Surfrider Foundations's Ocean Friendly Restaurants collaborate with FishChoice

Published on
April 9, 2019

Members of the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program in the United States are now getting a hand from the FishChoice platform to help ensure their seafood is sustainable.

The more than 440 members of the Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants Program agree to actively seek to reduce their plastic waste and do their best to serve sustainable seafood.

While many of the eateries in the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program serve certified sustainable seafood considered a "best alternative" or "good choice," as defined by Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program, or have other sustainable certifications such as the Marine Stewardship Council blue tick, the guidelines are complex.

“To only serve seafood that falls under these certifications…is difficult as the list of seafood is constantly being updated with new fisheries science and updated catch statistics,” Surfrider Foundation said on its website. “The collaboration with FishChoice helps restaurants manage their commitment to seafood sustainability on their own and makes it easier to navigate the complicated seafood market.”

The FishChoice platform helps restaurants ensure that their seafood is sustainable by creating individualized assessments and connecting restaurants with suppliers that serve the best sustainable fish, according to Surfrider.

"Surfrider is excited to collaborate with the experts at FishChoice who are advancing businesses towards seafood sustainability,” Surfrider said.

Restaurants participating in the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program must follow the first five criteria:

  • No expanded polystyrene use (aka styrofoam).
  • Proper recycling practices are followed.
  • Only reusable tableware is used for onsite dining, and disposable utensils for takeout food are provided only upon request.
  • No plastic bags offered for takeout or to-go orders.
  • Straws are provided only upon request.

Then, they must choose a minimum of two of these criteria:

  • No beverages sold in plastic bottles.
  • Discount is offered for customers with reusable cup, mug, bag, etc.
  • Vegetarian/vegan food options are offered on a regular basis
  • All seafood must be a “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” as defined by Seafood Watch or certified as sustainable.
  • Water conservation efforts, such as low-flow faucets and toilets, are implemented.
  • Energy efficiency efforts such as LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, are in place. 
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