Fortune Fish & Gourmet is committed to:
- Assessing the current status of the fisheries and fish farms that supply the seafood products Fortune Fish buys and distributes.
- Preferentially sourcing and selling environmentally-responsible seafood that addresses local, regional, and global concerns regarding environmental performance.
- Utilizing our purchasing influence to encourage less sustainable fisheries and farms to move forward with credible, documented improvement projects:
- Implementing systems and practices to track our seafood back to the harvest location or farm to ensure legality and to eliminate unreported and unregulated (IUU) seafood from our stores.
- Not sourcing from any fishery found to have IUU issues or that is currently on the IUCN red list, or any fishery or fish farm that is unwilling to improve.
- Sourcing only from suppliers that share our commitment to sustainability and transparency.
- Educating Fortune Fish & Gourmet employees and our customers about the sustainability of the seafood products we sell.
Please see below for a more detailed explanation of each component of Fortune Fish & Gourmet’s Commitment.
Sustainable Seafood Assessment
Having a good understanding of the status of the fisheries that make up the seafood Fortune Fish & Gourmet is buying and selling is critical to developing and executing any sustainable seafood policy. Fortune Fish has partnered with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
(SFP), a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage and catalyze global seafood supply chains in rebuilding depleted fish stocks and reducing the environmental impacts of fishing and fish farming. SFP provides strategic and technical guidance to seafood suppliers and producers, helps convene them together with other like-minded companies in Fishery Improvement Projects
(FIPs), and builds consensus around specific improvements in policies, marine conservation measures, and fishing and fish-farming practices. SFP has a team of researchers and fishery scientists that will provide Fortune Fish with information to assess the sustainability of the seafood products we carry and identify any necessary improvements.
In order to conduct this assessment, Fortune Fish & Gourmet will work closely with our seafood suppliers to capture the necessary information. Once detailed information is collected on each fishery, the assessment will look at several factors including:
- Is the species listed as endangered or on IUCN Red List with respects to population?
- Is the fishery managed?
- Does the fishery have a science based stock assessment or other catch regulations?
- If it’s a rebuilding fishery, is there a plan in place to ensure recovery?
- What are the impacts of the fishing gear on habitat and other species?
- Are there IUU challenges in the fishery and can it be reliably traced to origin?
- Is the product farmed with minimal impact on the environment?
Sustainable Seafood Standards
Fortune Fish & Gourmet recognizes that there are current standards in the seafood industry that have been developed to certify products as sustainable, such as the Marine Stewardship Council
(MSC). While we do consider the MSC and GAA (Global Aquaculture Alliance
) standards favorably in our sourcing decisions, Fortune Fish does not require all of our products to be certified “sustainable”. We understand that certification can be expensive and not accessible to everyone. We do seek to ensure that the products we sell meet certain benchmarks for food safety, quality and sustainability as outlined above.
Fishery & Aquaculture Improvements
If a seafood product does not meet our benchmark for sustainability, Fortune Fish & Gourmet’s approach is to continue sourcing from those fisheries and farms and to use our leverage as buyers to encourage improvements that drive sustainability. These are called Fishery Improvement Projects
(FIPs) and Aquaculture Improvement Projects
(AIP). This approach will ultimately lead to increased supply of sustainable seafood worldwide as we actively work with our supply chain to improve fisheries and fish farming impacts.
Seafood sustainability is a journey that includes many stakeholders including conservation groups, fishermen, fish farmers, wholesalers, distributors, and industry groups all working together to address issues. Fortune Fish & Gourmet has partnered with the SFP as our advisors but we intend to work with all stakeholders to advance the sustainability of our seafood products. In addition, it will be critical that suppliers of seafood to Fortune Fish also demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, improvement and transparency to work with Fortune Fish & Gourmet.
As the seafood industry is global, Fortune Fish & Gourmet is committed to implementing systems and practices to track our seafood back to the harvest location or farm to ensure legality and to eliminate unreported and unregulated seafood from our stores. This will also require a commitment from our seafood suppliers to sustainability and transparency if they want to do business with Fortune Fish & Gourmet.
Fortune Fish & Gourmet will share the information collected on our seafood products with our sales staff and will incorporate the sustainability assessment into existing employee training so they fully understand the sustainability of the seafood products Fortune Fish is selling and can speak confidently with our customers about the issues.
Fortune Fish & Gourmet will also seek opportunities one on one, online, and in other sales materials to educate our customers about seafood sustainability and what the Fortune Fish policy is doing to support environmentally responsible practices. We are committed to helping our customers understand the sustainability status of the fish they buy.