March 31, 2017
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Fair Trade Sea Scallops 
NOAA Fisheries
Earlier this month, FishChoice Supplier Member Bristol Seafood launched Fair Trade Certified sea scallops. This product is both the first U.S. fishery to become Fair Trade Certified and the first scallop fishery to become Fair Trade Certified. The certification covers eleven vessels landing scallops year-round and offloading in New Bedford, Massachusetts. These vessels are also covered by the Marine Stewardship Council certification for U.S. sea scallops. The projected volume of U.S. sea scallop landings that are Fair Trade Certified is estimated to be <5% of total U.S. landings, but an expansion of the fishing vessels covered by the certification is being explored. 

Two fundamental components of Fair Trade certification include safe and fair working conditions and a premium from product sales to be returned back to the producers. Because the sea scallop fishery operates year-round in a wide variety of environmental conditions, the safety of the fishing crews was a big part of this effort. The premium on sales of Fair Trade Certified scallops (currently marked at $0.15/lbs. of shucked scallops) will be reinvested in a number of ways, including safety measures for the crew, training new fishers, and supporting the Fisheries Survival Fund

Distribution of Fair Trade Certified sea scallops has been announced by FishChoice Supplier Member, Santa Monica Seafood, for the product to be available in Albertsons/Vons in Southern California by end of April. On the East Coast, Hannaford is also expected to carry the products starting in April.  
Seafood Spotlight: Monkfish
Seafood Spotlight: Monkfish
Monkfish have a mild taste and texture similar to lobster to the extent that they are sometimes called “the poor man’s lobster.” Fishermen tend to remove monkfish tail meat and livers to sell, discarding the rest. Monkfish is sold fresh whole, in skinless tail fillets, and whole skin-on tail fillets as well as frozen skinless tail fillets and whole skin-on tails. Tail meats range from 1-4 lbs. and the meat is dense, boneless, and firm. Tail meat should have flesh that’s off-white to pale gray when raw. Avoid tails that are discolored at the edges and headless monkfish that have dried up blood, indicating it’s begun to age.

Estimated sustainability by volume of monkfish landings in the United States based on landings data from 2012-2015 according to the 2012 Seafood Watch ratings is broken down accordingly:
  • The United States accounts for more than 95% of global landings of monkfish, with landings coming from 10 states
  • ~50% of landings are rated "Good Alternative (yellow)" - caught by trawl or gillnets (Massachusetts ~40%, New Jersey ~15%, Rhode Island, New York, and Maine at ~10% each)
  • ~50% of landings are unrated - caught by dredge gear but mostly due to landings not coded by specific gear types (Massachusetts ~75% and Rhode Island ~15%)
  • U.S. landings for monkfish have slightly decreased each year from 2012 to 2015 with an overall decrease of ~15% in 2015 compared to 2012
Learn more details with our updated monkfish sustainable seafood guide
Ward Oyster Company - Gloucester, Virginia
Ward Oyster Company
Formed in 1986 by John & Floyd Ward, Ward Oyster Company is the farm and hatchery for sister company Mobjack Bay Seafood and is actively involved in the community, playing a role in cleaning the Chesapeake Bay and its local waterways. Due to their unique farming location on a large sandbar in the mouth of the Ware River, Ward Oyster Company’s oysters have a distinctive and exquisite taste taken from their surroundings. On incoming tides, the waters of the Mobjack Bay are accelerated and forced to run over the area where their cages are, creating excellent growing conditions with the pristine waters of the Mobjack Bay as their primary food source. Read more...
Sustainable Seafood News of the Week
The Grekos: A Success Story in the Crackdown on Illegal Fishing
(National Geographic, 3/24/2017)

After a Record Run of Squid, Local Fishermen Warily Eye Competition, Regulatory Challenges
(Providence Business News, 3/24/2014) 

Towards Sustainable Seafood: A Fisherman's Story
(Walton Family Foundation, 3/28/2017)

UN Agencies Advance Ocean Research, Sustainable Fisheries Management
(International Institute for Sustainable Development, 3/28/2017)

Newfoundland's Northern Cod Making a Comeback 25 Years After
Commercial Fishing Ban

(The Star, 3/28/2017)

Cod Fishing Catches Plummet in Waters off New England
(U.S. News and World Report, 3/24/2017)

Editorial: Given Failures in Cod Stock Management, Let’s be Careful
(The Chronicle Herald, 3/25/2017)

On April 25, FRONTLINE Traces the Stories Behind The Fish on Our Plates With Bestselling Author Paul Greenberg – Who Spends a Year Eating Seafood at Every Meal
(PBS, 3/27/2014)

Ministers and International Bodies to Tackle Fishing Crisis in Mediterranean
(FIS, 3/28/2017)

Unrestricted Improvements in Fishing Technology Threaten the
Future of Seafood

(, 3/27/2017)

NZ and China to Co-Operate More Over Fish and Development
(Radio New Zealand, 3/27/2017)

Pacific Sardine Population Remains Low, Says National Marine Fisheries
(Monterey Herald, 3/24/2017)

State Opening New Shellfishing Grounds to Encourage Small Oyster, Clam Operators
(Hartford Courant, 3/27/2017)

Microalgae Have Great Potential as Fish Feed Ingredient
(, 3/28/2017)

You May Soon Be Able to Track Your Seafood in Real Time to Fight Fish Fraud
(Time, 3/28/2017)

This Chef’s Conservation Efforts Are Helping Save Our World’s Oceans
(Uproxx, 3/25/2017)
FishChoice creates solutions that accelerate sustainability in the global seafood industry. Our vision is a thriving and sustainable global seafood industry. 
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