Sustainability is a core value at Seattle Fish and our involvement with Sea Pact helps provide us with an understanding of what’s happening in the seafood industry and the most up to date information on the best purchasing practices.
Seattle Fish Co. is a founding member of Sea Pact – a group of leading North American Seafood Companies dedicated to driving stewardship and continuous improvement of social, economic, and environmental responsibility throughout the global seafood supply chain. A customer of Seattle Fish should have confidence that when there’s an option – we will always choose the most sustainable product.
The twelve members of Sea Pact – Seattle Fish Company, Euclid Fish Company, Fortune Fish & Gourmet, Inland Seafood, Ipswich Shellfish Group, J.J. McDonnell, North Atlantic Inc., Santa Monica Seafood, Seacore Seafood, Stavis Seafoods, Acme Smoked Fish, & Blue Ocean Mariculture – are updated with information by the following NGOs – Fish Wise, Sustainable Fisheries Partnerships, Multiplier, and Ocean Outcomes. This streamline of information provides the members of Sea Pact with the clearest information in order to responsibly source for their customers.
The NGOs look at the most influential seafood sales and actively look to provide funding for items able to create a large difference in the industry. Hamish Walker, SFC’s Chief Sustainability and Development Officer, and Sam Grimley, Sea Pact’s Executive Director, provided insight into project funding and updates on current initiatives.
Sea Pact provides funding for both wild and farmed fishing projects. Our membership, and inherently our customers’ loyalty to Seattle Fish, helps provide improvements on sustainability in the seafood industry. Two projects the members of Sea Pact are currently working on are the Seafood Literacy retail education and the Ocean Era/Center for Aquaculture Technologies project to use fermented seaweed to feed farmed salmon.
The Seafood Literacy retail project will support education of retail seafood counter associates via a 4-hour e-learning program. With seafood counter employees being known to have a high turnover rate, it is imperative to have a user-friendly course to teach employees about why sustainable seafood matters, types of fishing and aquaculture methods, and knowledge about seafood topics that consumers often inquire about. Seattle Fish is passionate about educating our retail partners and store employees about products we carry and ways we responsibly source.
There is an ongoing focus to reduce the environmental footprints or diets for farmed fish, and now with the Ocean Era’s Sea Pact funded project, they are developing a process for fermentation of seaweeds to render them more digestible for fish. Sam referred to this as “partially digested seaweed” and this idea could change the game on how we feed farmed fish.
There is growing interest in the culture of seaweed for the environmental and socio-economic benefits. Seaweed is incredibly efficient to grow – requiring no land area, freshwater, or fertilizer, and absorbs carbon dioxide. With 70% of earth being ocean, we should begin to think creatively about using the ocean to grow crops or feed for livestock.
Currently, salmon feed mainly consists of fish oil and fishmeal from, for example, wild anchoveta as well as terrestrial crops like soy and corn. While salmon tend to be picky carnivorous animals, the initial results of the projects show positive possibilities that we could feed fish with a plant that helps its environment.
Feeding farmed salmon seaweed could continue to decrease the environmental impact of raising farmed fish. Hamish made the point that fish make great livestock, with a fraction of the farming carbon footprint that cows have. Using seaweed in their feed could improve that even more, as well as reducing reliance on soy and corn which have their own impacts on soil health and freshwater quality.
A Seattle Fish Co. customer is in default supporting the growth of aquaculture education, fishery habitat and wild stock enhancement restoration, and fishery improvements projects. In the near future, Sea Pact will be including outcomes and pictures of their projects on their website, which will help show the history and results. We are grateful to our Seattle Fish customers for choosing to buy from us, as the support helps the growth of aquaculture and sustainable wild fishing practices through our involvement with companies like Sea Pact!