Albion Fisheries, Santa Monica Seafood, Seattle Fish Co. and other major seafood companies have formed Sea Pact, an industry coalition to advance environmentally sustainable fisheries and aquaculture practices.
The members say they’ll help build a long-term sustainable seafood industry by financially contributing to improve the fishing and fish farming systems from where they source their seafood.
Six US and Canadian companies currently make up Sea Pact. Other founding members are Fortune Fish & Gourmet, Ipswich Shellfish Group and Seacore Seafood. All members have committed to publicly state goals for a more sustainable seafood supply chain and monitor and measure progress towards the goals.
The coalition grew out of Santa Monica Seafood’s Responsible Sourcing/Vendor Partnership (RSVP) Program, a collaboration with FishWise that applied a percentage of the company’s purchases toward projects aimed at improving fisheries and aquaculture efforts at home and abroad.
Logan Kock, vice president of strategic purchasing and responsible sourcing at Santa Monica Seafood says individual companies don’t have the financial means to make meaningful improvements in the industry. But through pooling their resources and combined buying power, Sea Pact members can sponsor sustainability projects that would otherwise be too large in scope.
The coalition says it’s currently accepting applications for projects and will announce the first couple “real soon.”
Sea Pact receives fiscal sponsorship from nonprofit New Venture Fund and sustainability counsel from nonprofit organizations FishWise and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.
Whole Foods, Safeway and Trader Joe’s are the only three grocery chains to earn a green rating in Greenpeace’s annual report evaluating and ranking supermarkets on their sustainable seafood policies.
The grocery chains earned scores of 7.3, 7.1 and seven, respectively, in the scorecard, which has been released each year since 2008. Seven is the lowest score that qualifies for a green rating, according to Greenpeace’s 2013 Carting Away the Oceans report. Ratings evaluate retailers on a variety of factors including the sale of so-called “red list” seafood, transparency of supply and engagement with conservation initiatives.