Seafood Choices mobilizes and connects the world’s leaders who support action for a sustainable supply of seafood and healthy oceans through responsible business, management, policy, and regulation. We convene networking events, facilitate a diverse program of forums for inquiry and dialogue, and use international networks to leverage knowledge exchange. It is our belief and experience that our convenings, events, research and publications are paving the way for tangible and positive change across all sectors of the seafood industry.
Examples of outcomes and accomplishments from Seafood Choices’ convenings, events and publications are included below. For more information on any of the activities listed here, please contact us.
- The Seafood Summit is held in Barcelona, Spain – the first conference of its kind held in southern Europe. Attendance is over 375, with 34 countries represented.
- Seafood Choices facilitates the coordination of UK chef and restaurateur outreach on seafood sustainability, in partnership with three other organizations – the Marine Conservation Society, the Marine Stewardship Council and Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. The organizations’ collective foodservice work is brought together through ‘Good Catch – cooking for change, serving the future’ . The Good Catch Manual is the first published tool of Good Catch and provides chefs, restaurateurs with practical information on sourcing sustainable seafood.
- Seafood Choices releases the first-ever French language species and fish sustainability guide at the European Seafood Exposition. Conservation and trade organizations across France welcome the publication and agree the tide is turning towards sustainability in the country.
- Seafood Choices’ Mike Boots moderates the first panel on sustainability at the European Seafood Exposition, three years after the first Seafood Choices’ gathering and business roundtable were held at the Brussels trade show.
- In partnership with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Seafood Choices holds retailer dialogues in London and Washington, D.C to gather industry feedback on the FAO’s proposed aquaculture standards.
- GRI workshops are organized in Sydney, Chicago, London and San Diego. Feedback from the workshops will be fed into the new reporting guidelines for the seafood processing sector, to be released in 2010.
Back to top>
- The Seafood Summit returns to the East Coast of the U.S. The Jacksonville, FL location for the conference sees attendance numbers jump to over 350. For the first time in the Summit’s history, business and NGO representatives are evenly split.
- Seafood Choices releases the second edition of Sourcing Seafood: A Professional’s Guide to Procuring Ocean-Friendly Seafood in the U.S.
- European and UK Marketplace Reports for Sustainable Seafood are released at the European Seafood Exposition.
- Seafood Choices’ second annual business roundtable at the Brussels Seafood Show reveals a need from major buyers for a harmonized set of sustainability reporting guidelines for the seafood industry. A two-year project partnership begins between Seafood Choices Alliance and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to ensure that sustainability reporting guidance for the food processing sector will address the unique needs of the international seafood processing sector.
- Seafood Choices, together with Seafood Scotland, brings together fishermen, conservationists and retailers for an innovative workshop exploring brand, reputation and responsibility around the issue of de-listing species.
Back to top>
- Seafood Choices organizes the Seafood Summit on the West Coast of the United States for the first time in its five-year history. European industry and conservation organizations attend for the first time. At the Summit, the MSC and Wal-Mart announce that the retailer will modify its procurement practices and only source MSC-certified seafood.
- Seafood Choices hosts an industry roundtable at the European Seafood Exposition with over 15 global seafood buyers present.
- SeaWeb and Seafood Choices Alliance’s London office opens.
- Seafood Champions awards are announced for the first time. These awards highlight leaders from the sustainable seafood movement who are making strides to improving the health of their business and the ocean, and who are serving as leading voices across the sustainable seafood movement. The Seafood Champion awards are one of the first public acknowledgements of positive industry change for the good of the ocean.
Back to top>
- SeaWeb and Seafood Choices Alliance open an office in Paris, France. Research is conducted in the UK, Germany and Spain to ascertain consumer and professional attitudes towards sustainable seafood. Results show that in three key European countries, both consumers and professionals are beginning to embrace the sustainable seafood movement.
- Facilitated by Seafood Choices, four major conservation organizations in Europe come together to create common methodologies for assessing seafood sustainability. The project is announced at Seafood Choices’ first gathering at the world’s largest industry trade show, the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels. The Seafood Choices event is one of the first sustainability-focused events at the Show.
- Seafood Choices, in partnership with Walt Disney World, hosts a dialogue and workshop for seafood buyers from major retailers. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and global retail giant Wal-Mart begin initial discussions for the retailer’s seafood to be sourced from MSC-certified fisheries.
Back to top>
- Seafood Choices releases the first U.S. Marketplace for Sustainable Seafood report. Includes groundbreaking benchmark research on two segments of the seafood value chain – chain restaurants and seafood wholesalers and distributors – as well as the first public opinion poll of U.S. consumers and professionals’ attitudes and knowledge of sustainable seafood and the health of the ocean.
- Seafood Choices Alliance holds the first Seafood Summit in Bethesda, Maryland for conservation organizations active on sustainable seafood.
- As a result of SeaWeb’s Give Swordfish a Break campaign, Seafood Choices Alliance is founded and harnesses the voices of over 700 U.S. chefs and restaurateurs eager to participate in the sustainable seafood movement.
Back to top>
Seafood Choices’ networking events are known for creating a safe, neutral place where creative dialogue can occur. Business roundtables held in London, Scotland, Washington DC, Orlando FL and Brussels, Belgium have led to the identification of industry needs such as a standard set of reporting guidelines for the seafood processing sector. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) project is a two-year partnership between Seafood Choices Alliance and the GRI to ensure that sustainability reporting guidance for the Food Processing Sector will address the unique needs of the international seafood processing sector (approximate sector value of US$180bn worldwide).
Engagement in the development of the FAO aquaculture guidelines and industry feedback came as a direct result of European and U.S. industry engagement at Seafood Summits and roundtables around the world.
Seafood Summits consistently bring together industry, conservationists and media for three days of exploratory discussions on the looming challenges and opportunities facing the sustainable seafood movement. These efforts, and a range of activities across the conservation community, have mobilized industry to make commitments towards sustainability in seafood procurement and sales. At the 2006 Seafood Summit, Wal-Mart and the MSC announced an overhaul of the retailer’s procurement policies. In 2008, the Summit was held in Europe for the first time. Industry and conservation representatives were welcomed by the Spanish government and the chosen location was roundly praised as a strategic and welcomed move. It is Seafood Choices’ belief that this has paved the way for future dialogues and discussions in southern Europe about the urgent need to address the sustainability of fishery resources across Europe.
Seafood Choices’ publications, including the Sourcing Seafood series in the U.S., the Guide des especes in France and the Good Catch Manual in the U.K are the first publications of their kind to address the information void and need from chefs and seafood buyers for practical sourcing information to improve the sustainability of their business. Seafood Choices’ industry research and public opinion polling has helped gauge public and industry perception of seafood sustainability. This baseline data has been collected in every country in which Seafood Choices is currently active, and serves as a resource for stakeholders as well as media.
Back to top>