Women in Seafood: Dr. Minerva Arce

Dr. Minerva Arce was born in Mazatlan, Mexico in 1962. At that time Mazatlan was a coastal shrimping community and her family was involved in that fishing industry. Dr. Arce received her B.S. from the Autonomous University of Sinaloa in 1986 where she studied Fisheries Biology in the School of Marine Sciences, Mazatlan. There were only a very few women students in her program and less than 10% women students in her entire classroom.

In 1985, Dr. Arce’s first postion was at the Aquaculture Production Laboratory in Tabasco and she later pursued her M.S. in Marine Biology at CINVESTAV (The Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute) in Merida. Her studies were focused on the lobster industry. At that same time, Minerva also worked on Lake Patzcuaro, where women processed the seafood product that their husbands brought in from the lake. In 1993, she joined the Research Center of Quintana Roo, which in 1995 became a Federal Institution that is integrated to “El Colegio de la Frontera Sur” (ECOSUR). Dr. Arce is presently collaborating  on a project with a group of Mayan fisherwomen in the state of Quintana Roo. Together, these women are engaged in fishing in freshwater cenotes and lakes, and always remain close to home as to not neglect their domestic activities.

 Dr. Arce received her Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies (biology and social sciences) at Dalhousie University in Hallifax. In 2007, Dr. Arce’s Thesis won first place as Outstanding Thesis in Social Sciences, dealing with issues of “Adaptation to Climate Change in the Mayan production systems.”. Dr. Minerva Arce also held the title of  Director of ECOSUR Chetumal from 2009 to 2012. She’s currently a full professor and researcher at ECOSUR, where she teaches graduate classes in “ecological economics” and in “development, economy and ecosystems.” She also works on recreational fisheries (from Belize and Mexico) and on rights-based management.

Sea Delight: Sustainable seafood is an industry for the future. Maintaining a healthy ocean with responsibly sourced fish is simply good business. What attracted you to the seafood business?

Dr. Minerva Arce: Overall my love for fish and biology studies, especially related to their care and conservation.

SD: The seafood industry is a significant contributor to the world’s growing need for healthy sustainable food. Why is sustainability important to you?

MA: Because for me it is essential to care for the space in which we live, in this case the ocean and its products and to make sure the resources are available in the future for our own benefit.

SD:  What are some of the projects you are currently working on that will enhance the future of the seafood industry?

MA: I’m currently working on a study with the Community Conservation Research Network in coordination with St. Mary`s University about the effect of climate change, particularly in the lobster. I am also interested in how do the fishermen perceive resource abundance and what adaptation strategies are they following.

SD: The seafood industry is one of the most complex global systems in the world because it’s about feeding people. What has been your biggest challenge working in the industry in general and also addressing sustainable seafood?

MA: Trying to inform and engage decision makers to consider sustainability factors, as well as political and economic factors in their decisions.

SD: The best leaders are lifelong learners. What have you learned most recently that has made an impact on your career?

MA: I have learned the need of, and how, human societies self-organize and support each other to seek the common good. How in times of crisis, we come together to solve problems.

SD: What advice would you give other women interested in a career in the seafood industry?

MA: If they decide to enter the industry, they need to work with passion. I would advise them to study several languages and to also learn from the knowledge of local communities. Also, I would advise them to obtain more life experiences as this will help them to better understand the problems affecting the industry and be able to find better solutions.



Women in Seafood: Lenny Danuseputro

Lenny Danuseputro is the Marketing Director at PT. Inti Lautan Fajar Abadi (Intan Seafood) in Pasuruan, Indonesia. Prior to holding this position, she was the Operational Director at CV. Karya Samudra, a fishing company in Probolinggo, Indonesia, and Chief Accountant at PT. Kasogi International, tbk, a shoe manufacturing company in Sidoarjo, Indonesia. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Surabaya, Indonesia and a Master’s degree in Commerce from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Sea Delight: Sustainable seafood is an industry for the future. Maintaining a healthy ocean with responsibly sourced fish is simply good business. What attracted you to the seafood business in the first place?

Lenny Danuseputro: My father was involved in operating boats since the 1980s. I was exposed to the seafood industry at a very young age. Seafood basically runs in our blood.

SD: The seafood industry is a significant contributor to the world’s growing need for healthy sustainable food. Why is sustainability important to you?

