Coast to coast to get “smarter” about seafood

The purpose of my trip is to attend the 9th annual Seafood Summit in Vancouver, and to meet with colleagues from WWF offices all over the world to discuss marine-related issues, one of which is sustainable seafood. You’ve heard from me before on this subject, in fact, these days it seems my mind can’t think of anything else but sustainability in one form or the other. Today, however, it is focused on the fish.

(c) Stacey McCarthy/WWF-Canada
I realize that making this long flight is not doing much good for reducing my carbon footprint, but I am confident that the value of what I will learn (in addition to the carbon offsetting credits for the flight) will provide me with some new ways to communicate what sustainable seafood is, why consumers should pay attention to it, and how we as an organization can motivate the public to think of it as more than just a concept, but a choice. Some of the sessions will be covering topics such as how chefs and fishmongers can become educated on sustainable seafood choices for their customers and inspire the next generation to generate the demand for it in restaurants and retailers; ways to stop illegal fishing practices; clearing up consumer confusion about seafood certification systems and learning how to gain their trust; and how to trace your seafood from ocean to plate.
Last year, WWF launched a global ”Smart Fishing” initiative that aims to transform the way the world’s oceans are fished, managed and consumed. Team members have been working to help find, promote and implement tangible solutions to the current worldwide fishing crisis. Attending International Summit’s like this one provides an opportunity for the team to come together and develop some transformational strategies to achieve our goals. But we’re just one organization, we can’t do it alone. We need the cooperation of industry, governments, other conservation groups, and we need the consumers.
I have a request for you. I want you to respond to this blog and answer these three questions (I’d even be happy if you just answered one of them):

  1. Will you give any thought to sustainable seafood or is it just another term to glaze over?
  2. Do you now or would you in the future, look for it in your grocery store or ask for it from your local fishmonger?
  3. And finally, if you don’t think about where your food is coming from, I want you to tell me what will motivate you to change your wicked ways so to speak – what information can I get for you to make you a more informed and caring consumer and supporter of sustainable seafood?

I’m serious about this – I want to hear from you. In the meantime I promise I will be reporting back to you next week on my findings at the Summit and share that with you – maybe even unravel a few mysteries….
(c) Stacey McCarthy/WWF-Canada
And that won’t be the last you hear from me either. WWF’s Smart Fishing Initiative will be embarking on some new ways to educate and alter the actions of the public, fisheries management organizations, and governments to reach our smart fishing goals. Armed with all the new information we’ll learn from the Summit and from you – I am very optimistic that we can find real solutions for our global fishing crisis. Can you feel it? That’s your conscience kicking in – you’re starting to care about sustainability too!