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Newsletter                                 July 2013

In this month's newsletter, FishWise is very proud to announce the formation of the Sea Pact alliance, feature a partner spotlight on the Berkshire Co-op Market, provide a traceability & IUU feature on NOAA Fisheries activities, and share a Pew infographic on fish aggregating devices (FADs). 

Quick Links
Sea Pact Distributor Alliance
Partner Spotlight: Berkshire Co-op Market
Traceability & IUU Feature
Pew FAD Infographic
In Case You Missed It...

Sea Pact - A New Industry Leader

Sea Pact 


FishWise is proud to announce the formation of Sea Pact, a coalition of North American seafood suppliers united for a sustainable future. Sea Pact will strive to advance environmentally sustainable fisheries and aquaculture practices and provide the building blocks of a long term and sustainable seafood industry by financially contributing to improve the fishing and fish farming systems from which they procure.


 The founding members of Sea Pact are six like-minded seafood suppliers from the U.S. and Canada with progressive sustainability commitments including Albion Fisheries, Fortune Fish & Gourmet, Ipswich Shellfish Group, Santa Monica Seafood, Seacore Seafood and Seattle Fish Co.


Sea Pact grew out of Santa Monica Seafood's successful "Responsible Sourcing/Vendor Partnership (RSVP) Program", a collaboration with FishWise. The RSVP program applies a percentage of Santa Monica Seafood's profits towards projects aimed at improving fisheries and aquaculture efforts at home and abroad. The program generated interest from like-minded companies in both the U.S. and Canada who wanted to offer a similar type of financial support.


A panel presentation at the 2012 Boston Seafood Show was the catalyst for the initial discussions, and the founding members of Sea Pact were selected based on their progressive sustainability policies.


Logan Kock, Vice President of Strategic Purchasing & Responsible Sourcing at Santa Monica Seafood, said, "Santa Monica Seafood realized that to be able to support the improvement of fishing and aquaculture practices around the world we could not rely on the efforts of our company alone and that we would need support from other like-minded companies in the seafood industry to help create the scale necessary for meaningful improvements to be realized."


The seafood industry can be a powerful force for improving the environmental sustainability of seafood and ocean ecosystems, particularly when efforts are coordinated to best leverage buying power for positive change. Through pooling resources and knowledge to promote fisheries and aquaculture improvements, Sea Pact will be able to sponsor improvement projects that may otherwise be too large in scope to support as individual companies.


"We are excited about Sea Pact's ability to generate impactful change by leveraging our combined influence and strength to produce more sustainable seafood options for the future. I am positive that together, our geographically diverse international membership, can create an industry driven difference to the fishing and aquaculture practices and systems that we source from," states Guy Dean, CSO at Albion Fisheries Ltd.


FishWise along with fellow NGO Sustainable Fisheries Advocates (SFP) will act as environmental consultants for Sea Pact. SFP and FishWise will draw on their experience in sustainability to advise Sea Pact on improvement projects to fund and how best to utilize their resources to promote positive environmental gains.


"FishWise commends the founding members of Sea Pact for their leadership and for exemplifying that players of any stage within the supply chain have the ability to contribute to a more sustainable future," said Meghan Frolli, Project Director at FishWise.


To learn more about Sea Pact visit their website or follow them on Twitter.



Partner Spotlight: Berkshire Co-op Market

  Berkshire Coop Market logo



FishWise retail partner, Berkshire Co-op Market is located in quaint Great Barrington, MA, an approximately 2-hour drive west of Boston or northeast from New York City. Berkshire Co-op Market is a customer-owned business that is dedicated to providing an all-natural, whole food, local, and healthy approach to grocery shopping, including seafood. As anyone who has been to Massachusetts understands, seafood and specifically lobster, is a traditional and iconic meal that can be enjoyed year-round from Cape Cod to the Berkshire Hills and beyond.


Austin Banach manages the Meat & Seafood Department at the Co-op and takes pride in providing fresh, sustainable seafood to the loyal Co-op customer base. "With the tools and support from FishWise, I am able to keep up with the most current news, train my staff and educate my customers about the value of sustainable seafood and the decisions we make to support sustainable fisheries."


 Austin sources Co-op's lobsters through BerkShore Native Seafood. BerkShore's owner, Wes Malzone, provides the Co-op with the freshest and highest-quality lobsters available by purchasing directly from the lobstermen themselves in Scituate, MA, and then delivering them himself to the Co-op.


Lobster dinner  

Years of strict management regulations have led to steady increases in most U.S. American lobster populations, especially those from waters to the north and east of Nantucket Sound, referred to as the Georges Bank and Gulf of Maine stocks of lobsters. The state of Massachusetts implements the strictest set of mandatory lobster regulations in the region, raising the bar for other states to follow. 


A section of the MA lobster regulations is designed to reduce the frequency in which migrating whales become entangled in lobster gear. Sinking ground lines (the lines that connect lobster pots together in a long string) help to minimize the chances of a whale becoming entangled while breakaway buoy links (a weak link that connect the surface buoy to the string of traps below) help to ensure the animal's survival by quickly breaking away should a whale become entangled. These regulations - as well as many more - have earned lobsters from the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank stocks a Yellow rating from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.


Pairing boiled lobster with corn-on-the-cob, a Red Sox game, and friends & family is a summertime tradition that many New Englanders look forward to each year. As northern New England lobster populations continue to flourish, Berkshire Co-op Market customers can look forward to responsibly harvested Massachusetts lobster dinners for years to come.  


Traceability & IUU Feature:  NOAA Fisheries Symposium



On July 16th and 17th, FishWise's Mariah Boyle attended a NOAA Fisheries event entitled, "Eat Local, Think Global: A Case for U.S. Caught Fish". The symposium aimed to collect ideas regarding ways NOAA can help promote U.S. seafood, support domestic seafood producers, and educate the public about its work to manage our nation's fisheries. The event was the first installment of what is likely to be an ongoing national conversation.


The major themes of the two day meeting were: the importance of further refining FishWatch (NOAA's online sustainable seafood toolbox), the need to continue the dialogue on U.S.-caught seafood, and the need for NOAA Fisheries to engage, in a concerted way, with the full range of players active in the U.S.-caught fisheries' supply chains, including the various organizations that play the role of informing the public on sustainable fisheries issues.


FishWise is following up with other groups and NOAA on a few next steps. We will keep you informed of this work as it progresses. If you have any suggestions on ways to better promote domestic seafood, please contact Mariah Boyle.

Infographic from the Pew Charitable Trusts about FADs

Fish Aggregating Devices or FADs are used to concentrate schools of tuna and other fish species in areas of vast open water. FADs are also known to attract many species of marine life, not just tuna, some of which are endangered and protected species, including green sea turtles and whale sharks. When FADs are used to catch tuna, the catch as a whole often contains significant amounts of these unintended species, also know as bycatch. 


Last year, FishWise partner Safeway launched their own private label skipjack tuna that is caught by purse seine vessels without the use of FADs. By deciding to not allow the use of FADs to catch skipjack tuna, the amount of bycatch caught by the vessels is dramatically reduced. The end result is a product that provides the consumer with a smart, affordable canned tuna choice. 



The Pew Charitable Trusts have recently released a FAD infographic - shown below - that clearly illustrates the history of FADs, their effectiveness in attracting a wide variety of marine species, and the unintended consequences of their use.


PEW tuna FAD infographic  

In Case You Missed It...
For anyone who has spent time on the coast where cool ocean waters meet warm air masses, fog has at one time or another has either stolen warmth away or provided welcome shade. 

Filmed in San Francisco, the video below provides an intimate glimpse into beauty that fog possesses when viewed through the lens of an artist. This is one of the coolest videos we have seen lately!


If you have any questions, comments, or would like to contribute to the FishWise Newsletter please don't hesitate to contact me!


Ethan Lucas
Project Manager
Office:  831.427.1707 ext. 119
Email:  e.lucas@fishwise.org