LD: The world is changing. We are not in the same place where we were many years ago. We have to do something now before we reach a point where the situation becomes irreversible. We are not only doing business but we also have a responsibility to supply the world with seafood constantly. Our role, and the only way to do it, is to make sure that we will have the supply for as long as we are going to need it.

SD: What are some of the projects you are currently working on that will enhance the future of the seafood industry?

LD: We are working with Traceall from the U.K. for the Tracebility Project as a part of our FIP Snapper/Grouper and we are taking these things seriously by following the steps and regulations from fishing, down to the end user’s plate. Traceall Global’s elog system will be installed on PT Inti Lautan Fajar Abadi’s vessels to track:

  • Where the fish was caught?
  • When the fish was caught?
  • By whom?

Method by which the fish was caught? Traceall Global is the U.K. and EU Government’s approved elog platform for fish traceability.

SD: The seafood industry is one of the most complex global systems in the world because it’s about feeding people. What has been your biggest challenge working in the industry in general and also addressing sustainable seafood?

LD: We have to maintain relationships with both nature and people/customers. These two things are correlated with each other and so we have to make both ends meet. This is one of our biggest challenges. However, with some of the establishments working with sustainability, we can make the gap closer and easier than before.

SD: The best leaders are lifelong learners. What have you learned most recently that has made an impact on your career?

LD: We are doing both fishing and processing. On the fishing side, we have to follow regulations on what our Government will require us to provide. On the processing side, whatever the customer requires us to do, we do it, in order for them to grow their business too. Doing the right things make us what we are now and have a good long term relationship with many good customers. I have to say, all the necessary things needed to improve on all sides of this business like fishing, factory as well as our products have to be considered.

SD: What advice would you give other women interested in a career in the seafood industry?

LD: The seafood business is not as easy as it looks but with hardwork, perseverance and determination to be successful, it is not beyond reach. Relationships are important at every step and we have to always find a way to maintain a good relationship with people like fishermen, workers, competitors, customers and, of course, with nature.  These are the things they will be needing in order to succeed in the Seafood industry.





Cast Your Line for Pre-Sale Tickets to 2nd Annual Taste of the Sea 2015

Sea Delight Ocean Fund’s Responsibly Sourced Seafood Tasting & Chef’s “Fish-Off Challenge” at Casablanca on the Bay, Friday, October 16th

MIAMI — It’s going to be another flavor explosion that can’t be found in just one restaurant. The 2nd Annual Taste of the Sea Masquerade Ball is set to cast off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, October 16th. At this year’s Taste of the Sea you will savor the finest responsibly sourced seafood dishes created by South Florida’s all-star chefs and experience these Chef’s “Fish-Off” Challenge, with guests voting on their favorite chef’s seafood creation. Guests will enjoy delicious wine and spirits to complement each dish along with scrumptious desserts, music, raffles and an interactive conservation village.

Sponsored by Where Magazine, the 2nd Annual Taste of the Sea will take place from 6:30 – 11:00 p.m. at the tropical marina setting of Casablanca on the Bay located at 1717 North Bayshore Drive, Suite 200, Miami, FL 33132.

Taste of the Sea’s all-star chefs and restaurants include The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Piccolo Ristorante, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Celebrity Chef, Latin House Grill, 180° @ the DRB, Casablanca on the Bay, Acentos & Paladares, Federacion Latinoamericana de Gastronomia (USA and PR Chapter), The Fish House, The Art Culinary Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, and International Executive Guest Chef Yanick Comeau of Yuzu Sushi and Mimi’s Ravioli and Yayi’s incredible desserts. Participating spirits include Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Wynwood Brewing Company, Casamigos Tequila and Alma Wines, among others.

In addition to sampling some of the finest responsibly sourced seafood sponsored by Sea Delight and Pier 33 Gourmet and spirits, Sea Delight Ocean Fund has brought together leaders in marine and ocean preservation for an incredible interactive and educational Conservation area, including the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC), the Coastal Steward, Universo Marino, University of Miami Shark Research program, and Shark Team One.

“We are thrilled to host our 2nd Annual Taste of the Sea seafood tasting event with the participation of South Florida’s finest chefs and restaurants and sponsored by Preferred Freezer Services, Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC, and international Where Magazine. Based on the success of our inaugural Taste of the Sea last year, It’s incredible to have the support again this year of these wonderful organizations focused on the health of our oceans alongside these gifted culinary masters,” noted Adriana Sanchez, Sustainability Director of Sea Delight and President of the Sea Delight Ocean Fund.

