The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program

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1 The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program High Volume Fish and Seafood Traceability and Utilization Expectations for Institutional Foodservice Operators and Sustainability Rating and Guidance Programs October 2015 Changing Tastes 67 Church Street, Suite 4., Lenox, MA

2 High Volume Foodservice Expectations for Responsible Utilization of Seafood The following document contains a set of expectations for foodservice operations and companies developed by Seafood Watch with the involvement of leading marine conservation NGOs. These expectations include What to buy now from national vendors and suppliers in canned tuna, frozen shrimp and whitefish, and fresh and frozen salmon (high volume seafood) in the context of current Seafood Watch recommendations and Eco-Certifications. Here, it is expected that any company or operation may choose to adopt more restrictive standards, but not utilize high volume seafood from other sources. 1. Additional regionally important sources that can be utilized but may not be available in sufficient volumes or in national distribution. 2. NGO community identification of top environmental concerns and qualities of wellmanaged sources (fisheries, farms) 3. Conservation actions your companies can take that can lead to improved fisheries management and additional sources 4. Guidance on campaigns and social concerns relative to these sources that may pose a risk to your company What data you should be able to obtain from national vendors and suppliers about the high volume seafood products you purchase, and its location and method of capture or production. These expectations were developed through: 1. Desktop Review and Consultation with marine conservation NGOs to identify sources by place of capture (fishery) or harvest. 2. Discussion and input from Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions (www.solutionsforseafood.org) Members on which sources they expected foodservice companies to use and why, as well as what actions companies could take to drive improvement in other sources. Though input from this group was incorporated, complete consensus on these recommendations was not achieved. 3. Two meetings of NGOs working on tuna fishery management (October, April) to further refine guidance on sources and actions. 4. A final assessment of sources based on operational, environmental and social risk and reputational risk from NGO campaigns across the categories. Monterey Bay Aquarium Foodservice High Volume Category Recommendations Page 2

3 5. Identification of other regionally important, smaller volume sources that may not be available in national distribution. Monterey Bay Aquarium Foodservice High Volume Category Recommendations Page 3

4 Guidance for Including Seafood in Sustainability Rating and Guidance Programs The purpose of this document is to articulate for rating, ranking and pledge programs, trade associations and other interested organizations our recommendations for what constitutes an effective sustainable seafood purchasing policy. It is designed to serve as the basis for model policies and guidance for how to evaluate the sustainability of seafood utilization in foodservice operations. Your seafood purchasing ratings, advice or policy should include: A Focus on: High-volume frozen and canned products such as tuna, shrimp, salmon and whitefish. Buying the right products in high volume- this is as important as avoiding buying the wrong products. What to buy: Preferentially buy from the Seafood Watch green Best Choices list If not available, buy yellow Good Alternatives, or Seafood certified to approved eco-standards 1 What to avoid: Items on the Seafood Watch red Avoid list Items not yet rated by Seafood Watch 2 What to know: For all seafood products, require the following information using Seafood Watch recommended formats and data elements: o Latin Species name o The location of where it was caught or farmed o How it was caught or farmed (fishing gear type or product characteristics) o If eco-certified: require the chain of custody documentation 1 Seafood Watch has benchmarked the standards of the leading eco-certification programs to our standards for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. The list of approved standards found to be equivalent to at least a Seafood Watch yellow Good Alternative can be found here. 2 Seafood Watch is constantly adding new recommendations. Contact us to see if the seafood items you re looking for is under assessment, or to request that we conduct an assessment. Monterey Bay Aquarium Foodservice High Volume Category Recommendations Page 4

5 The less you know about your seafood sources, the higher the risk of purchasing from fisheries or fish farms that are not environmentally, legally or socially responsible. Seafood Watch offers a set of standard definitions for each element that for all supply chain partners can use to improve supply chain transparency Stay connected: Visit seafoodwatch.org or use our App, as the Seafood Watch recommendations are frequently updated. Subscribe to our monthly updates to automatically receive the latest information. Use the Seafood Calculator to track the sustainability of your seafood purchasing. Become a Seafood Watch Partner. Ask your audiences to visit seafoodwatch.org for a wealth of information about sustainable seafood, and what they can do. Monterey Bay Aquarium Foodservice High Volume Category Recommendations Page 5

