Industry players hope to inspire solution for change with the weeklong event
Last year saw the birthing of Sustainable Seafood Week—an initiative by a community of hotels, restaurants, retailers and NGOs to build public awareness on the issue of responsible seafood sourcing and how critical it is for the seafood industry to act in response to the rapid depletion of the ocean’s resources.
The second Sustainable Seafood Week, after getting an enthusiastic response from players in the industry, is set for Feb. 20 to 26, and promises to be an even bigger weeklong celebration and portal for learning responsible seafood sourcing practices.
“There are more participants this year, more hotels and restaurants, educational institutions, NGOs, retailers and other interested organizations,” says Christian Schmidradner, general manager of seafood company Meliomar.
“This shows growing importance placed on the topic of responsible seafood sourcing, implemented traceability, legal fisheries, and improvement of fishery and aquaculture management. We started this movement with the involvement of all stakeholders, and with so many more organizations involved, we can draw more attention on the topic.”
This year’s activities will include workshops to develop a monitoring framework that will enable the progress of responsibly sourced seafood on the menus of the hotels and restaurants, and will link the Sustainable Seafood initiative to government policies. An educational series on Sustainable Seafood will also be kicked off, to provide venues for discussion and learning throughout the year. The initiative will also bring more activities to more public spaces, in order to reach out to a broader spectrum of people.
The group behind the Sustainable Seafood initiative emphasizes that the real impact of the effort will be when proven sustainable seafood solutions are connected to the buyers in the hotel, restaurant and retail chains. These seafood products that count as responsible solutions are fully traceable from legal fisheries, include no threatened and endangered species, are not caught with harmful and destructive gear and are not juvenile fish. Best sustainable seafood products from aquacultures have no external feed, no medication,
and are purely naturally grown.
The initiative’s partners stress that a multi-stakeholder approach is critical. All stakeholders have an important role in the successful realization of our vision. Laws, execution, community building, procurement guidelines and responsibly built supply chains, sustainable seafood policies, public awareness, and education are all important ingredients to improving the state of our oceans in the future. The Sustainable Seafood initiative envisions this collaboration of the stakeholders and brings the work of all involved organizations onto one public platform and inspires solutions for change.
“The government should take cue from this increasing number of Sustainable Seafood Week participating establishments to strongly and urgently implement the Amended Fisheries Code of the Philippines, and ensure that fish is sustainably provided. Making sure seafood is sustainable is crucial in allowing our seas to recover from overfishing and ecosystem degradation.
Week Philippines is first in Southeast Asia and shows how the Philippine hospitality industry is serious in their role to address the problems happening at sea, one plate at a time,” says Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
For more information about Sustainable Seafood Week 2017, contact (0917) 824-3702 or visit their Facebook page @sustainableseafoodweekph
By TIMOTHY JAY IBAY