Inland attended the SFP's Target 75 forum this week, here's a quick recap of some of the highlights of Day 1:
Advancements in Aquaculture
Our first session was an Aquaculture Workshop designed to outline zonal management as a critical part of achieving sustainable aquaculture. We were introduced to SFP's approach to aquaculture and discussed how Aquaculture Improvement Projects are enhanced and supported by a zonal management approach.
Zonal management is an important concept. It’s easy to see that even if a handful of farms in a region have been certified as sustainable, they are possibly sharing a water body with other users who may not be following best practices. A disease outbreak can move quickly through farms regardless of how careful a farmer has been. The aquatic version of “one bad apple spoils the bunch”.
We heard from several people about how coordination between farms can help everyone find success. On the flip side, we’ve seen examples of how even the best run farms can be impacted by quickly spreading diseases. The 2007 ISA outbreak in Chile helped catalyze the idea that in many cases farms and farmers need to work together for the good of the industry.
SFP offers a framework for Sustainably Managed Aquaculture which you can read in detail on their website. They advocate for “best practices at the farm level, production zone level and national policy level. SFP proposes to work with the seafood supply chain and related stakeholder to promote comprehensive improvements to aquaculture through Aqauculture Improvement Projects and Supply Chain roundtables using the Framework as a roadmap. The Framework is guided heavily by FAO’s Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture, and also forms the backbone of SFP’s FishSource Aquaculture assessment methodology.” The framework is organized around the following principles:
- National and Regional Governance
- Best Practice
- Disease Risk
- Resource Management
If you have any questions about Inland’s approach to sourcing farmed seafood, please let us know. We look forward to continuing to engage with SFP and the farmers we work with.
Jeremy Rude from FishChoice walked us through the FisheryProgress.org website and reviewed the work they have been doing. If you haven’t spent any time on this comprehensive a easy-to-use website, find some time to explore. Starting with 3 Fishery Improvement Projects back in 2006 to over 100 last year (and growing), FisheryProject.org is the source that industry turns to for recognizing the work that FIP’s are achieving around the world.
Knights of the Roundtable
Inland is currently a member of two supplier roundtables – both of which met this week in Miami.
1. Mexican Seafood Supplier Roundtable
Inland is a member of this SR, and we’re very interested in having a positive impact of several species important to our customers. Mexican snapper is on the top of the list, so we were happy to learn more about a new FIP focusing on Gulf Snapper. We’ll update you as more information on this project becomes available.
Short presentations from several groups doing great work for Mexico fisheries helped offer a comprehensive view of the work that is happening (and needs to happen) in Mexico.
COBI Community and Biodiversity (COBI in Spanish) is focused on preserving marine ecosystems and encouraging the sustainable harvest of resources. They have initiatives in place around Mexico, and we’re glad to see the collaborative efforts they are involved in. Learn more here: https://cobi.org.mx/en/
We heard from another NGO focused on collaboration, Impactivo Collectivo, learn more about their efforts here: https://www.icpmx.org/
One thing you can do is be aware that shrimp fisheries in the Gulf of California have seriously impacted populations of Vaquita porpoises. There are less than 50 left, and they are headed for extinction despite extensive efforts to save them. Illegal shrimping operations are a huge part of the problem and work is being done to monitor the situation, but if you want to do something to help today, make a donation to Vaquita CPR here: https://www.vaquitacpr.org/
That’s quite the acronym! Our final assignment of the day was a session of the Eastern Pacific Ocean Large Pelagic Seafood Roundtable which focused on current and developing mahi improvement efforts in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Mahi is an important inventory for us, and we’re excited to engage more with fishery improvement efforts happening in this area. Multiple fishery improvement projects focusing on Peru and Ecuador and making progress. Peru and Ecuador are two of the top five mahi producing countries.
According to SFP metrics 59% of global mahi stocks are sustainable or improving. We look forward to actively supporting progress towards a target of 75% sustainable (…next stop – 100%).
It was an enlightening and encouraging kick off to the Forum. We’ll post a recap from Day 2 shortly!