6 Seafood Supply Chain Traceability for High Volume Products Traceability of fish and seafood products is a key enabler for driving improved fishery management, ensuring acceptable social conditions, and preventing fraudulent and unauthorized activities. Fresh and frozen as well as regional and global seafood supply chains lack adequate transparency both with respect to standard data elements and also the timely exchange of information. Foodservice companies and operators should expect their suppliers and distributors of fish and seafood products to have adequate transparency into their supply chains and be able to provide information upon request in order to ensure and promote improved conservation, social and governance standards. What to Request Now Leading marine conservation organizations agree that all foodservice operators should expect that their suppliers and distributors to be able to provide upon request the following Key Data Elements (KDEs) for the all fish and seafood products they supply, including high volume products. Latin species name Production Method, either: o Wild Catch Method (FAO Fishing Gear + Specific Gear type) o Farmed Production method (Parent Category + Production Characteristics) Location, at a minimum: o Fishery Location (FAO Fishing Area + Subregion) o Farming Location (Country of Farming + Management Zone) o For wild caught tuna, also vessel and trip. Further request traceability for all products to the vessel and farm level as a best practice, and future expectation. This expectation should be communicated to suppliers as soon as possible, and included in future bid processes, contracts and business reviews. These KDEs are the same as those in the Presidential Task Force Recommendations on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud and also in the GS1 product traceability standards for fish and seafood. Monterey Bay Aquarium Foodservice High Volume Category Recommendations Page 6

7 Actions to Support Improved Traceability to enable better Marine Conservation and Social Standards Pre-competitive and joint advocacy by foodservice companies and operations is needed over the very near term to improve traceability in the fish and seafood sector. Every foodservice company and operation should publicly support: Submit supportive comments to the Presidential Task Force on Combatting IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud Support GS1 inclusion of the KDEs noted above in their final standards, which represents current proposed data elements. They also should request that their distributors and suppliers join them in these or similar actions. All sustainability rating and guidance organizations should undertake similar actions. Monterey Bay Aquarium Foodservice High Volume Category Recommendations Page 7

8 Salmon: Contract Foodservice Operator Expectations Salmon from both wildcaught and farmed production and in both fresh and frozen forms is a regular part of foodservice menus and operations. What to Buy Now and How Leading marine conservation organizations agree that over the next two years it is reasonable to expect foodservice operators to use salmon from any or all of the following sources: Seafood Watch Best Choices - Wild, Alaska (MSC certified) - Farmed in tanks (1,000 tons) - Farmed New Zealand King Salmon (8,000 tons) Seafood Watch Good Alternatives -Wild, CA/ OR/ WA/ BC (33,000 tons) -Verlasso (2,000 tons) Eco-certified sources -MSC certified (200, ,000 tons) The rationale and benefit from utilizing these sources includes: MSC identifies better wild fisheries performers. Chain of custody ensures product is from legal vessel Supports farming operations that minimize chemical use and environmental impacts There also are a host of regionally-important substitute choices to farmed salmon. While these options are all salmonids (related to salmon) and may be acceptable substitutes with respect to taste, texture, and culinary preparation, these options are also produced in lower volumes and may not be available in national distribution. These include: Farmed Trout (18,000 tons) Farmed Arctic Char (4,000 tons) Monterey Bay Aquarium Foodservice High Volume Category Recommendations Page 8

9 Shrimp: Contract Foodservice Operator Expectations Shrimp from both wildcaught and farmed production are a regular part of foodservice menus and operations both in minimally and further processed forms. What to Buy Now and How Leading marine conservation organizations agree that over the next two years it is reasonable to expect foodservice operators to use shrimp from any or all of the following sources: Seafood Watch Best Choices - Various small volume sources, reference SFW guide Seafood Watch Good Alternatives -Wild Caught US, including from Louisiana (74,000 tons) -Farmed Ecuador (72,000 tons) -Farmed Honduras (27,000 tons) Eco-certified sources -MSC certified (380,000 tons) -Global BAP 2,3, or 4 star certified (100,000 tons) Most volume from Asia -Global ASC certified (15,000 tons) These sources of shrimp have lower impacts than other sources in the following key areas: Wild: bycatch of endangered sea turtles, poor management, illegal fishing and poor enforcement of regulations. Farmed: chemical use, pollution, habitat impacts and human rights concerns. There also are a host of regional important choices produced in lower volumes and that may not be available in national distribution. These include: Pot and trap spot prawns from British Columbia Beam trawl shrimp from British Columbia Trap Northern Pink Shrimp from Atlantic Canada Alaskan trap caught Pink Shrimp. It is also important to note that not all Marine Conservation NGOs agree on recommending Ecuador farmed shrimp and some recommend only MSC, BAP or ASC certified shrimp. Monterey Bay Aquarium Foodservice High Volume Category Recommendations Page 9

