Seafood Sustainability at Publix

Seafood Sustainability at Publix


MUSIC We do not set a timeline
on sustainability. To us, sustainability
is really a journey and not so much a destination;
there’s not an end point. For us, sustainability is about
continuous improvement. We feel for sustainability to
truly take hold in the industry, it requires a partnership
between the retailer, the industry and
the environmental groups. My name is Guy, and I’m
the category manager for seafood at Publix. My name is Kathryn Novak, and I work for The Sustainable
Fisheries Partnership. I’m Nancy Mathews. I’m with Cox’s
Wholesale Seafood. My name is Ernest Donini,
owner of Superior Seafoods in Tampa, Florida. Um, the category manager
is basically responsible for all the product decisions
within that category. We work with major seafood
buyers, like Publix, to gather information on all the
seafood products that they buy. We’re a processor
of wild-caught, domestic Gulf shrimp,
and we supply Publix with their wild-caught
pink and white shrimp. Working on vessels,
unloading boats, buying and selling of product,
anything and everything you can imagine
in a seafood business. A Fishery Improvement
Project brings together forward-thinking
fishermen and processors, retailers like Publix, to
look holistically at the environmental impacts of
a fishery and see what they could improve to make
sure the fishery’s on the path to being sustainable. One of the FIPs that we’re
currently engaged in is on the Gulf of Mexico
shrimp industry, uh, with our supplier, Cox Seafood, who’s based out of Tampa. In this situation,
we approached Cox and asked them to participate in
the Fishery Improvement Project. Our environmental partners, Sustainable Fisheries
Partnership, had identified that as a
fishery that had some concerns. With the Gulf shrimp fishery, there are plenty of
shrimp in the Gulf, so there’s no problems with the
health of the target stock. What we’re working on in
this fishery is looking at the gear and ways
that we can improve the selectivity of the gear so
that it’s just catching shrimp. We’re working with
fishermen to document the types of By-catch
Reduction Devices that they’re using when they fish, and also to collect information on what they’re catching. BRDs are By-catch
Reduction Devices. They’re installed right
above the bag of the net, which lets all
your juvenile fish and different species out
before it gets into the bag of the net. Your TED is your Turtle
Exclusion Devices. This allows all your turtles,
small turtles, fish and things to shoot out
the net as we’re dragging, so nothing gets
caught up in the net. One of the things that
we all recognized is that there’s a
lack of documentation at the boat level. So, we brought Ernie and
Superior Seafood into the fold, asked if he would partner
with us on an improvement in just documentation. So now we’re talking to
the captains more about what they’re using,
what kind of gear, where they’re fishing,
how it’s working with, you know, the bottoms
that they’re fishing; and now we’re just
documenting all that to keep track of what’s
going on and what works best in different areas. Um, I think people want
to know that the fish that they’re buying comes
from healthy oceans and comes from, uh, practices
that aren’t harming other wildlife or other fish. And, you know, we want
this seafood to be around for generations to come. Well, I think the customers
are more educated today. I think they want to know that
we’re doing the right things. I think they want to know
that we’re protecting everything that we can
when we go out there. Our pink shrimp is, um,
one of the best resources here in Florida, and
it’s a prized resource. For the customer, what
I believe it means, is if they’ve come to
Publix and not have to worry about looking
for an eco-label, pulling a wallet card out
of there and know that they’re going to be making
a purchase they can be confident in, that we’re
doing the right things in terms of sustainability. So, if that is something
they are concerned about, they can come here and purchase
our seafood with confidence, knowing that we’re
making the changes that need to be made and
working toward the solutions that need to happen in
seafood sustainability. MUSIC

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