As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to emerge around the world, 20 organizations from the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions stand by the people that make the seafood industry a provider of a healthy source of protein and jobs for hundreds of millions of people around the world. As a global community working together to improve the health of our oceans and the well-being of those who depend on them by driving change in seafood production, we offer our help and support with the immense challenges currently facing businesses. In addition, we aim to be flexible in our shared work and responsive to the quickly-shifting needs of businesses. We are very thankful and grateful to everyone working to keep food supply chains operating in these difficult circumstances.
We remind consumers to eat and buy seafood as a way to support both the global seafood trade and local producers. We know that almost everyone in the seafood industry, from fishers and farmers to distributors and chefs, are faced with a multitude of challenges right now. For many people, this will mean severe financial hardship, including loss of employment. For others, this means adapting to a new way of doing business in a landscape that is unfamiliar and unpredictable. Indeed, there are whole fisheries unsure of whether their seasons will even happen and farms unsure of whether there will be markets for their harvest. This doesn’t just affect businesses, but the employees, their families, and broader communities around the world.
Seafood producers however, are nothing if not determined. During the uncertainty of these last few weeks the industry has united and innovated in response to new challenges like never before. We applaud the sense of togetherness and creativity demonstrated by initiatives such as discounts and donations to employees and partners and direct-to-consumer sales with pick-ups and home deliveries. Our community is, and will continue to, actively promote these efforts, spotlighting the people doing the hard work and making the hard sacrifices to get high quality protein to consumers.
The seafood industry has made tremendous progress over the last decade on a wide range of difficult issues. Now, we will do everything in our power to support them through this difficult time. As consumers of seafood, we can all help the seafood industry in several ways:
- To support the global seafood trade, we can keep purchasing from our favorite retailers and restaurants and look for delivery options where they are available. The livelihoods of many people around the world rely on the global seafood trade, and it is important to continue to support their efforts.
- To support national and local fishers and farmers, we can seek out ways to buy local products through special pop-up events and direct-to-consumer sales, in turn helping support our communities.
- As always, we suggest using a sustainability shopping guide or seeking out products with credible certifications. Many people around the world have worked very hard to improve the sustainability of seafood products, and we should support those efforts with our purchases whenever possible.
Our organizations are inspired to see folks throughout the seafood industry pooling resources, standing together, and working toward shared goals. The challenges presented by this crisis are unprecedented, so we too must rise with unprecedented energy, joining together across the supply chain to collectively create the future we wish to see. We invite you to reach out to the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions for support in continuing to provide a healthy sustainable protein supply.
Aquaculture Stewardship Council
Environmental Defense Fund
Fair Trade USA
Future of Fish
Global Aquaculture Alliance
Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Marine Stewardship Council
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
The Nature Conservancy
A project of the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions.