Sea Delight Announces Ambitious Traceability Policy

Miami, Florida – November 2, 2016 – In an effort to continuously improve the quality, integrity, and environmental responsibility of our products, we at Sea Delight are proud to announce our new Traceability Policy.

Sea Delight’s Traceability Policy reflects our commitment to improving traceability and transparency in the supply chains we source from as well as throughout the broader seafood industry, and serves to further strengthen the Sustainable Seafood Policy we adopted last year. The Traceability Policy will apply to all seafood that Sea Delight purchases. “This is such an exciting moment for our company,” says Adriana Sanchez, Sustainability Director at Sea Delight. “We are setting an industry-leading precedent among North American seafood distributors by publically committing to work towards best practices in traceability, address critical issues such as legality and social responsibility, and engage our supply chain partners in collaborative and long-lasting improvements.”

The Traceability Policy encompasses commitments to both traceability and social responsibility, and underscores the importance of improving Sea Delight’s business practices to allow for more robust tracking of product information throughout the supply chains that Sea Delight works with. The Traceability Policy builds off Sea Delight’s previous achievements and ongoing collaboration with World Wildlife Fund to incorporate on-the-ground traceability improvements in fishery improvement projects (FIPs), engaging in multi-stakeholder dialogues to improve traceability in seafood, and educating Sea Delight employees, suppliers, and customers about the importance of sustainability and traceability.

Sea Delight is partnered with FishWise, a non-profit sustainable seafood consultancy based in Santa Cruz, CA. “Sea Delight has proven itself as a leader in sustainable seafood,” states William Wall, Distributor Division Director at FishWise. “Their new Traceability Policy represents a significant step forward for the company and raises the bar for seafood distributors everywhere in terms of progressive seafood traceability commitments.”

Over the next year, Sea Delight plans to:

  • Improve data collection by building upon work underway with our snapper, grouper, tuna, mahi-mahi, and swordfish supply chains;
  • Work to ensure effective implementation of traceability measures in three fishery improvement project (FIP) supply chains that Sea Delight sources from;
  • Encourage collaboration within the seafood industry to promote alignment of traceability systems and solutions;
  • Track important emerging topics in seafood related to traceability, anti-Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) measures, and social responsibility.

Progress on Sea Delight’s traceability and social responsibility commitments can be followed at http://www.sea-delight.com/traceability.html

 

About Sea Delight

Sea Delight, LLC was founded in 2006 by Eugenio and Margarita Sanchez, the owners of ADS Seafood, LLC dba Atlantic Fisheries, as an initiative that sought to target the market of high quality frozen and fresh seafood products. Superior products, excellent customer service and our commitment to responsible business practices have grown Sea Delight, LLC, and its sister companies, into market leaders and international conservation specialists in the seafood industry today.

 

About FishWise

FishWise is a non-profit sustainable seafood consultancy based in Santa Cruz, CA. Uniquely positioned between the seafood industry and marine conservation organizations, FishWise offers a range of services that create trust between seafood vendors and their customers, enabling businesses to sell more sustainable seafood. For more information, please visit www.fishwise.org.

 

Sea Delight is proud to support the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI)

gssi “Confidence in certified seafood”

Sea Delight is proud of its longstanding partnership with the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) – the unique industry-NGO-government platform that aims to build confidence in certified seafood.

GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool for certification schemes marks a major milestone for the seafood sector. The Tool is helping to bring clarity on certification, making information available across the supply chain. The Alaska RFM Program became the first GSSI-recognized certification scheme earlier this year and more schemes are expected to follow in 2016.

“Credible certification gives our customers confidence in Sea Delight’s high quality products. We are committed to recognizing all GSSI-recognized schemes when sourcing certified seafood, together with industry partners worldwide,” says Eugenio Sanchez, founder and CEO of Sea Delight. “We encourage more companies to join GSSI and make the same commitment.”

