Protecting Seafood Supplies

The Study Group is composed of seafood industry professionals from around the world who are committed to learning strategies and measures to reduce energy use, carbon emissions, ocean acidification, and related impacts on seafood supplies.

The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership initiated the Study Group because seafood companies today face a major new challenge: protecting their supplies from rising carbon emissions throughout the world. These emissions—nearly all from outside the seafood industry—have been strongly linked to reduced reproduction, growth, and survival of commercially important fish and shellfish stocks. In the United States, for instance, West Coast oyster producers and Southern New England lobster producers are coping with long-term recruitment failures. If emissions continue to increase, the effects on seafood production are expected to spread and deepen.

Some companies have already developed and now employ methods to protect their supplies. Others are walking the talk by pursuing ambitious programs of energy and carbon management. These success stories are valuable models for an industry faced with defending its resources.

The Study Group meets monthly by web conference and occasionally at industry events where participating companies gather. Members and visiting experts provide concise presentations on relevant science, policy, and practice. Members of the Study Group exchange information on their companies’ policies and activities in energy/carbon reduction, impact management, and sustainability.

These sessions focus on corporate policy development and hands-on technical measures to reduce energy use and emissions; methods to monitor and avoid impacts from high-CO2 seawater; cooperative research programs; and public policy initiatives to support research, monitoring, adaptation measures, and emissions reduction. In addition, members of the group are provided with opportunities to present findings and experiences to seafood industry forums and government policy makers.

The Study Group is a project of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP). Founded in 2006, the  SFP provides strategic and technical guidance to seafood suppliers and producers, helps to bring them together with other like-minded companies in Fishery Improvement Partnerships, and builds consensus around specific improvements in policies, marine conservation measures, and fishing and fish-farming practices. More information: http://www.sustainablefish.org/.

Recent Development
The U.S. Congress is considering the FY 2012 budget. Read what Amy Grondin, F/V Duna, wrote to Senator Patty Murray about funding for ocean acidification research and monitoring.