Gulf Wild grouper

The Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance on Thursday announced its traceability program is now live, giving seafood buyers an innovative way to track their purchases and eliminate seafood fraud.

“It’s time consumers know exactly what seafood they are eating, who is catching it and from where,” said Jason Delacruz, one of the pioneers of the Gulf Wild™ traceable seafood brand, and a fisherman from Largo, Fla. “We’re actually putting the credentials of every one of our fish online for the entire world to see.”

Gulf Wild™ seafood recently completed a six-month, 100,000-trackable gill tag pilot program, with more than 100 high-volume commercial fishermen participating across the five-state Gulf region.

Created with the long-term sustainability of fish and fishermen in mind, the brand affixes uniquely numbered identification tags to the gill plate of every American red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) and Gulf-caught grouper. The tags are the key to allowing chefs, retailers and consumers to immediately view the credentials of their fish — including where it was caught and by whom — at the smart phone friendly MyGulfWild.com.

“We feel like others do — that we’ve created a transparent system that will restore confidence in our catch and allow consumers to eat their seafood with certainty,” said David Krebs, of Destin, Fla., and president of the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance (shareholdersalliance.org). “Our next steps involve securing more regional and national distributors, conservation-minded fishermen, and sustainability-focused retailers and restaurants,” Krebs said.

The program has strong support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service, the state of Florida, Chefs Collaborative, Guy Harvey magazine, inland and coastal restaurants, regional distributors and others.

“We have one million tags and more than 100 proud fishermen at the ready,” said Buddy Guindon, a 35-year veteran fisherman from Galveston, Texas, and one of the primary architects of the Gulf Wild™ system. “We’re way past ready for this full launch stage — we’re eager to restore confidence with our wild and trackable catch from the Gulf of Mexico.”

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