Find out more: www.ourgssi.org and @ourGSSI and contact: secretariat@ourgssi.org

New Tool Makes Sustainability Choices Better and Easier for Seafood Industry

Contact: Ed Walz, (202) 374-8872 / ed@springboard.partners

Fort Collins, Colorado – The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions and FishChoice today released a first-of-its-kind resource aimed at helping seafood buyers make better and easier sustainable sourcing choices. Industry and conservation organizations hail FisheryProgress.org (www.fisheryprogress.org) as a one-stop-shop for reliable information on the progress of fishery improvement projects (“FIPs”) worldwide.

“For industry’s conservation leaders, the question is no longer whether you’re sourcing from a FIP, it’s whether the FIP you’re sourcing from is making progress,” said John Silva of Lusamerica Fish. “For the first time, FisheryProgress.org makes it easy to find a reliable answer.”

Dozens of FIPs throughout the world bring suppliers, retailers, and food-service companies together with conservation groups and scientific experts to address environmental challenges in a fishery. Along with clear sustainability standards, public policy upgrades, and other interventions, FIPs make fisheries more sustainable by harnessing the private sector’s power to incentivize positive change.

Previously, access to detailed information about FIPs’ progress required searching dozens of websites. And even then, prospective buyers or conservation advocates faced inconsistent documentation and questions about the data’s reliability. FisheryProgress.org brings all of that data together on one site, using standard metrics to assess progress, and ensuring that data is independently verified.

FisheryProgress.org uses the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fisheries Standard as a tool for measuring fishery performance and the progress fishery improvement projects make over time. Each project can choose whether to pursue MSC certification, or other alternative end goals, but using the same credible standard for measuring progress allows businesses to make better-informed decisions about participating in or sourcing from these fishery improvement projects.

“We work closely with our partners to transition their supply chains to sustainable resources, and fishery improvement projects are vital to this transition,” said Stephanie Bradley, Manager of Fishery Improvement Projects for the World Wildlife Fund – U.S., a Conservation Alliance member organization. “The value of a platform like FisheryProgress.org is that it collects important details about these projects and provides third-party verification of that information all in one place. This has the potential to build an easily accessible global profile of work, which in turn can provide more opportunities for seafood buyers to engage in transitioning fisheries and their supply chains.”

The Conservation Alliance released updated FIP guidelines in 2015. Noting that access to reliable FIP progress information remained a barrier to conservation groups considering recommendations and retail and food service buyers considering sourcing decisions, the Conservation Alliance commissioned the creation of FisheryProgress.org. FishChoice, a Conservation Alliance member organization with experience developing online tools for seafood businesses, will operate the site and verify data. FishChoice led the site’s development, informed by an advisory committee that also included other Conservation Alliance member organizations and industry representatives.

“FishChoice and the Conservation Alliance are all about bringing industry and conservation leaders together to overcome sustainability challenges,” said Richard Boot, founder and president of FishChoice. “FisheryProgress.org works for conservation and industry because it was designed in partnership with both.”

 

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The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions connects 34 leading conservation groups that work with businesses representing more than 80 percent of the North American grocery and institutional food service markets. We work together to solve sustainable seafood’s biggest challenges so that oceans and the businesses that depend on them can thrive. Visit www.solutionsforseafood.org to learn more.

Founded in 2008, FishChoice’s mission is to create solutions that accelerate sustainability in the global seafood supply chain. FishChoice is the only organization that curates information from the global leaders in sustainable seafood assessments and certifications to design open-access platforms for businesses. FishChoice.com, launched in 2009, is supported by over 500 seafood supplier members with in-depth information on nearly 4,000 seafood products and approximately 300 species of seafood. FisheryProgress.org, launching in fall of 2016, is the first website to make transparent, reliable, easy-to-access Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) progress information available to inform FIP sourcing. For more information please visit www.fishchoice.com.

 

FOLSØ SEAFOOD A/S JOINS SEA DELIGHT EUROPE AS THE EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTOR FOR THE NORDIC COUNTRIES AND NORTH OF GERMANY

MIAMI, FL – Sea Delight International, with its Subsidiary Sea Delight Europe, have partnered with Folsø Seafood A/S as their exclusive distributor for the Nordic Countries, Holland, Belgium Poland, Baltic region, and north of Germany.  Based in Denmark and founded in 2003, Folsø Seafood A/S is an importer and exporter of exotic fish and salmon of Chile and an experienced tuna distributor in norther Europe. They service sushi chains, retailers, and fish shops.

“This new partnership opens up opportunities to develop new markets in norther Europe for our new Blended Wood Smoke products. This new process blends smoke and the perfect combination of salt and sugar, with imported hickory and local wood to impart unique aromas and flavors. In addition to using this new process, our fish is “quick frozen,” which allows the product to retain its color, flavor, aroma and texture until thawing” says Manuel Alvarez, Sea Delight Europe’s Managing Director.

“We are committed to providing our customers with quality seafood products and developing long-lasting business relationships with our suppliers. By working with Sea Delight Europe, we believe that these new blended wood smoked products will revolutionize the European tuna market and we are proud to be the exclusive distributor of these new products in the northern countries and northern Germany,” says Bjon Folsø, Director of Folsø Seafood A/S.

 

 

Folsoe Seafood A/S was founded in 2003 by Mr Bjørn Folsø. The company originally started as a sales company based on trading with fresh and frozen fish. The purpose was to deliver products to the Danish and European seafood industry. Since its creation, the company has developed as an international importer of exotic fish and shrimps from Asia and salmon products from Chile. Folsoe Seafood A/S established in 2008 a purchase & logistic department in Vietnam, where local employees handle the daily challenges for managing the logistics and shipping of the very best products to the EU market.  Folsoe Seafood A/S have a stable and constant supply of high quality products from the far-east. http://www.folsoe-seafood.dk/en.html

Sea Delight Europe, SLU was founded in 2012 by Eugenio Sanchez, Leopold Landry, and Cesar Bencosme as an initiative seeking to target the market of frozen seafood products in Europe. Mr. Sanchez, Mr. Landry and Mr. Bencosme’s combined industry experience developed over 30 years of working in the seafood business, have quickly helped our affiliated company, Sea Delight Canada, SL become an industry leader in the market of both high-quality frozen and fresh seafood in Canada. Superior products, excellent customer service and our commitment to responsible business practices have grown Sea Delight Canada, SL, and its sister companies, Sea Delight, LLC and Sea Delight International into market leaders and international conservation specialists in the seafood industry today. http://www.sea-delight.eu/

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SEA DELIGHT ACCEPTS AWARD AT SEAFOOD SAVERS ANNUAL MEETING

Bali, Indonesia. June 15 – 16, 2016.

Seafood Savers, the WWF Indonesia Initiative for Responsible Fisheries, held its annual meeting here at the Mercur Resort Sanur.

Attended by seafood industry members, representatives of Seafood Savers/WWF Indonesia and representatives from the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) the meeting was held as “a strategic platform for members and the government to exchange information and to support the realization of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in Indonesia.”

An important part of the meeting agenda was to review the progress of the various members Fishery Improvement Programs (FIP’s) as well as updates on Seafood Savers national efforts for 3 major national FIP’s. Seafood Savers also welcomed a new member, Celebes Seaweed Group, a seafood farming company.

The first day of the meeting was taken up by opening ceremonies, the membership ceremony for Celebes Seaweed and then presentations by Seafood Savers members on the FIP’s or AIP’s (Aquaculture Improvement Programs) they are involved in. Presentations from many aspects of the seafood industry were given, including wild shrimp trawl fisheries, tuna purse seine fisheries, live bottom fish and lobster fisheries, shrimp farming and East Java Handline tuna fishery Sea Delight has been involved in for the last 4 years.

