Miami, FL. Three new seafood companies both in USA and Mexico decided to become partners of the fishery improvement efforts that Sea Delight, Handy International were already running in partnership with the Center for Development and Sustainable Fisheries (CeDePesca) and the Sea Delight Ocean Fund in Yucatan, Mexico, to get a sound management system and stocks rebuilding for the massive groupers and snappers’ fishery in this country.
Plans, advances and difficulties of this FIP were introduced by CeDePesca to many stakeholders at a round table organized by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) during the last Boston Seafood Show.
“I really believe this is a monumental moment for the Mexican Grouper Fishery Improvement Project,” says Adriana Sanchez, President of the Sea Delight Ocean Fund. “The last Seafood Expo North America was a great opportunity to not only find new business opportunities but also discuss common issues affecting us all. I am very thankful to Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) for organizing the Americas Snapper and Grouper Supply Chain Roundtable and for providing our organizations with the opportunity to present the work we are doing in this fishery.”
After Boston, Quirch Foods, Chefs Trading and the Mexican company Pescados y Mariscos del Caribe S.A (PESMAR) decided to become partners of the FIP.
“Chefs Trading is proud to support the work being done and help with these complex issues. Finding a balance is important to everyone as this fishery provides a lively hood for the people of the region and is also a vital resource for the supply chain and consumers around the globe. We encourage suppliers, distributors, chefs as well as consumers to participate in helping fisheries become more sustainable thru socially responsible fishery improvement projects,” said Chris Wirges, CEO.
“Sustainable and high quality supply is the cornerstone of Panamei Seafoods procurement policy. We have established a purchasing policy geared towards sourcing products from long-term partners, processing plants and farms, which manage the resources in a responsible manner and rely on competent national authorities that employ science-based management approaches to ensuring sustainable harvests. Our participation in the Mexican Grouper FIP takes our commitment towards seafood sustainability one step further, as we become active participants in this FIP to ensure that that the fishery becomes well managed well into the future.” said Alfred Montejo, Procurement Seafood Buyer.
“We are looking forward to cooperating in this essential effort” explained Rudy Abad, Managing Partner of Pescados Y Mariscos del Caribe (PESMAR). “I believe this group is uniquely positioned to assure the continued vitality of what is arguably the most valuable snapper/grouper fishery in the world.”
“This is a very difficult FIP and new partners are needed and very welcomed, underlined Ernesto Godelman, chairman of CeDePesca. We are addressing the intricacies of a very weak management system and very strong social roots for this fishery, and we are proposing an entirely new approach, based on fishing rights, to incorporate the fishermen to the management responsibilities and make the rebuilding possible. Thanks to the hard work of our colleague Minerva Alonso in the field, step by step this proposal is gaining support between the local stakeholders.”
The Sea Delight Ocean Fund received grants in 2014 from Resources Legacy Fund as well as Sea Pact, a coalition of leading sustainable seafood distributors in North America. This funding helped conduct an MSC pre-assessment of the fishery in March of 2014 and support on the ground activities such as reporting on the current status of the fishery and subsequent progress, organizing workshops using the Environmental Risk Assessment for the Effects of Fishing (ERAEF) to discuss environmental impacts of the fishery; and coordinating local workshops with fishermen to discuss the pre-assessment results. It also helped develop an improvement and activities plan to get the necessary improvements completed.
About Chefs Trading:
Chefs Trading is an International Sourcing, Logistics, Technology and Food Brokerage Company. We specialize in seafood out of Latin America and the Caribbean with a 100% boots on the ground approach to sourcing the best possible products at off the boat pricing with the logistics to reach any one anywhere in hours. Chefs Trading is owned and operated by professional chefs that care and are passionate about food. Traceability and Sustainability are core to our business principles, our products come with our CT traceability tags and a portion of our sales go to help our fisheries become more sustainable. We are licensed, bonded, insured, and ready to help. Give us a call at 1-844-257-0959. https://www.chefstrading.com/
About Quirch Foods®:
Quirch Foods®, established in 1967, is an importer, exporter, and distributor of food products to the retail and food service trade. The company is family owned and directed by the third generation of the Quirch family and is a certified Minority Business Enterprise. Quirch Foods is one of the largest distributors of food products in the Southeastern U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, with a customer list that includes independent and chain supermarkets, food service distributors, processors and manufacturers, cruise lines, and restaurants. In addition to being ranked as one of the largest among the top 50 exporters in the U.S., Quirch Foods is ranked in the top 10 in the Hispanic Business magazine 2014, by measure of revenue amongst Hispanic businesses in the U.S. http://www.quirchfoods.com/
About Pescados y Mariscos del Caribe:
PESMAR produces and distributes wild, line-caught fresh and frozen fish and shellfish from Mexico’s Caribbean coast and fresh and pasteurized crabmeat from the Bay of Campeche. PESMAR’s modern, 10,000 sq. ft. facility is in the heart of the Yucatan’s fish district. Our long history with the local fleet and our emphasis on day-boats ensures that we receive the pick of the catch. Meticulous handling and packing procedures result in a shelf life that greatly exceeds the industry norm. Fish are available whole fresh, whole frozen, fresh fillets and vacuum packaged frozen fillets. PESMAR services export markets in the U.S., Europe and Asia through the convenient transportation hubs of Merida, Cancun and the Port of Progresso. For all of PESMAR’s products, guaranteed consistent quality, long shelf life and on-time delivery are standard. http://www.pesmar.com.mx
About Handy International:
Handy International is America’s oldest seafood processor and has consistently maintained the highest quality standards in the seafood industry for over 100 years. Handy was established in 1894 by John T. Handy and has been located in Crisfield, Maryland since 1903. The plant has relocated to a larger space but is still in Crisfield, Maryland with the corporate office in Salisbury, Maryland. Specializing in the processing of the area’s best-known delicacy: soft crabs, our product line also includes handmade crab cakes and seafood cakes, shrimp products, crab meat, oysters and artisanal fish. We continue to be a family-owned company with a focus on quality and transparency. http://www.handycrab.com
About Sea Delight Ocean Fund:
The Sea Delight Ocean Fund, is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2012 to create and support global fishery improvement projects and better fishing practices initiatives that protect marine resources and promote conservation efforts globally. http://www.sdoceanfund.org
The Center for Development and Sustainable Fisheries was founded in Mar del Plata city, Argentina, in 1997. It is a Latin American non-for-profit Civil Association with legal status granted by Mexican, Brazilian, Argentine, Panamanian, Peruvian and Chilean authorities. It has the mission of working towards socially, economically and ecologically sustainable fisheries, together with local fishers, fishing industry and the supply chain. It aims mainly at training, researching and spreading management systems that ensure the sustainable use of fisheries resources and, within this framework, supporting the organizational development of small-scale fishermen as well as the creation of a legal and economic framework that ensures their increasing participation in resource management and in the protection and fostering of this sector on a Latin-American regional scale. Currently CeDePesca is driving 10 FIPs involving 7 Latin American countries. http://www.cedepesca.org/