Thursday, January 5, 2017

In 2017, Let’s Boldly Proclaim the Essential Importance of Farm Raised Seafood for Now and for Our Future
Recently in the media, the seafood category of farm raised Chinese shrimp has been dragged through the mudhole of modern day sensationalism and it has effectively painted, with a broad brush, the entire farm raised seafood industry as something to avoid and be repulsed by.

This type of attention getting media that focuses upon the unacceptable farming and selling practices of a very few bad apples unfortunately tends to spoil the entirety of our rapidly improving aquaculture industry that today supplies over 50% of seafood worldwide and approximately 70% of our seafood consumed in the United States.

It would be a travesty if such exaggerated and unbalanced reporting drives consumers away from choosing to eat seafood at least twice a week as recommended by the United States 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for achieving and maintaining personal health.  Currently only one in ten Americans follows such guidance. Tabloid like stories that tell only the worst instances of poor aquaculture practices without balancing it with the good news of aquaculture’s ever- improving advancements unfortunately stifles the efforts to bring seafood to our dinner plates in place of a serving of meat from livestock. 

The bottom line is that our global population will expand to approximately 10 billion by 2050 and land based livestock and wild fisheries cannot provide us with the extra animal protein that will be needed. Aquaculture is currently the fastest growing animal protein production system in the world and now produces more than the global beef industry.

Our seafood industry needs to boldly proclaim in the coming new year that farm raised seafood is critically essential now and will continue to be so in the future for improving humanity’s health and wellbeing both globally and at home in the United States.
In parting, here is an interesting perspective to ponder:  12% of our entire Earth’s surface (all land/water surfaces) is used to produce our crops and livestock.  In contrast, less than 1/100th of 1% of our Beautiful Blue Planet’s surface is devoted to aquaculture.

Wishing Everyone a Very Happy New Year!
David Glaubke, Director of Sustainability Initiatives

Go Blue!  For Our Health – For Our Environment – For Sustainability

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Traceability Advances Sea Port’s Go Blue!® Seafood Sustainability Goal for Wild Caught and Farm Raised Seafood

Update as of 12-06-16: Our “Traceability Declaration” requirement will now directly address Child Labor, Forced Labor, and other forms of Unfair Labor Practices within all the related supply chains associated with the production of wild caught and farm raised seafood.

Our unending corporate goal at Sea Port to advance all our seafood items towards becoming more environmentally and socioeconomically sustainable is embodied in our Go Blue!® Seafood Sustainability Spectrum.  Advancing this goal, however, can only be accomplished when every seafood item is fully traceable back to its wild caught or farmed source.

To this end, Sea Port has further improved our enhanced “Traceability Declaration” requirement (initiated in 2012) to now directly address our suppliers’ knowledge of any existing Child Labor, Forced Labor, and other forms of Unfair Labor Practices within their supply chains.

Please note below (shown in red) the new requirements added to our ‘Traceability Declaration” for both wild caught and farm raised seafood items.

Traceability Declaration for Wild Caught Seafood
·         Species and common name of product
·         Identifying Processor, Brokers, Buying Station, Auction Market, Vessel(s)
·         Catch Method(s), Catch Area (FAO#,etc.), Catch Date(s)
·         Declare any knowledge of Child Labor, Force Labor, and other Unfair Labor Practices within all related supply chains associated with the fishing vessel, processing, and transporting of each item

Traceability Declaration for Farmed Raised Seafood
·         Species and common name of product
·         Identifying Processor, Brokers, Buying Station, Auction Market, Farm(s)
·         Aquaculture Method(s) (extensive-intensive, pen, cage, etc.), Farm location, Harvest Date(s)
·         Declare any knowledge of Child Labor, Force Labor, and other Unfair Labor Practices within all related supply chains associated with the farming, processing, feed mill, hatchery, and transporting of each item

Our commitment to constantly advance seafood sustainability will be greatly enhanced by this new Fair Labor addition to our “Traceability Declaration” requirement of our suppliers for both wild and farm raised seafood.

Go Blue! For Our Environment For Our Health For Sustainability

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

It’s Time to Reform the Hawaiian Longline Fishing Sector’s Use of Undocumented Workers

Seven to eight hundred undocumented foreign workers are currently used by the Hawaiian longline fishing fleet that catches primarily tuna and swordfish and these workers lack basic fair labor protections due to a federal loophole that was engineered by past Hawaiian congressmen.   It is now time to quickly reform this practice because the workers’ pay is typically much less than federal minimum wage, they cannot set foot on U.S. soil, and they are at very high risk of suffering all the abuses that are associated with human trafficking.

Because these trafficked foreign workers (mostly from S.E. Asia) have no visas and their passports and identification documents are confiscated by the vessel owners/captains, they are not able to ever leave the fishing boats.  This de facto permanent detention goes against the basic human right of mobility and provides very little ability for workers to protest or seek relief from unfair labor practices and dangerous workplace conditions.

Just this week the FBI concluded its 10th annual Operation Cross Country in which it arrested 349 individuals for human trafficking for the U.S. and international sex trade.  While the sex trade both locally and internationally is certainly more abhorrent than the Hawaiian longline fishing sector’s labor trafficking, our seafood industry cannot tolerate any longer the condition of employment that they impose on their undocumented foreign workers.