The presentations followed a format previously provided by Seafood Savers and focused on progress in the FIP’s as well as challenges. Both Sea Delight and Sea Delight suppliers, gave presentations on the East Java Handline fishery.

This fishery has made great progress in the last 4 years, due much to efforts by Seafood Savers and Provincial and local fisheries authorities. Once a fishery operating from a wooden dock with no management effort ongoing at all, the fishery now boasts modern new port structures in the 2 main landing areas, ongoing successful efforts to register all vessels and an ever-expanding catch data collection program. Through training and port improvements, the quality of tuna landed has also greatly improved, and EasT Java has a good reputation with Indonesia tuna exporters.

cebelesCelebes Seaweed officially joins Seafood Savers

2  A slide from the Sea Delight presentation on the East Java Handline Tuna FIP

Some of the challenges noted in the Sea Delight presentation on the East Java Tuna FIP were the need to establish port enumerators that could work with all fishers and stakeholders in all 3 ports to improve onboard logbook use, expand port scientific data collection and coordinate onboard observer trips. Another challenge noted was that as the FIP passes its fourth year it is due for a review of the pre-assessment and work plan based on the revised “MSC Fisheries Certification Requirements and Guidance” (Version 2.0 October, 2014). It was also suggested to re-write the FIP action plan to identify tasks that compliment or are directly linked to the Indonesian National Tuna FIP.

3PT Satu Enam Delapan gives a presentation on the East Java Tuna FIP

Sea Delight and PT Satu Enam Delapan also completed and signed a letter to East Java Fisheries authorities congratulating them on the great progress they have made and urging them to continue their efforts.

The second day of the meeting was highlighted by presentations from Seafood Savers on the national Tuna, Trawl Shrimp and Bottom Fish FIP’s. Important progress on the national Tuna FIP was announced including the agreement of the MMAF to sign off on the Action Plan as national policy.

A representative from MMAF also had a presentation on national fisheries policy for the upcoming period. The presentation indicated robust support for improving fishery management in all sectors and supporting sustainability.

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Group photo of participants on the first day

The highlight of day two for Sea Delight was the Seafood Saver Awards segment. Seafood Savers named Sea Delight as the “Most Innovative Company in Responsible Fisheries Practices”.

Sea Delight will continue to support Seafood Savers and the East Java Handline Tuna FIP in the future. Watch for more reports here.

 Sea Delight received award for “Most Innovative Company in Responsible Fisheries Practices.”

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SeaShare and NFI Future Leaders Program

At Sea Delight, some of our team members have completed the National Fisheries Institute’s Future Leaders Program and as part of this program, they have learned about the wonderful work that SeaShare, a non-profit founded in 1994, does to help the seafood industry donate to hunger-relief efforts in the United States.

SeaShare is proud to be the only organization that maximizes the donation potential of the entire seafood industry. They tailor programs that efficiently leverage several donations – products, services, and funds – to generate large volumes that no single company could donate alone. With support from NFI member companies, they donated seafood to food banks in 28 states last year. Everyone has something to give, and the combined results provide a positive message that benefits the entire industry. 210 million servings of high protein seafood have been donated since 1994.

Protein is a difficult item for food banks to access. Hunger-relief used to rely on gleaning – finding excess and under-utilized food. It has evolved into a complex, creative process that combines generosity and food industry resources to generate the large volumes needed to keep food bank shelves filled. More often than not, there are unavoidable costs involved. SeaShare provides top-tier protein at less than $.40 per pound. That equates to 8 servings of nutritious protein per dollar.

SeaShare’s donors are responsible stewards of our resources and our environment, and that they are important contributors in their communities. SeaShare is one of the very best expressions of seafood sustainability.

Fishermen and processors remain generous, but the availability of under-utilized protein has decreased substantially. Future donations will focus on finished, retail-type products, and SeaShare is working to find more seafood companies to help share that burden. Financial support is increasingly important to their success.

