The Sea to Table team took a field trip this weekend to the venerable Boston International Seafood Show to see how the old school supply chain worked. We think it is all about the fishermen and the fish, but our team discovered it is about the long, opaque supply chain machine that delivers it to the market.
It is easy to see why over 90% of all seafood consumed in the U.S. comes from outside the U.S., where green-washing is everywhere and everything is sustainable. Massive industrial players comb the world’s seas with factory ships like agribusiness factory farms. Once the fish have been captured they enter the long supply chain, unable to be traced through the system. Fresh fish lose their identity on their week long journey to the plate.
One good move in Boston was that the Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud released its action plan. They reported “IUU fishing undercuts fair competition and leads to global losses between $10 and $23 billion each year. These pirate fishers often violate even the most basic safety requirements, such as using navigation lights at night, putting law-abiding mariners at risk. And their ships serve as conduits for other dangerous criminal activities, including human trafficking. Black-market fishing seafood fraud allows black market fish to enter U.S. commerce, deceiving American consumers about the quality, quantity, origin, and sustainability of the food they eat.” This is a BFD.
One key element conspicuously absent at the seafood show was fishermen. As our friend Barton Seaver says “Without fishermen there is no seafood.” We think that fishermen and the traditional fishing communities they support are worthy of our support, and we can do that by enjoying the fruits of their labor next day direct from the dock.
All the best,
from the Dimin Family and the Sea to Table team