As if producing the oxygen we need to survive wasn’t enough, human civilization has relied on the ocean as a primary source of energy for millions of years. In fact, reliance on this steady stream of food played a critical role in the dissemination of peoples across the world.
Today, seafood is the world’s largest source of protein, feeding over 1 billion people around the world every day. Marine fisheries employ over 200 million people.
The seafood industry has grown exponentially in recent years. Aquaculture now provides over half of the fish being consumed worldwide. Through effective management, 34 fish stocks have been rebuilt in the United States since 2000.
With only 3.4 percent of the ocean being protected and/or managed, the road to sustainability is long and not without challenges!
The global fishing fleet is two to three times larger than what the ocean can sustainably support, and 70 percent of the world’s fisheries are exploited, overexploited or have already suffered a collapse. Unless we adopt sustainable seafood practices, stocks of all species currently fished for food are predicted to collapse by 2048.
A 74 percent decline has been observed in Scrombidae fish (tuna, mackerel, bonito) between 1970 and 20101, according to the World Wildlife Federation.
The National Aquarium has recognized the need to provide guidance, education and advocacy on behalf of the Chesapeake Bay and its fisheries, watermen, seafood suppliers, retailers, chefs and seafood consumers.
Change Starts on the Water
We’re establishing a strong network of watermen and aquaculture farmers committed to seafood sustainability. By collaborating and building solutions with harvesters, we’re incentivizing sustainable practices for the future of our wild-caught and farm-raised fish and shellfish.
Supply Chain Transparency
The National Aquarium also recognizes the need for increased awareness of seafood sustainability issues in order to secure supply chain transparency measures. Our sustainable seafood initiative is committed to developing a strong understanding and commitment to Chesapeake watershed-based sourcing, continuous improvement toward proactive seafood sourcing policies and adoption of regional baseline transparency.
Local chefs and restaurateurs play a critical role in this movement. We’re collaborating with area businesses to promote responsibly harvested seafood from Chesapeake Bay watermen, and we’re dedicated to becoming a valued informational guidepost for chefs and restaurateurs in he watershed.
Calling All Consumers
Finally, in order to replenish our oceans and manage their resources into the future, we need the help of consumers. The National Aquarium is rolling out a comprehensive plan to provide seafood consumers with resources to eating, choosing and sourcing local and regional seafood so they can empower themselves to make responsible choices for our watershed.
More To Come
Stay tuned for more exclusive seafood content throughout the month of October! Have issues/questions you’d like us to address? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.