“We look forward to participating in Taste of the Sea and raising awareness of the importance of ocean conservation and the need for sustainable fisheries,” said Wendy Goyert, Senior Program Officer, World Wildlife Fund. “This event is a great opportunity to showcase efforts being made on the ground and in the water, to improve the sustainability of important fish stocks around the world.”

“We look forward to participating in Sea Delight Ocean Fund’s 2nd annual Taste of the Sea after last year’s successful inaugural event,” said Sandra Cedrone, MSC Senior Commercial Manager, Americas. “This opportunity brings together talented seafood chefs and organizations that support and promote sustainable seafood and ocean conservation.
“Everyone can do their part to help promote ocean conservation,” said Jack Lighton, Loggerhead Marine Center President & CEO. “One key way to protect our ocean is to choose to eat responsibly harvested sea food,” he added. “LMC is thrilled to be involved in the Second Annual Taste of the Sea event!”

“At Preferred Freezer Services we believe in environmental stewardship, and as a developer and operator of state-of-the-art, full-service refrigerated warehouses, Preferred Freezer Services has a vested interest in helping to create a cleaner, more energy efficient environment. Our sponsorship of the Sea Delight Ocean Fund’s Taste of the Sea helps us further our commitment to the environment by supporting this organization’s global fishery improvement projects,” said Brian Beattie, President.

To purchase tickets click http://tiny.cc/5uye2x . Early Bird Ticket prices are $35.00 per person and Couple’s Tickets at just $60.00. Single tickets at the door $50.00 per person.

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. All proceeds from this event will help further marine conservation programs led by the Sea Delight Ocean Fund, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of our oceans.


For those who live in Miami, we know this city for being more than a beautiful vacation destination and thriving nightlife. TIME magazine once called it the “Capital of Latin America” and as such we are known for being a center for commerce, entertainment, pop culture, and the arts. But is that all we can be known for?  Unlike cities such as Portland, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle and New York, Miami is not known for leading the conversation on sustainable seafood.

Miami’s rich cultural diversity provides fertile ground for providing remarkable culinary experiences. Miami is a culinary fusion incubator, and this culinary scene reflects the city’s diversity. Asian, Caribbean, South American, Mediterranean and North American flavors enhance seafood dishes around the city.  Furthermore, Miami’s location deems it a major U.S. entry port for imported seafood (fresh and frozen) and provides its locals and tourist alike with access to seafood choices that would not be available otherwise.

Miami also offers a variety of seafood festivals and access to popular fish markets. So, if we love seafood, and we eat seafood, why are we not talking about sustainable seafood? Why are we not leading the conversation on sustainable seafood? Outside of retailers like Walmart, Publix, and Whole Foods which have strong seafood sustainability commitments, and a few restaurants like Area 31  in the Epic Hotel, Downtown Miami; The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Downtown Miami; Ireland Steakhouse in NW Miami; and La Mar by Gaston Acurio in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel; I am not sure why we are not truly engaging our audience to learn more about sustainable seafood.

Most of us like to focus on eating local and fresh. But seafood is a global experience and many of our seafood choices are not readily available locally. As of 2011, it was estimated that 29% of fish stocks were overfished and only 10% of global wild caught seafood now comes from fisheries engaged in the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) certification program (highest sustainability standard).  These statistics are alarming when we take into account the environmental impact that most of the seafood we consume has.

This is where the Sea Delight Ocean Fund is looking to make a difference. We are a local non-profit organization which focuses on global fisheries that need improvement. We work closely with non-government organizations (NGOs) to develop Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) that follow the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solution FIP guidelines. These Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) provide the building blocks needed for a fishery to make substantial changes geared towards its improvement, better management, healthier stocks, and MSC certification.

WHY SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD? Sustainable seafood is seafood either from fished or farmed sources that can maintain or increase production in the future without jeopardizing the ecosystems from which it was acquired. Personally, I like “responsibly sourced” or “responsible seafood.”  To fish or source “responsibly” means we are not out to overfish certain species and destroy the marine ecosystems in which they live during this process. This is why retailers and restaurants play such an important role. They are in constant contact with the end consumer and they are able to spread the knowledge and provide seafood choices which we deem “responsible” or “sustainable.” They are able to engage their consumers in learning more about these seafood products and use their purchasing power to drive change and improvement in the fisheries their favorite seafood is sourced from.

