Or as World Wildlife Fund (WWF) put it, “People are taking far more fish out of the ocean than can be replaced by those remaining.” As a result, several important commercial fish populations have declined to the point where their very survival is threatened, and unless the situation improves, stocks of all species that are currently fished are predicted to collapse by 2048.
Given the situation of global fisheries, companies like Sea Delight that are striving to make their seafood supply chains sustainable are very important. And as one major company starts to make efforts others will be influenced to do the same. As Sea Delight stated, “Our Sustainable Seafood Policy is the foundation for Sea Delight’s future business and will send a ripple of positive change through the seafood industry.”
Image credit: Alpha