Our sustainable seafood initiative aims to provide guidance, education and advocacy on behalf of the Chesapeake Bay.
The world’s seafood supply can seem deceptively limitless.
Today's consumers can find fresh fish, shellfish and other types of seafood at their local grocery. They can dine out and find salmon or lobster on a restaurant's menu. And many Chesapeake Bay residents look forward to digging into that first bushel of steamed crabs each season. From a consumer standpoint, it's hard to see where there's a problem. Seafood options are readily available and easily accessed, providing the illusion that the ocean's bounty is limitless.
The demand for seafood and the way in which it's harvested is threatening the supply. 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.
As a conservation organization situated in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, the National Aquarium feels a responsibility to lead change in our own Chesapeake Bay watershed—which is why we’re taking steps to educate, engage and empower from hook to cook and chef to consumer.
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 the 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 for eating, choosing and sourcing local and regional seafood so they can empower themselves to make responsible choices for our watershed.
East Coast Seafood Forum
Monday, October 5, 2015
On Monday, October 5, 2015, the National Aquarium, in partnership with Samuels and Son Seafood and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, held the first annual East Coast Seafood Forum. This event, the first of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic, brought together industry representatives, scientists, the conservation community and regulators to re-envision the future of sustainable seafood. These experts shared discussions around seafood traceability, economic sustainability and the aquaculture’s role in the sustainable seafood movement.