It’s Time to Do the Right Thing: Support Certified Seafood

Woman shopping for certified seafood.Seafood markets have been on a wild ride for the past few years. COVID quarantines led many home cooks to try new dishes they normally reserved for restaurant meals and seafood sales soared. But global inflation has taken a huge bite out of consumers’ disposable income, and seafood sales in 2022 were significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels. Supply chain disruptions along with rising fuel and transportation costs have meant that while sales for most species are solid, margins are not. The financial outlook for 2023 is uncertain.

Other factors are creating disruption. The Alaskan crab fishing ground collapse, new taxes on Norwegian farmed salmon, and government-led aquaculture closures in the U.S. and Latin America threaten many producers. It’s safe to assume that not all will survive.

More than three billion people rely on seafood as a protein source throughout the world so retailers, restaurants, and food service will continue to purchase seafood. The question is, who will they buy from?

Plenty of low-cost product is available. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and unethical vendors can drive global market price down. In times when money is tight, it’s tempting to go for the lowest cost.

Yet, many in the seafood industry follow responsible practices. More than 3,000 facilities have earned BAP or BSP certification, demonstrating that they adhere to environmental, social, food safety, and animal health standards.

We think it’s worth a few pennies more a pound to buy certified responsible seafood to protect our ability to feed the world now and in the future.

And we think it’s worth a few pennies more a pound to support those producers who are doing the right thing.

Retailers, now is the time to spend your dollars only with suppliers certified for responsible seafood practices. You have the ability to ensure that those producers have a chance to succeed in what looks to be an uncertain market.

Consumers, back your desire for responsibly sourced product by requesting it from your retailer and paying a bit more to buy it at the store.

Fishers, farmers, feed mills, and processing plants – we stand with you. Let us know how we can support your responsible practices and advocate for you. Together, we can all do our part to ensure that we protect our industry now and in the future. The world is counting on us to do the right thing.

Alison Harris
Chief Sales & Marketing Officer
Global Seafood Alliance