MIAMI – As a young man Eugenio Sanchez, a native of Spain, migrated from Venezuela to the U.S. He had limited financial resources and spoke very little English, but he worked hard and found his way into a position as a seafood buyer for a company in Tampa. He learned all he could in that position and, in 1993, he and a partner started a seafood business in Lakeland, FL. After two short years, he ventured off on his own to found A.D.S. Seafood d/b/a Atlantic Fisheries. Ten years later, while Atlantic Fisheries was still flourishing, he added Sea Delight LLC and Sea Delight Canada LLC, both high-quality frozen and fresh seafood companies, to his portfolio and partnered with his nephew Cesar Bencosme and Leopold Landry, a long-time business partner who the Sanchez considers a member of his family.
Family has always been of the utmost importance to Sanchez and from the very beginning he entrusted them with key positions that has enhanced the company’s growth. Margarita Sanchez, his wife, works in the human resources and accounts receivables department. Marilyn Reyes, his youngest daughter, is the controller. Annabelle Sanchez, his middle daughter, works in accounts payables. Cesar Bencosme, his nephew, is the Vice President of sales and partner of both Sea Delight and A.D.S Seafood. Sanchez’s oldest daughter Adriana Sanchez-Lindsay has been working in the family business since she was 17. She began working with data entry at Atlantic Fisheries when she was in high school and then developed the training manuals while on break from college.
In 2010, she joined the firm full time. Sanchez-Lindsay graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies. Counting on her combined knowledge of the political landscape and Latin America, Sanchez, with an eye on the future, named Sanchez-Lindsay to the position of Seafood Imports and Sustainability Coordinator. He knew there was a need to review their company’s sourcing practices and engage in projects that would improve the fisheries they were sourcing from in order to ensure a healthy ocean stocks.
Sanchez-Lindsay dove into her new role with zeal. She spent a year understanding their supply chain, and the impact of overfishing and general fishing practices had on the environment. She has participated in global workshops that address seafood sustainability issues. And she has worked with environmental experts and the people directly involved in local fisheries to understand how Sea Delight can effectively contribute to healthy oceans via sustainable seafood sourcing policies. It wasn’t long before she saw how Sea Delight could make a difference and in 2012 the Sea Delight Ocean Fund was born.
The Sea Delight Ocean Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to educating consumers about sustainable seafood and funding fishery improvement projects around the world. Its major source of fundraising is the annual Taste of the Sea charity event.
To date, Sea Delight Ocean Fund has become an active stakeholder responsible for supporting Fishery Improvement Projects or FIPs along the Sea Delight supply chain in six different countries. They include fisheries in Indonesia, Vietnam, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico and Guatemala. Sea Delight Ocean Fund provides funding for building FIPs from the ground up and having a presence at the local FIP to do hands-on work for the fisheries to improve. The goal is to support sustainability efforts by the local fisheries and support their ability to continue to make a living from the ocean.
Both the for-profit and not-for-profit companies continue to do well. From 1995 to now, Sanchez has grown his companies from three initial employees at Atlantic Fisheries to more than 100 worldwide that include Sea Delight Canada, Sea Delight Europe.
“Over the past several years, seafood sustainability has become a major environmental movement,” said Sanchez-Lindsay. “And we, along with others in our industry, are at the forefront. There is a huge wave of interest from consumers for sustainability and it’s critical for our business to continue long-term into the future. If we are to make a difference, the best place to start is at the source level. Therefore, we work with fishery improvement projects. Through this work, we have sponsored a Circle Hook program whereby we provided fisherman in Vietnam on longline vessels with over 400 circle hooks per vessel so that they could try them and help reduce sea turtle bycatch in the Tuna fishery.”
Sea Delight Ocean Fund has also just launched a new featured series called “Women in Seafood” that is promoted heavily in traditional media as well as on their social media platforms. The series features the women in the seafood industry who are making big strides in the seafood industry. The first feature was launched in January, highlighting two women making a difference in seafood sustainability.
As business grows and sustainability takes hold, the entire Sanchez family with the support of their business partner Landry, continue to have high hopes for a bright future.
Sea Delight LLC operates in conjunction with ADS Seafood Inc., doing business as Atlantic Fisheries from its 16,000-square-foot headquarters located in the Doral area of Miami, Florida. Their international presence has grown with offices in Vietnam and Spain which help serve Sea Delight Canada, LLC and Sea Delight Europe, SLU. To view their sustainability policy, for sales or further information, visit http://www.sea-delight.com/ or call toll free at 888-FISH-199 or 305.594-979.
The Sea Delight Ocean Fund (SDOF), is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2012 to create and support global fishery improvement projects and better fishing practices initiatives that protect marine resources and promote conservation efforts globally. All proceeds from the annual Taste of the Sea event will help further marine conservation programs led by the Sea Delight Ocean Fund.