Report: Sustainable Seafood Movement Gains Momentum
The sustainable seafood movement is gaining a foothold throughout the U.S. seafood supply chain, even though it's still in its infancy, according to a report Seafood Choices Alliance released yesterday.
Titled The U.S. Marketplace for Sustainable Seafood: Are We Hooked Yet?, the report found that 37 percent of U.S. wholesalers, chain restaurants and supermarkets stopped purchasing certain seafood items in 2007 due to environmental concerns, up from 20 percent in 2001.
The report also discovered that 49 percent of wholesalers, 39 percent of chain restaurants and one-third of supermarkets are "very concerned" about the ocean's health; 52 percent of wholesalers, 28 percent of chain restaurants and 20 percent of supermarkets say more than half of the seafood they sell is "sustainable," though their definitions of sustainable vary dramatically.
What's more, the report found that 69 percent of retailers and 37 percent of foodservice operators expect their seafood sales to increase in the next five years.
"The results present positive evidence of a growing awareness in the seafood industry of the importance of choosing sustainable seafood, as well as the myriad environmental impacts of commercial fishing and aquaculture," said Mike Boots, director of the SCA in Silver Spring, Md., in a press release. "The task now is turning this awareness into action on behalf of preserving our ocean resources. Business is beginning to see that procuring seafood that is sustainable benefits both an economic and an environmental bottom line."
Commissioned by the SCA, the 2007 telephone survey on which the report was based was conducted by the independent research firm Edge Research of Arlington, Va.
The 34-page report is available online at http://www.seafoodchoices.org/resources/USmarketplace.php.