We created our Responsible Sourcing Vendor Partner (RSVP) program to collectively apply a percentage of our purchases towards projects we strongly believe in as a company. Our RSVP program has had a busy year so far! Here are some key updates from a few efforts we support in gear improvement, marine education, fisheries improvement projects, community engagement and more!
We provided support for the beginnings of a fishery improvement project dealing with Chinese Squid via Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP). The SFP helped to convene a roundtable discussion between key industry players and government officials in China to get the ball rolling on how to improve this important fishery.
Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research (PIER) has been working alongside the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop the use of a more targeted gear for Swordfish in California. This deep-set buoy gear, as it’s called, has much lower bycatch than drift gillnets, and may one-day replace it as a more responsible method of catching our local Swordfish. The experiments conducted over the last 2 years have led to this gear type receiving an Exempted Fishery Permit this year. PIER hopes to have a couple of fishers using the gear any day now!
World Wildlife Fund’s Fishery Improvement Project for Peruvian Mahi Mahi continues to make headway in gathering key scientific data related to the fishery, and also increasing fishermen engagement with the project.
Right here in Los Angeles, Heal the Bay’s “Key to the Sea” program wrapped up its 15th year of providing high-quality, science-based environmental education to underprivileged youth focused on watersheds, the California coast, and the Pacific Ocean. The teacher education/training is a great additional component to the program! Santa Monica Seafood has been a proud supporter of this program for over 5 years!
The Derelict Gear Removal Program (from the Northwest Straits Foundation) continues to remove a great number of discarded fishing nets and crab pots from Puget Sound, helping to mitigate the impacts of “ghost gear” that keeps killing marine life indiscriminately long after it is abandoned or lost. They are in the process of pioneering new deep-water removal methods using Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs).
The Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute’s aquaculture programs continue to raise and release White Sea Bass into the wild of Southern California. RSVP’s longstanding support of these programs has helped to rebuild the population of this important fish, both recreationally and commercially. Approximately 50,000 fish are estimated to be released during this year.
Click here to learn more about our RSVP program.