10 Whitefish: Contract Foodservice Operator Expectations Whitefish, consisting of a host of both wildcaught and farmed, mild tasting and flaky fishes are used commonly in foodservice operations both in minimally and further processed forms. What to Buy Now and How Leading marine conservation organizations agree that over the next two years it is reasonable to expect foodservice operators to use Whitefish from any or all of the following sources: Seafood Watch Best Choices - Pacific Cod, Alaska (309,000 tons) - Farmed Catfish, US (200,000 tons) - Farmed Tilapia, US & Ecuador (8,000 tons) Seafood Watch Good Alternatives -Pacific Cod, California, Oregon, Washington State, British Columbia (1,900 tons) -Farmed Tilapia, China & Taiwan (1.2 million tons) Eco-certified sources -MSC certified Pollock (2.1 million tons) -MSC certified Cod (300,000 tons) -BAP 2,3, or 4 star certified Pangasius (30,000 tons) -ASC certified Pangasius (195,00 tons) These fisheries taken as a whole are highly productive and annually yield over 4 million metric tons of tuna (in 2011) compared to the approximately 6,000 metric tons used by the four largest contract foodservice providers in the U.S. The reasons for favoring these sources are For Wild caught: supports efforts to reduce overfishing, rebuild fish populations, reduce bycatch and habitat damage For Farmed: supports operations that minimize chemical use and environmental impacts Additionally, West Coast Groundfish are a regionally important alternative but may not be available through national distribution Monterey Bay Aquarium Foodservice High Volume Category Recommendations Page 10

11 Tuna: Contract Foodservice Operator Expectations Tuna is one of the most widely used seafood products in foodservice and responsible utilization of tuna is a key part of sustainability in fish and seafood. It is important to recognize that all tuna fisheries need improvement. What to Buy Now and How Seafood Watch has identified a set of tuna fisheries recognized as best choices or good alternatives for skipjack, albacore and other types of frozen and canned tuna as well as other eco-certified sources. Seafood Watch expects that over the next two years foodservice operators to use only Skipjack and Albacore Tuna from among these sources. Additionally, foodservice operations should require suppliers and distributors of canned albacore and skipjack tuna to be able to provide traceability back to the vessel and trip, a higher level of traceability than is required for other high volume fish and seafood categories due to the unique social and environmental concerns and practices in the global tuna supply chain. Seafood Watch also worked with leading marine conservation organizations with expertise in tuna to identify what sources the groups prefers that foodservice utilize over the next two years for Skipjack and Albacore Tuna. These are: Skipjack MSC certified PNA free school (616,410 tons) Skipjack MSC certified Maldives pole and line (51,000 tons) Albacore MSC Canada Troll/Pole (6,056 tons) Albacore MSC US Troll/Pole (5,000 tons) Albacore MSC New Zealand Troll/Pole (3,000 tons) These fisheries are highly productive and annually yield over 650,000 metric tones of tuna (in 2011) compared to the approximately 6,000 metric tons used by the four largest contract foodservice providers in the U.S. These also are the tuna fisheries that leading marine conservation organizations agree currently represent the best managed tuna fisheries and where, importantly, this management can be independently verified and product traceability is reliable The preferred tuna sources are unique among the world s commercial tuna fisheries in sharing the following characteristics. Dolphin-safe Well-managed Healthy target species stock Low bycatch Traceability with the Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certificate High social impact Monterey Bay Aquarium Foodservice High Volume Category Recommendations Page 11

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