Chefs in the United States are joining forces and taking a stance on sustainable seafood.
Chefs for Fish is a group of chefs raising support for an initiative called the ‘Portland Pact for Sustainable Seafood’. The pact calls for chefs to offer only environmentally sustainable food and to incorporate this principle into their sourcing whenever possible. The focus is very centred around domestic food supply and products and seeks to ensure that the US has a consistent supply of sustainably-caught domestic seafood. ‘We want more people to eat a wider variety of domestic seafood that meets the environmental standards’, Chefs for Fish.
The initiative is the brainchild of The Monterey Bay Aquarium who have headed up the campaign to recruit chefs from across the country. To date they have over 100 chefs and this number keeps on rising. Chefs are encouraged to sign up to the pact via the website – https://www.chefsforfish.org/act/ – and to lobby the U.S. Congress to support measures that would hold fisheries accountable for overfishing, as well as a call to action for science-based decision making in the management process.
“The Portland Pact is not about the election or partisan politics,” says said Erin Eastwood, an ocean policy program specialist for The Monterey Bay Aquarium. “It is about supporting strong policies to ensure the sustainability of U.S. seafood now and for the future.”
The initiative has however ruffled a few feathers! In an open letter to American Chefs from The National Coalition for Fishing Communities, a commercial fisheries group pledged with chefs to consult their local fishermen before signing up to the pledge.
“American fishermen, like many American chefs, are committed to sustainable fishing and healthy oceans,” the letter stated. “Our businesses need sustainable, abundant fish stocks for us to make a living, and we all want a thriving resource that we can pass down to the next generation. We would never endorse a law that would threaten the long-term survival of our environment or our industry.”