Not long ago, we were in the business of selling “dead” fish. Today, it is so much more than that.
Presently, we are in the business of selling “Responsibly Caught” seafood and developing company programs and policies which help define our sustainability commitments. We then seek partnerships with different NGOs, to help us outline and support these commitments, in order to meet our sustainability goals.
The concept of “sustainability” is now a market trend, adding a competitive edge to those suppliers with the financial overhead to invest in exiting Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) or work within their supply chain, to develop these initiatives from the ground up.
Illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, as well as bycatch and overfishing, are serious issues that need to be addressed, however, we just can’t jump on the sustainability bandwagon, waiving our Seafood Buying Cards, for those products that will have the appropriate certifications or be part of some approved improvement project we can trust.
As an importer, we can’t simply ban “red listed” items from our buying efforts. We must follow the recommendations of our NGO partners, who are as determined as we are, to meet our company’s sustainability commitments.
By no means are we biologists, scientists, or experts in the field to assess a stock status in critical concern or the impact different fishing practices have on the environment. We rely heavily on expert guidelines and recommendations to develop internal policies that address core issues.
But, at what point do we ask ourselves if we have lost touch with the reality provided by science-based data and realize that though extremely helpful, seafood buying cards are in fact over-simplistic and not representative of the hard work that a number of members of the industry are doing, within their own supply chain, to generate responsible change?
In a world where quantifiable, scientific-based data rules the industry, how do we not justify supporting small responsible fishing projects which need a head start?
Great accomplishment is not achieved over night and it is often shadowed by those initiatives which have previously crossed the finish line. Sea Delight believes in working within our supply chain, starting responsible change from within, working with those forgotten “red listed” small fisheries to provide education and financial support, so that these fisheries can one day cross the finish line, whether defined as an FIP or MSC Certification.