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Point of View: Lydia Bergen

Associate director, Sustainable Fisheries Initiative, New England Aquarium, Boston

Property of SeaFood Business magazine

November 01, 2008

More companies within the seafood industry need to take the first step toward sustainability. Some are talking about sustainable seafood and how they can make a difference, but moving from thoughts to action is crucial to protecting the future of our seafood supply.

The New England Aquarium was one of the first conservation organizations to partner with individual seafood companies to bring about change. More than eight years of collaboration has shown us that while companies are a hugely powerful force for improving the seafood industry, most of them can't turn on a dime and completely overhaul the way they do business. 

But we need more companies to start that journey if the movement is going to advance. Companies need to make commitments to improve the way they do business and begin taking steps toward fulfilling those commitments.

Some companies have made commitments to improve over time and started the journey with one small step forward. Others have pledged to completely overhaul their policies and practices very quickly. For example, Wal-Mart made a commitment to sell only Marine Stewardship Council-certified product for all of its wild-caught items within three years, which has catalyzed significant changes along its supply chain.

The sustainable seafood movement will only advance if more companies take action. This change does not have to happen overnight, but it will never happen if seafood companies don't make a commitment to improve - the first step toward greater seafood sustainability.


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