We believe that together, we will feed more seafood to more people. We would like to take this opportunity to ask for your assistance in helping generate funding for this organization. You can make a donation HERE.

SEA DELIGHT INTERNATIONAL SIGNS AGREEMENT FOR COOPERATION WITH TASTELESS, FLAVOURLESS SMOKE AND RAW MATERIAL SUPPLY WITH CORAL SEA FISHING PTY LIMITED IN AUSTRALIA

MIAMI, FL – Sea Delight International, with its Subsidiaries Sea Delight Canada and Sea Delight Europe, signed Memorandum of Understanding with Coral Sea Fishing Pty Limited in Australia, Part of the SOS Resources Group, to cooperate in the supply of Tasteless Smoke treated seafood products to Australia and New Zealand. Coral Sea Fishing holds the respective patents, technologies, intellectual property and rights to import, sell and trade Tasteless Smoke, Flavorless smoke and Filtered smoke treated seafood products in Australia and New Zealand.

“This new partnership opens up opportunities to develop new markets in Australia and New Zealand for Filtered Smoke treated seafood products, and Sea Delight will be able to provide technical assistance for the use of this innovative process as well as provide treated raw material to Coral Sea Fishing via our existing supply network,” says Eugenio Sanchez, Sea Delight President. “What is more, through this partnership we also share a common vision for sustainable seafood. Coral Sea Fishing has agreed to provide a financial contribution per pound to the Sea Delight Ocean Fund, Inc. on all imported product so that they may continue supporting Fishery Improvement Projects where this raw material is being sourced from,” says Sanchez.

“This is a partnership built on mutual goals. Collectively we have a very large and capable supply network all using the Flavorless, Tasteless Filtered Smoke Technology.  Together we are working on delivering high quality seafood products to our markets using natural shelf life extension processes derived from organics.  Our shared vision for sustainable seafood will ensure this is a win-win partnership, for seafood resources and our customers,” says Sean Cauchois, Director for Coral Sea Fishing Australia.

 

Coral Sea Fishing Pty Limited, founded in 1999 specializes in sourcing the best quality seafood, working with the latest natural innovative food technologies and is committed to protecting our seafood resources and providing the highest quality products. We specialize in New Product Development, Portion Control Programs and Shelf Life Extension of High Value Raw Material. Coral Sea Fishing focus on raw material from wild caught sustainably fished resources and sustainably farmed aquaculture projects. Coral Sea Fishing’s signature brand SUPERFRESH ® is Australia’s leading brand of frozen value added deep sea tuna products. For sales or further information, visit http://www.coralseafishing.com.au/

The Sea Delight Ocean Fund (SDOF), is a Miami, FL based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2012 to create and support global fishery improvement projects that promote awareness for responsible fishing practices and adequate management of the fishery with the goal of achieving seafood sustainability.  All proceeds from its annual “Taste of the Sea,” a Chef Competition and Grand Tasting event help further support fishery improvement projects in which the Sea Delight Ocean Fund participates. For further information about these projects, visit www.sdoceanfund.org

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/

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FROM IMPORTING SEAFOOD TO ENSURING A SUSTAINABLE OCEAN, THE SANCHEZ FAMILY AT SEA DELIGHT IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

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.

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Margarita & Eugenio Sanchez

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.

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Cesar & Astrid Bencosme

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.

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Adriana Sanchez, Marilyn Reyes, Annabelle Sanchez, & William Reyes

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.

SDoceanfund-transparentThe 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.

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Adriana Sanchez & Marilyn Reyes, North American Seafood Expo 2015

“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.

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Leopold Landry

 

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.

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BINH THUAN GOVERNMENT AND WWF CORAL TRIANGLE PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR MSC PRE-ASSESSMENT FOR LA GI BOTTOM FISH

Stephen Fisher, Sea Delight LLC. Feb. 2, 2016

In a historic meeting of stakeholders in the La Gi bottom fish fishery a plan to conduct a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) pre-assessment of the fishery was announced. The meeting was attended by fishers, fish brokers, representatives of the local fish processing industry, US seafood importers and local government officials.

