SOURCE: Saving Seafood

Saving Seafood

March 08, 2016 16:26 ET

New England Seafood Companies Highlight Traceability Practices in Saving Seafood Video

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - March 08, 2016) - Sustainability and traceability are key themes of this year's Seafood Expo North America, being held this week in Boston. A new video released today from Saving Seafood highlights how the U.S. seafood industry is focused on sustainable, traceable, and high-quality local seafood.

Taken from a series of interviews conducted by Saving Seafood at last year's Seafood Expo, the video features representatives from some of New England's most prominent seafood companies sharing how they ensure that domestic seafood is fresh, sustainably sourced, and reliably traced.

In recent years, as concerns about seafood fraud have increased, companies cited their ability to closely monitor supply chains, from the minute the fish leaves the water to the moment the final product exits the warehouse as the kind of control and assurance their buyers demand. 

"When you're dealing with the customer base we have, they want a premium product, MSC certified, and domestic," said George Kouri, COO of Northern Wind of New Bedford, Massachusetts. "Everything we pack is exactly to the customer's specification and labeled in accordance."

One of the largest seafood shows in the United States, Seafood Expo North America brings together leading members of the domestic seafood community, including harvesters, processors, wholesalers, and retailers. While over 90 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported, Expo participants touted several major benefits of purchasing and consuming seafood caught in U.S. waters, chief among them the fact that U.S. law requires domestic fisheries be harvested at sustainable levels.

"For us, we're able to trace those goods, in the case of scallops specifically, from the individual tow, all the way to the lotted box that ultimately ends up in the possession of our customers," said John Furtado, the Executive Vice President of Eastern Fisheries, of New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Domestically caught seafood, in addition to coming from sustainably managed stocks, also has a clear advantage over imported fish when it comes to being properly labeled and accurately traced, according to many of the interviewees. Another benefit of locally sourced seafood, they say: it's easier to track.

"Every single species that we are pulling out of the ocean and serving up to our clients, to our chefs, and to our specialty retailers are sustainable," said Laura Foley Ramsden, co-owner of M.F. Foley, Inc. of Boston, and a former councilmember on the New England Fishery Management Council. "We're able to go to our customers and inform them about how fisheries in the U.S. are managed, that it's illegal to be overfishing, and that they are coming from a sustainable resource."

"We've always known where all the fish came from, and where it went," said Charlie Nagle, President of Boston's John Nagle Co. "Everything we do is traceable."

Among the Expo attendees featured in the video are representatives from Northern Wind; M.F. Foley Inc.; John Nagle Co.; and Eastern Fisheries. They each expressed to Saving Seafood the importance of maintaining not only a sustainably sourced product, but also one that is fresh and of the highest quality.

"We have extremely disciplined buying, so that we put people in each of the New England ports every single day looking at the fish, buying fish that's only 24 to 48 hours out of the water," said Ramsden. "If you're that disciplined in your buying standards, you're going to produce a better tasting, fresher fish that then ends up in plates all across America."

The video is just a small sample of the many U.S. seafood providers who adhere to some of the world's highest standards to bring high quality seafood to the domestic market. Saving Seafood is proud to support sustainable seafood providers, and will continue to highlight the stories of successful, sustainable U.S. fisheries.

View the video here

Saving Seafood is a non-profit that conducts media and public outreach on behalf of the seafood industry.

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