Conservation Alliance collaborating organization, Sea Pact, is an innovative association of ten leading North American seafood companies working together to drive industry sustainability progress. On World Oceans Day, the group announced funding support to three projects advancing aquaculture sustainability globally.
Aquaculture now accounts for over 50% of seafood consumed globally, and advances in the management and governance of how aquaculture operates and continues to grow are paramount to ocean health. Sea Pact members are strong proponents of responsible aquaculture to provide sustainable food and jobs, and also restore marine ecosystems. We support the mission of achieving ocean sustainability through improved global farmed seafood production.
The recipients of the Sea Pact funding grants are:
The Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative (ASIC) project to assess and improve black tiger shrimp fisheries in Vietnam and Indonesia that supply the wild caught broodstock to produce seeds for culture. Currently these fisheries are considered “Overfished” by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), but there is very little actual sustainability assessment information available or direct efforts to help them improve. This project seeks to utilize the ASIC fishery improvement protocol to assess and improve the sustainability of black tiger shrimp fisheries and help shrimp aquaculture producers ensure their industry is more sustainable. Its uniqueness is that its aim is to improve both a fishery and also an aquaculture industry as well.
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), another Alliance partner, has been selected for a project focused on creating a tool that will enable seafood production industries to improve regional water quality management and protection of the water resource that is essential to all aquaculture production. They will do this by adapting a tool developed for salmon net pen industry planning to the context of pond-based shrimp aquaculture in Asia. The test of a simple, cost effective approach to assessing water quality of shared water bodies for shrimp farming will be piloted in Thailand, with the aim of developing a model that could be applied more broadly.
Renewed Sea Pact funding is continuing to support the British Columbia Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences (BC CAHS) innovative and successful research project that is seeking to radically improve sea lice mitigation within the net-pen farmed salmon industry. They are lab and field testing the use of native perch as cleaner fish as a non-chemical, low-stress, biological method for sustainably managing sea lice on farmed Atlantic salmon. The development of this effective tool aims to reduce the use of chemical treatments and to significantly reduce the environmental impact on the marine environment.
“We congratulate the selected organizations and look forward to game-changing results from these projects which all have a strong relevance for creating positive change for our industry and for the sustainability of the oceans”, says Hamish Walker, chief operating officer of Seattle Fish Co., and chair of the Sea Pact Advisory Council.
Rob Johnson, managing director of Sea Pact, states that “we are happy to announce these grants on World Oceans Day this year” and commented to “watch for more funding announcements on fisheries projects to be forthcoming soon, as well as the opening of the seventh round of request for project funding grant proposals later this summer”.
About Sea Pact:
Sea Pact consists of ten like-minded, leading seafood distributors across North America: Albion Farms & Fisheries in Vancouver, Fortune Fish & Gourmet in Chicago, Ipswich Shellfish Group in Boston, Santa Monica Seafood in Los Angeles, Seacore Seafood in Toronto, Seattle Fish Co. in Denver, J.J. McDonnell in Baltimore, Stavis Seafood in Boston, North Atlantic Inc. from Portland, Maine and Euclid Fish Company from Cleveland. These companies are united for a sustainable future and are using their collective strength to lead by example and drive improvement of environmental, economic, and social responsibility throughout the global seafood supply chain. Sea Pact receives sustainability council from non-profit organizations Ocean Outcomes, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, and FishWise, and is a project under New Venture Fund’s 501(c)3 non-profit status. To learn more about Sea Pact visit their website at www.seapact.org and follow on twitter and facebook.