We can all agree that it is a complex issue, and knowledge is power. Through the Sea Delight Ocean Fund’s annual Taste of the Sea we are aiming to create awareness of not only the work we do in global fisheries, but also partner with local organizations and provide them with a space to educate attendees about the work that they do in Florida and abroad. In last year’s event we partnered with the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the University of Miami Shark Research, the Florida International University Medina Aquarius Program, the Coastal Steward, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, and Shark Team One.

In the words of Jacques Yves Cousteau, “The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.” This is the time for Miami to be more than the center for commerce, entertainment, pop culture, and the arts. It is time for Miami to take leadership and spearhead the conversation about sustainable seafood in the southeast, and Sea Delight Ocean Fund’s Taste of the Sea can be the starting point to do so.

Towards the Sustainability of Mahi-Mahi in Peru

First Peruvian Mahi-Mahi Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) Progress Review meeting

May 7-8, 2015    Lima, Peru

This two day meeting was facilitated by Antonio Hervás Abad, ASI Lead Assessor & Fisheries Specialist, and consisted of presentations by Juan Carlos Requejo, Vice Minister of Fisheries (PRODUCE), Juan Carlos Riveros, Director of Conservation (WWF- PERU), Wendy Goyert (WWF-USA) and Samuel Amorós (WWF-PERU), Santiago de la Puente- Intelfin Consultant, Carlos Manuel Arca Hoyle (PROMPERU), Miguel Ñiquen (IMARPE), and Alberto Abanto (AAARCUDIPA).


  • 2012 Identify fishery’s key stakeholders
  • Jun-Dec 2012 MSC Pre-assessment
  • Jan-Feb. 2013            Outreach of the FIP
  • Mar 2013 Meeting with key stakeholders/development of work plan
  • 2013- Present Implementation, Revision and Evaluation


Wendy Goyert, WWF USA and Samuel Amoros, WWF Peru answer questions after providing a presentation update about the FIP


  • This FIP is a collaborative process which helps improve access to American market
  • Working with producers to have the tools to respond to new demands is crucial for maintaining market relevance
  • Establishment of fishing season: October 1- April 30
  • Studies show the numbers of juvenile caught increases May-September reaching 46.2% and decreasing by February
  • Establishment of Minimum Landing Size: 70 cm in length from nose to fork
    • It was also noted that Ecuador uses 80 cm total length
  • Need to be more flexible and efficient in the decision making process. The role of WWF is to provide information and facilitate the dialogue between sectors. Their mission is the protection of the resource and to promote the equal access to it.
  • More than the 50% of mahi-mahi catch worldwide is from Peru
  • 69 activities were identified to help improve the fishery:
  1. Stock health. i.e. minimum size
  2. Ecosystem impacts such as shark retention. In Peru there is no shark finning and turtles are returned if captured. Question of ghost gear.
  3. Effective management
  • Creation of a National Technical Group for the mahi-mahi fishery
  • Participated in the first Bi-national Workshop (Ecuador/Peru) for the mahi-mahi, September 2014
  • Participated on the first International Technical Workshop for the mahi-mahi organized by the ICCAT on Oct 2014
  • Develop a program for the use and implementation of logbooks
  • Observer program for biological data collection
  • Work towards the development of National a National Action Plan for the conservation and management of the mahi-mahi in Peru
  • WWF makes recommendations, meets with government agencies to evaluate existing regulations
  • If able to advance all the activities in the action plan, they are hoping to enter certification in 2017
  • Website is now available in Spanish- proyectoperico.org


Adriana Sánchez, Sea Delight Ocean Fund President and Sustainability Coordinator at Sea Delight, gave a short presentation about the importance of seafood sustainability in the U.S. market

WORKPLAN 2014-2015

  1. Consolidation and internal organization of the National Technical Group (GTN- Grupo Técnico Nacional)
  2. Strengthen the onboard observers program
  3. Expand data collection during the mahi-mahi season 2014-2015
  4. Share publications in regards to the mahi-mahi
  5. Standardization of formats and reports
  6. Development of a census of the fleet participating in the fishing of mahi-mahi
  7. Promote the research process
  8. Participation in international meetings


  • Generate fishery information that could be used for the management
  1. Knowledge and registration
  2. Data processing: catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE), distribution maps and fishery focus, etc.
  • Generate a registration of the mahi-mahi fisher’s work and create a platform to channel events that occurred onboard of these vessels: bycatch, lost gear, etc.
  • Contribute to the consolidation of the fishers’ roles in the generation of knowledge of this resource and their fishery with the goal of contributing to its management.