The situation is simply unsustainable and not in the best interest of our seafood industry and seafood lovers everywhere.  All our efforts to promote seafood as the healthiest and most environmentally friendly animal protein on Earth will ring morally hollow if we don’t act now to stop human rights abuses and unfair labor issues in our own backyard and around the globe. 

It is definitely time to reform the Hawaiian longline fishing sector’s use of undocumented workers.

David Glaubke, Director of Sustainability Initiatives

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Increasing Availability of 4 Star BAP Certified Shrimp

Sea Port is continuing to advance the environmental and social sustainability of farm raised shrimp by seeking to offer 4 Star BAP Certified Shrimp as they start becoming more available in the market place.
For years Sea Port has been a proud governing member of the Global Aquaculture Alliance that operates the BAP (best aquaculture practices) certification program.
Explanation of the BAP Star certification system: Each Star certifies that a specific supply chain activity for producing farmed raised shrimp is done with the best available aquaculture practices that minimize environmental impacts, respect workers’ rights and produce wholesome products.  The four specified areas are the processing plants, the farms, the hatcheries, and the feed mills.
Four Stars:  Product produced by a BAP-certified processing plant, BAP-certified farm(s) only, BAP-certified hatchery only and BAP-certified feed mill only
Three Stars:  Product produced by a BAP-certified processing plant, BAP-certified farm(s) only and BAP-certified hatchery and/or feed mill only
Two Stars:  Product produced by a BAP-certified processing plant and BAP-certified farm(s) only
One Star:  Product produced by a BAP-certified processing plant
Sea Port is an avid supporter of all the Stars of the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s BAP certification program.  Please consider sourcing your shrimp using the BAP Stars as your guideline and join Sea Port in helping to advance sustainable aquaculture.            

       Sincerely, David Glaubke - Director of Sustainability Initiatives - Sea Port

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Let’s All Go Blue! During NATIONAL October Seafood Month

Within the last couple of years, “Sustainable global seafood production” has emerged as the world’s “poster child” for advancing the environmental stewardship of our precious blue planet.

During this October National Seafood Month, how can you contribute to this critical campaign?

The answer:  Simply commit to eat at least two responsibly sourced seafood meals/week for the month of October (and beyond).

Sea Port’s Go Blue! Initiative has always championed the consumption of seafood to promote sustainability and environmental stewardship because we strongly believe that both responsible wild fisheries and aquaculture production processes are the most environmentally friendly of all the global animal protein production systems.  We also strongly believe in the unique nutritional benefits that seafood offers to all age groups.

There is no easier action you can take to contribute to making our world more sustainable now and for future generations than to simply increase your seafood consumption.  In doing so, you will also be treating yourself to some of the healthiest and most delicious food on Earth!

Let’s all commit during this October National Seafood Month to increase our seafood consumption.  We will celebrate together as we become a part of the solution to advance the environmental stewardship of our wondrous blue planet while also improving our personal health.

Sincerely yours,
David Glaubke, Director of Sustainability Initiatives

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

NFI Launches “Dish on Fish” Social Media Channels to Promote Seafood Consumption

Please visit these social media channels to help drive seafood consumption:
1.        Dish on Fish Blog
2.        Dish on Fish Facebook Page
3.        Dish on Fish Pinterest
4.        Dish on Fish Twitter

Sea Port enthusiastically encourages all customers, suppliers, and consumers to promote these NFI (National Fisheries Institute) social media channels to assist in promoting the consumption of seafood in the U.S. to at least 2 servings per week as recommended by the United States Dietary GuidelinesUnfortunately, only 1 in 10 Americans follow this seafood consumption guideline.  We certainly have our promotional work cut out for us!

Sea Port believes that by consuming responsibly produced and sustainable seafood from both wild fisheries and aquaculture, we will advance our personal health and the environmental stewardship of our beautiful blue planet.  Let’s all join in and act boldly to collectively spread the health and environmental benefits of eating more seafood.  By acting together we will definitely make a positive difference going forward.

David Glaubke
Director of Sustainability Initiatives

Friday, August 5, 2016

National Fisheries Institute Promoting Seafood Consumption Via New Blog

As a key part of its new initiative to educate Americans about the benefits and enjoyment of eating seafood, the National Fisheries Institute is expanding its online reach with the launch of a consumer-focused seafood blog, Dish on Fish; with supporting Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter channels.

“Dish on Fish” is an initiative sponsored by the NFI to encourage Americans to eat seafood at least twice a week, as recommended by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Sea Port encourages everyone in our seafood industry and everyone who loves seafood to bookmark this new blog site from the NFI and share it.  By working together we will help advance not only the health of America but also of our global aquatic resources that make seafood possible.

With new research findings emerging almost daily about the benefits of seafood in the diets of pregnant women, children, young adults, and seniors, Sea Port has made the commitment to helping people understand how adding seafood to the diet will benefit everybody.

 Please join both Sea Port and the NFI in spreading the fantastic news about seafood consumption.