Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program reduces staff

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program has “substantially” reduced its workforce through furloughs and layoffs, according to a 27 April press release from the aquarium.

The Seafood Watch program maintains a set of standards by which it ranks the environmental sustainability of the world’s fisheries. It also produces a consumer guide in which it ranks fisheries via a three-tiered system: Green, or “Best Choice” seafood, which has minimal adverse impacts on the environment; Yellow, or “Good Alternative” seafood, which are good options when “Best Choices” aren’t available; and Red, or seafood to “Avoid,” meaning the seafood is not sourced using environmentally responsible means.

The aquarium has been closed since 12 March due to the coronavirus crisis. It said the staff reduction was necessary “to maintain aquarium operations through its closure.”

“The prolonged closure of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in response to efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus has led to the difficult decision to substantially reduce its workforce through furloughs and layoffs. This has impacted a number of Seafood Watch program staff,” the aquarium said. “Seafood Watch remains committed to maintaining the quality of its work. Those that rely on the program’s information and guidance can expect the vital initiative to continue.”

The Seafood Watch program will continue to provide assessments of wild and farmed seafood production based upon its newly updated standards, it said. It will also continue its engagement projects in crab, farmed shrimp, and salmon; maintain outreach and seafood buying guidance for the general public and seafood businesses; continue its formal partnerships with major foodservice, retail, and seafood companies; maintain partnerships with culinarians and cultural institutions; and seek to support the seafood industry as it grapples with the impacts of COVID-19.

Photo courtesy of Iv-olga/Shutterstock


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