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The Monterey Bay
Aquarium's Seafood
Watch Program:
Promoting Ethical
Consumption

Jim Hekkers
Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay
      Aquarium’s
Seafood Watch Program
What is Seafood Watch?

• Empowers consumers and businesses
  to make choices for healthy oceans.

• Builds awareness (Why...
How It Started
• Exhibit “Fishing for
  Solutions” (1997-1999)

• Food service menu
  changes

• Husbandry feed changes

•...
Atlantic Ocean


(t/km2)




          Biomass of table fish in 1900
                    (map: V. Christensen, SAUP)
Atlantic Ocean




Biomass of table fish in 1999
          (map: V. Christensen, SAUP)
US Seafood Supply

  –   China: 22%
  –   Thailand: 15%
  –   Canada: 13 %
  –   Indonesia: 6 %
  –   Chile: 5 %
The Sustainable Seafood Movement


      Salience                              Demand
 Context-setting                    ...
What People Think
   80% of American active or sympathetic to the
    environmental movement

   69% of Americans feel, ...
Seafood Watch
           Sustainable Seafood
 “From sources, whether fished or farmed, that can
 maintain or increase prod...
Recommendation Categories
   Best Choices/Green: Consumers strongly
    encouraged to purchase seafood in this category.
...
Criteria for Seafood Watch
                   Assessments

Capture Fisheries            Aquaculture

   Inherent Vulnerab...
Seafood Reports
• Typically 30-100 pages

• Detailed narrative descriptions of
  factors and criteria as basis for
  recom...
Regional and National Pocket
Guides
                      Central US
                      Hawaii
                      No...
Seafood Watch – Outreach – 10 years of
Activities

The Seafood Watch program works in a variety of different ways:

Seafoo...
Carry the recommendations on your
              phone
Website
                       Resources




www.seafoodwatch.org
The “Super Green” List

The nexus between ocean
health and human health…

• High in omega-3s (health
  benefits)

• Low in...
Turning the Tide: The State of Seafood



 Report can be found
  at……

montereybayaquarium.com
Partners in Outreach and in
         Sustainable Seafood
• Over 180 partners across the US distributing over 2.5
  million...
Corporate Commitments

   Food service companies: Aramark and
    Compass
   Retailers: Whole Foods
   Suppliers: Santa...
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program: Promoting Ethical Consumption
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program: Promoting Ethical Consumption
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The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program: Promoting Ethical Consumption

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Jim Hekkers of the Monterey Bay Aquarium discusses the Seafood Watch program, an educational initiative to empower consumers and businesses to make sustainable choices for healthy oceans. It started as an exhibit along with food service menu recommendations, husbandry feed changes, and developed into a guide following member requests. Jim explains with graphs and data how dramatically the biomass of table fish has fallen in just 100 years, the percentage of seafood imports in the U.S., how the guide's recommendation categories work, assessment criteria for capture fisheries and aquaculture, the guide's distribution, partners, and corporate relationships with food service companies, retailers, and suppliers.

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The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program: Promoting Ethical Consumption

  1. 1. The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program: Promoting Ethical Consumption Jim Hekkers Monterey Bay Aquarium
  2. 2. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program
  3. 3. What is Seafood Watch? • Empowers consumers and businesses to make choices for healthy oceans. • Builds awareness (Why should I care?) • Provides the knowledge (What are the environmentally preferable choices?) • Encourages action (What can I do?)
  4. 4. How It Started • Exhibit “Fishing for Solutions” (1997-1999) • Food service menu changes • Husbandry feed changes • Members Asked for Consumer Guide
  5. 5. Atlantic Ocean (t/km2) Biomass of table fish in 1900 (map: V. Christensen, SAUP)
  6. 6. Atlantic Ocean Biomass of table fish in 1999 (map: V. Christensen, SAUP)
  7. 7. US Seafood Supply – China: 22% – Thailand: 15% – Canada: 13 % – Indonesia: 6 % – Chile: 5 %
  8. 8. The Sustainable Seafood Movement Salience Demand Context-setting Working with volume activities with seafood buyers to drive consumers, a demand restaurants, businesses Supply Identifying a viable supply through certification and standards
  9. 9. What People Think  80% of American active or sympathetic to the environmental movement  69% of Americans feel, as individuals, they can positively impact the environment  In many households, parents look their kids for advice on environmental issues  People will pay for seafood that is identified as healthy and sustainable – Personnel benefit is a very strong motivator
  10. 10. Seafood Watch Sustainable Seafood “From sources, whether fished or farmed, that can maintain or increase production without jeopardizing the structure and function of affected ecosystems”. → A Functioning ecosystem is as important as the status of the fish stocks
  11. 11. Recommendation Categories  Best Choices/Green: Consumers strongly encouraged to purchase seafood in this category. Fits SFW definition of “sustainable”.  Good Alternatives/Yellow: Consumers are encouraged to purchase seafood in this category, as they are better choices than “Avoid” species. However, some concerns remain so it does not meet all the qualities of “sustainable”.  Avoid/Red: Consumers are encouraged not to consume these products, and they are considered unsustainable, at least for now.
  12. 12. Criteria for Seafood Watch Assessments Capture Fisheries Aquaculture  Inherent Vulnerability  Use of Marine Resources  Stock Status  Risk of Escapes to Wild Stocks  Bycatch  Risk of Disease Transfer to Wild  Habitat Effects Stocks  Management  Risk of Pollution and Habitat Effects  Management Goal: accurate, objective, balanced, thoughtful, precautionary
  13. 13. Seafood Reports • Typically 30-100 pages • Detailed narrative descriptions of factors and criteria as basis for recommendation • References for all information sources • Peer reviewed by at least 2 scientific experts • Available at www.SeafoodWatch.org
  14. 14. Regional and National Pocket Guides Central US Hawaii Northeast Southeast Southwest (English/Spanish) West Coast (English/Spanish) National (English/Spanish) National Sushi
  15. 15. Seafood Watch – Outreach – 10 years of Activities The Seafood Watch program works in a variety of different ways: Seafood Watch Pocket Guides – consumer tool  32 Million distributed  Market Research  Over 180 partners across the US distributing over 2.5 million pocket guides Major Buyer partnerships – business tools  All Fish List  Charts of Alternatives Mobile applications – iPhone 200,000 Unique downloads Monterey Bay Aquarium website Embracing the trends,  >500,000 annual downloads from web  Key education tools cutting edge  Transparency
  16. 16. Carry the recommendations on your phone
  17. 17. Website Resources www.seafoodwatch.org
  18. 18. The “Super Green” List The nexus between ocean health and human health… • High in omega-3s (health benefits) • Low in contaminants (PCBs, mercury) • Seafood Watch “Best Choice”
  19. 19. Turning the Tide: The State of Seafood  Report can be found at…… montereybayaquarium.com
  20. 20. Partners in Outreach and in Sustainable Seafood • Over 180 partners across the US distributing over 2.5 million pocket guides • Over 100 Zoos, Aquariums, Science Centers • Rebranded Sustainable Seafood Aquarium Programs – Shedd, Seattle, Georgia, Mandalay Bay, North Carolina • Other environmental organizations – basing their programs on MBA - Environmental Defense Fund, SeaChoice, FishWise – many others rely on our research....
  21. 21. Corporate Commitments  Food service companies: Aramark and Compass  Retailers: Whole Foods  Suppliers: Santa Monica Seafood Several others in discussion stages, including Target and Trader Joes

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