  • In 2009 the mahi-mahi fishery generated:

Employment opportunities:

  • At sea- 6023
  • In land- 10,706
  • Multiplier 1.78

Contribution to the GDP

  • At sea, USD 67.4 million
  • In land, USD 137.5 millions
  • Multiplier 2.04
  • Increase in fishing effort of the artisanal fleet: more artisanal fishers, vessels, capacity for storage, length of longline, increase in number of hooks, effective fishing dates and duration of the fishing labor.
  • The increase in fishing efforts has not been accompanied by an increase in quality (the poor isolation of the storage units in the fleet makes the practice not cost-effective if the resource is not close to the coast)


  • Fisher’s representatives emphasized the need for better price at landing
  • Focus on training workshops for fishers to generate support on the use of logbooks and on-board observer programs
  • Focus on technical workshops for fishers. Use social media, webinars, to disseminate information and reduce cost
  • Discussion on the use of technology for the on-board observer programs in addition to a physical presence. There are many financial and technological difficulties to address.
  • Need to put emphasis on a rule to minimize discards and provide an incentive to declare the complete catch so that data can be collected on mahi-mahi and all impacted species. This information is crucial for making good decisions.
  • Measurable progress needs to be made soon. It is also vital that this progress and all relevant project information be publicized to help maintain confidence and support for this FIP throughout the supply chain.

Tortuga Music Festival Green Gourmet 2015

Sea Delight, LLC and the Sea Delight Ocean Fund “Rocked the Ocean” as the official seafood sponsor of the Green Gourmet at the Conservation Village of Tortuga Music Festival held on Fort Lauderdale Beach, April 11th and 12th. “Collaborating with Rock the Ocean on their Green Gourmet Conservation Village is a fantastic way to educate those who love the ocean, music and the seafood we responsibly source our products from,” says Adriana Sanchez, Sustainability Coordinator at Sea Delight and President of the Sea Delight Ocean Fund. This was our second year collaborating with some of the finest local chefs to sample and showcase Sea Delight’s responsibly sourced seafood. Award winning chefs included Chef Kareem of The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Chef Chris Miracolo of S3, Chef Andres Avayu of Piccolo Ristorante, Chef Mano Calambichis of Big Chef Catering, Chef Mario Tanjun from Casablanca on the Bay and Chef Marcela Guzman-Galan of the Fort Lauderdale Institute of Art Culinary School. Each chef created a delicious seafood dish, adding their own individual style, taste and flavor profile to Sea Delight’s assortment of responsibly sourced seafood while crowds learned about sustainability and ocean conservation programs. IMG_4306 IMG_4311 IMG_4321 IMG_4336 IMG_4370 IMG_4377

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Sea Delight signs Vietnam Yellowfin Tuna Fishery Improvement Project Partner Agreement with WWF

Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam, Dec. 3, 2014

At the closing of a Community Discussion Group held here in the fishing port of Tam Quan, Binh Dinh Province, the final signatures were placed on the VN Tuna FIP Partner Agreement. Signatories to the agreement are Stephanie Bradley, VP Fisheries – WWF USA, Keith Symington, Vietnam Tuna FIP Coordinator – WWF Coral Triangle Programme and Stephen Fisher, GM Asia Pacific -Sea Delight.

1Keith Symington (WWF CTP) and Stephen Fisher (Sea Delight) signing the FIP Agreement

As per the agreement itself the parties in the partnership will “support the Vietnam FIP, which aims to guide the longline/handline tuna industry on a path towards sustainability and ultimately Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification”

The topics discussed with stakeholders in the local tuna fishery at the meeting were directly related to the Tuna FIP workplan. Stakeholders expressed their views on how to improve traceability, onboard logbook coverage and the training of onboard observers from local fishing communities. A report on the meeting can be found this month on the Sea Delight website.