2009 Seafood Champions

American Albacore Fishing Association (AAFA)

AAFA is a US-based association that represents a pole and troll caught albacore fishery in California, and is responsible for dramatically expanding the market for sustainable albacore products across the United States and Europe. The first tuna fishery to be certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), AAFA made its albacore available on an equal-opportunity basis in order to effectively penetrate the market for tuna. AAFA’s pricing program provides fishermen with the certainty and incentive necessary to earn their support for sustainable fisheries.

Caroline Bennett

Caroline Bennett is the owner of London’s only sustainable sushi restaurant, Moshi Moshi. She pioneered the move away from bluefin tuna in her sushi restaurants and has passionately highlighted the plight of the bluefin tuna, whose rapid decline has been indicative of overfishing. As well as innovating in her own restaurants, Caroline has also co-established the Pisces-Responsible Fish Restaurantinitiative. Pisces-RFR helps chefs source better quality, more sustainable and more local fish and rewards good fishing practices with better prices for the fishermen. Through Caroline’s work she is both encouraging others to improve sustainability and also making this improvement more logistically possible by directly connecting restaurants with responsible fishermen.

Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson is the Senior Director of Worldwide Supply Chain Management for the multi-national McDonald’s Corporation. Recognizing over a decade ago that McDonald’s would face challenges to have an assured supply of whitefish, he created McDonald’s Global Fish Forum in 2001, bringing suppliers together worldwide to assess global whitefish sources. In 2002, Gary led efforts to develop a sustainability standard for McDonald’s fish sourcing that remains the company’s standard. Working with their suppliers under Gary’s leadership, McDonald’s has fostered improvements in several key whitefish fisheries, including reducing illegal fishing of Barents Sea cod, and shifted sourcing of roughly 20,000 metric tons of whitefish to better managed fisheries.

Australis Aquaculture

Australis Aquaculture farms and distributes Barramundi across the US marketplace. The company utilizes sustainable aquaculture technology, such as innovative water reuse systems and feeds to improve the environmental performance of its farms. As one of the world’s largest indoor fish farms, Australis is adamant about the high quality of both feed and fish, and works closely with several environmental groups to ensure consistency. The company supports its fishermen by paying better prices and advancing them feed and equipment, enabling them to better themselves and their communities.

OSO Madagascar – Mathias Ismail

Mathias Ismail is the Managing Director of OSO Delta Peche – an organic shrimp farm based in Madagascar. OSO was the first shrimp farm in the world to achieve the official organic certification AB Label (France / EU n°2092-91 regulation). Specialists have been brought in to develop nursery plantations and grow local species of trees, including mangroves, that are used to provide a resource for the local community, stabilize pond banks and protect the site from wind erosion. Mathias and OSO have made a commitment to choose sites and farming methods to minimize any impacts on the unique environment that Madagascar offers.

Association des Ligneurs de la Pointe de Bretagne

Association des Ligneurs de la Pointe de Bretagne is a fishermen’s association based in France. In 2008, it established a self-imposed fishing ban on sea bass from February 15 to March 15, the species’ most vulnerable season because it is reproducing. The 150 fishing companies represented by the Association and committed to the “Pointe de Bretagne” program have shown that healthy economic activity and observance of essential biological cycles are not incompatible. They also launched the first line-caught sea bass marking operations in 1993, a small orange label fastened to the fish’s gills that indicates to buyers the method used to catch the fish.

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