Increasing Share of Sustainable Seafood Served in Foodservice
Designed for chefs by chefs, Smart Catch is working to drive market share of sustainable seafood sold through restaurants by addressing the many barriers to get sustainable seafood to a diner’s plate – from reliable sources to chef training and consumer awareness. Participating restaurants display a Smart Catch label in their restaurants to make it easy for diners to choose sustainable seafood for their next meal.
FishChoice suppliers that feature the Smart Catch label are providing participating restaurants with required information about exact species, origin, and catch method. By making sustainable species more available, restaurants can transition from the over-fished stocks to underutilized species and offer consumers a new variety of palate-pleasing options.
Smart Catch criteria for restaurant participation relies on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. For seafood not listed by Seafood Watch, the NOAA Fisheries Fish Stock Sustainability Index is used. After completing a menu review, participating restaurants must commit to continual improvement until they achieve a 90 percent volume of sustainable species. Restaurants will rely on their suppliers to provide adequate information and assist in sourcing a diversity of underutilized species.
The idea and funding for the Smart Catch program comes from Vulcan Founder and Chairman Paul G. Allen, a long-time ocean advocate and explorer. The program is being piloted in the Seattle market.