PRESS RELEASE: USAID Oceans Partners with Seafood Ratings Leader, Seafood Watch
Monterey, CA, September 12, 2016 – The United States Agency for International Development Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (USAID Oceans) and California-based Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® launched a partnership to improve the traceability of seafood products entering the North American market. The partnership’s goal is to increase sustainable fisheries management in the Asia-Pacific region, the world’s largest seafood exporter and home to rich marine ecosystems.
Together, USAID Oceans and Monterey Bay Aquarium will leverage Seafood Watch’s partnerships with seafood buyers in North America and with fisheries companies and organizations in the Asia-Pacific region to better manage fisheries and to ensure that fisheries products are legally caught, processed, and distributed according to the highest standards of environmental sustainability and labor standards. The partnership will support scaling up a digital catch documentation and traceability system in seafood supply chains; strengthen Seafood Watch’s engagement with industry associations, fisheries, and NGOs in Southeast Asia; and provide solutions and recommendations on traceability and sustainable fisheries for North American businesses regarding responsible seafood sourcing and purchasing.
USAID Oceans is a regional program that works to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Asia-Pacific region through enhanced seafood catch documentation and traceability. Seafood Watch is the leading North American seafood ratings program whose science-based sustainability standards encourage environmentally sustainable practices. The program assesses over 80% of seafood by volume consumed in the US market, and helps major businesses and individual consumers make choices that support a healthy, sustainable ocean. Its partnerships with major seafood buyers create market incentives for well-managed fisheries to maintain strong regulations, traceability, and high environmental performance.
USAID Oceans represents a partnership between USAID and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC). SEAFDEC is the technical and operational arm for fisheries matters in the region, and is engaged in the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Strategic Partnership (ASSP). ASSP works to enhance cooperation between ASEAN, SEAFDEC, and its member countries and recognizes USAID Oceans as an official ASSP program.
The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program empowers consumers and businesses to choose seafood that’s fished or farmed using responsible methods that protect sea life and habitats, now and for future generations. Seafood Watch’s widely recognized and respected science-based recommendations, indicating which seafood items are “Best Choices” or “Good Alternatives”, and which ones to “Avoid”, are available in its free app and at seafoodwatch.org.
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For more information, contact:
Sarah Burgess Herbert, Regional Biodiversity Conservation Advisor, USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia, SBurgessHerbert@usaid.gov
Melinda Donnelly, Communications Specialist, USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership
Melinda.Donnelly@oceans-partnership.org, +66 (0) 94 771 9782
Emerson Brown, Communications Associate Manager, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch