Choose a Seafood Co-Lab Winner
HOW TO VOTE? Follow the numbers: 1) Meet the finalists 2) Read the overviews 3) Vote!
MEET THE FINALISTS
Click below to learn more about each project
Buoying it the right way
Transitioning 6 million styrofoam buoys to a non-polluting alternative in South Korea’s 200,000 ton oyster industry
South Korea is the second largest oyster producer globally, with a total of 260,000 tons produced, almost 80% of which comes from the Tongyeong region on the South Gyeongsang coast. The process of industrial oyster farming, however, can pollute the oceans. One study found microplastic (pieces smaller than 2mm) occurring in over 90% of sampled ocean sites in the region, including farming seas. Most of the detected microplastics are styrofoam particles, which have even been found inside oysters and mussels. As the estimated 6 million styrofoam buoys and plastic rope used by these farms degrades or is lost, microplastics are accumulating in the ocean and adversely impacting the marine ecosystem, food web, and human health globally through exports to the US, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, and the EU.
This project will develop and launch an Aquaculture Improvement Project in South Korea’s Tongyeong region to address styrofoam (polystyrene) microplastic pollution resulting from breakdown of styrofoam buoys used in oyster farming. The end goal of this work is to replace 70% of the styrofoam buoys in the region with environmentally responsible alternatives by 2022, solving a major microplastic pollution issue for Northeast Asia and the world.
The South Korean ‘sustainable seafood movement’ is very young, so this project is set up to benefit from the expertise of veterans in improvement projects, certifications, market leverage, and funding. The collaboration will include representatives from the nonprofits Ocean Outcomes and the Global Ghost Gear Initiative; a food system expert; a Korean oyster fishery CEO; and a researcher from the Korea Maritime Institute’s Department of Farming and Industry.
This project lays the groundwork for the first AIP in the world which specifically addresses polystyrene marine debris and microplastics, potentially catalyzing similar marine debris improvement projects across Asia. A successful outcome will have far-reaching benefits by developing a model for alternatives to styrofoam use in aquaculture, and potentially in other fishing contexts where styrofoam is widely used in Asian fisheries as tools for gear marking and FAD construction.
From bait to plate
From bait to plate: catalyzing commitment to traceability in the Peruvian mahi mahi artisanal fishing fleet.
The Peruvian mahi mahi fishery accounts for around 50% of worldwide production, and over 80% of its exports are destined for the US. The US government recently implemented the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) to monitor seafood imports for several species, including mahi mahi, and ensure they come from legal sources. However, it will be difficult to verify the legality of Peruvian mahi mahi products entering the US as there is no traceability system in place.
This project is the first collaboration between an NGO, government, and key seafood industry players in the Peruvian mahi mahi fishery to develop a truly interoperable traceability system that will align with SIMP requirements and help ensure that the seafood entering the US is legal and traceable.
The project will include collaborators from US seafood companies The Fishin’ Company and Sea Delight and the Peruvian seafood company Refrigerados Fish Olg & Hermanos; the Peruvian governmental agencies Programa Nacional A Comer Pescado and the Ministry of Production (PRODUCE); and the World Wildlife Fund (US and Peru).
By the end of this project, this project will engage Peruvian artisanal fishers from two cooperatives into data collection and make them ready to transition from a pilot test to a government-driven traceability system that meets the new US regulations, spearheading engagement to implement the system throughout the fishery.
Chefs for the blue
Chefs for the blue: Tokyo’s top chefs join scientists, journalists, and food culture experts to promote sustainable seafood in Japan
Although seafood has been an essential part of Japanese food culture and history, current fishery and resource management and regulations in Japan are weak compared to many developed western societies. While reformation of fishery industry and resource management systems are now beginning to be considered, seafood resources around Japan are on the edge of collapse and this may be Japan’s last chance to save its food culture and pass a healthy ocean to future generations.
This project aims to network Japanese chefs to the global sustainable seafood community to learn and develop effective communication tools and strategies to use in Japan. Chefs are powerful influencers to both consumers and producers, especially in Japan, whose rich culinary heritage has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage. Tokyo is hosting the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, opening a window of opportunity to begin a sustainable seafood journey in Japan.
This collaboration brings together over 30 top chefs including the owner of Sincere restaurant and Executive chef of Jean-Georges restaurant in Tokyo, working collaboratively with an independent journalist specializing in Tokyo’s culinary scene, food culture and history; an Associate Professor at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology; the seafood rating nonprofit Sailors for the Sea Japan; and the sustainable seafood consulting firm Seafood Legacy, Japan.
Chefs for the Blue will focus on raising awareness in Japanese society and take the first step to achieve seafood sustainability in Japan by using chefs’ driving power and influences. As a result, they hope to see more consumers seeking sustainable seafood. By raising consumers’ awareness, the project will optimize demand and utilize that as a driving force to expand the sustainable seafood market in Japan.
Happy people, many fish
Happy people, many fish: engaging Indonesia’s small-scale tuna fishermen for environmental, social, and economic sustainability
Indonesia’s tuna catch is the largest in the world, contributing roughly 16% of the world’s tuna supply and including both Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean Tuna. Very limited data exists on the status of these fisheries, however, limiting management capacity and leading to unsustainable fishing practices including overfishing; illegal, unreported and unregistered (IUU) fishing; unregulated use of fish aggregating devices (FADs); and limited spatial management of vast and complex coastal ecosystems.
Left unregulated, Indonesian tuna fisheries can potentially deplete stocks and wreak havoc on some of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems on the planet. But with strong fisheries management, Indonesian small-scale fisheries can contribute to food security and economic prosperity. This project will continue work on an existing Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) with the small-scale hand line Eastern Indonesian yellowfin tuna fishery, bringing together industries, fishermen, government, NGOs and academia stakeholders in Indonesia to work collaboratively towards sustainability and ensure market access through MSC certification.
The project will be led by Yayasan Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI), an Indonesian nonprofit, in collaboration with the International Pole and Line Foundation, Anova Food, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia, Wageningen University and Research Centre in The Netherlands, and World Wildlife Fund Indonesia.
Engaging directly with small-scale fishermen, who comprise almost 70% of the roughly 3 million Indonesian fishermen, the project’s long-term goal and mantra is “Happy people, many fish.” By working hand-in-hand with industry partners, government, communities, and academia, this project will focus on insuring a future for Indonesian tuna fisheries through data collection, development of fisheries management, and capacity building, with the objective of achieving eco-certification by 2020.
CHOOSE A WINNER!
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Thank you for supporting sustainable seafood with your vote! The winner of the 2018 Seafood Co-Lab competition will be announced at Seafood Expo North America, March 11-13 in Boston, Massachusetts USA. Stay tuned!
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