 

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Mr. Fisher and Mr. Huy, Fisheries Director, give the presentation on MSC

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More than 40 stakeholders attended the meeting

Sea Delight representative Stephen Fisher was invited to give a short presentation on the basic principles of MSC and the pre-assessment process. The presentation was prepared by Mr. Keith Symington of WWF Coral Triangle. WWF Coral Triangle has also pledged financial support for the pre-assessment as part of its ongoing Capacity Building Training for in-country MSC assessors in Vietnam and Indonesia.

Support for the MSC process and a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) for the fishery was voiced in speeches by the Director of the Binh Thuan fisheries department and the Director of the provincial People’s Committee. The major local fish processor was represented by it’s corporate director who also pledged full support for the MSC process.

Although Sea Delight is not currently sourcing bottom fish from this fishery we will continue to report on the progress as the FIP is developed.

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Women in Seafood: Barbara Blakistone

Dr. Barbara Blakistone is the Senior Director of Scientific Affairs for the National Fisheries Institute. Dr. Blakistone received her Ph.D. in food science from North Carolina State University at Raleigh and spent 15 years in food packaging working for International Paper and Mead Packaging. She worked for the National Food Processors Association (now Grocery Manufacturers Association) in Washington, D.C. to hone her trade association skills. After NFPA, Dr. Blakistone worked for Graham Packaging in York, PA for several years before returning to Washington in 2005 to work for National Fisheries. In January 2016, she joined IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group in Seattle, WA as Vice President, Aquatic Food Products. Dr. Blakistone is a frequent speaker and organizer of seminars for Seafood Expo North America, the Institute of Food Technologists, Pacific Fisheries Technologists, and the International Association for Food Protection where she has chaired the Seafood Quality & Safety Professional Development Group.
Sea Delight: Sustainable seafood is an industry for the future. Maintaining a healthy ocean with responsibly sourced fish is simply good business. What attracted you to the seafood business in the first place?

Barbara Blakistone: I had a colleague with University of California-Sea Grant that recommended me for my position at National Fisheries.

SD: The seafood industry is a significant contributor to the world’s growing need for healthy sustainable food. Why is sustainability important to you?

BB: Planning for the future of food and feeding the planet is the moral responsibility of not only the seafood industry but all of us.

SD: What are some of the projects you are currently working on that will enhance the future of the seafood industry?

BB: I’ve always had a research interest in food-packaging interaction and extending shelf life. Technical projects I’ve worked on at the NFI often address improving quality of seafood which impacts time a product can be offered to consumers. Also, I’ve worked with the NFI team on enhancing health through omega-3s. I liaise with the Seafood Industry Research Fund to seek out universities that can conduct projects that ultimately benefit the industry. Those projects usually play out to enhance quality and therefore extension of shelf life.

SD: The seafood industry is one of the most complex global systems in the world because it’s about feeding people. What has been your biggest challenge working in the industry in general and also addressing sustainable seafood?

BB: Once the industry totally embraces traceability and interoperability throughout the supply chain, tracking seafood from harvest to point of sale will greatly enhance sustainability because quality is improved. And again, better quality means preservation of seafood. Traceability is a great tool to define where the limiting points are in the supply chain.

SD: The best leaders are lifelong learners. What have you learned most recently that has made an impact on your career?

BB: I thoroughly enjoy navigating the technical and regulatory waters when NFI members have an import, labeling, or other issue. Recognizing that skill defines what I want as part of my job responsibilities.

SD: What advice would you give other women interested in a career in the seafood industry?

BB: Seafood science and technology is a wide open field in need of women (and men too for that matter). Opportunities are there and are not limited by gender. I’ve found seafood to offer a “family-like” atmosphere which welcomes all. I’ve met many women in leadership positions.