Blue Community Program Coastal Sustainability Best Practices

Sustainable Seafood Strategies

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     The tourism industry can act as a double-edged sword. The attractions and attributions that generate the desire for tourists to participate in this industry, are the very same features that we are depleting and threatening. This behemoth of an industry can present great opportunities for individuals, occupations, and economies, but only if done so with an environmentally- sustainable mindset. Nonetheless, with a changing climate creating many uncertainties and a food crisis, it is of utmost importance that individuals act sustainably and utilize new technologies and strategies to shift traditional methods that are no longer relevant to a changing climate. With the depletion of resources, strategies must be employed to mitigate and ultimately eradicate inefficient agricultural techniques to combat the food crisis. Fortunately, there are many strategies that the tourism industry can adopt that focuses on organic, hydroponic and local food for sustainable tourism.

     Firstly, the demand for sustainable consumerism must be created through strategies of awareness and education in order to create the necessary supply. With modern day technology and platforms that allow global outreach, information about where and how food is sourced should be ever present. Unfortunately, not everyone is pondering about whether or not their shrimp really came fresh from New Orleans or if it traveled thousands of frozen miles across the sea. Awareness and education from suppliers is vital to create the shift. Hotels and restaurants must know about their fisheries and how the fish is caught. Nevertheless, knowing this information can be passed down to consumers which acts as an educational tool. Hopefully guests are inquiring about the sources, but if not, restaurants should feature on menus or websites the source of the fish.

     In my opinion, one of the best strategies to ensure that hotels and restaurants are serving local, sustainably-fished products to their guests is to develop a partnership with local fisherman and get guests involved. A group I recently familiarized myself with is a Key West based fishery known as Three Hands Fish. This group is amazing as they are trying to revolutionize the current fishing culture in the U.S. They are all about organic and local seafood and against the mass imports of fish. They are able to catch fish in a respectful and responsible manner and then ultimately provide the freshest fish to restaurants in Key West. Three Hands Fish prides themselves on supplying information to buyers about how and when the fish was caught. The strategy of educating each other in responsible fishing in order to avoid imports fosters the demand for organic and fresh seafood.

     Lastly, this group gets individuals in the community involved by providing educational experiences. They call this the “Three Hands Experience.” More coastal cities need to employ similar practices of involving tourists and locals with the actual processing of their food. Overall, the experience takes one throughout the journey of catching the fish, bringing the fish to the market and ultimately cooking the fish. This experience by the group sets an amazing example that other fisheries can adopt. I know that as a tourist I would absolutely love to be apart of this sustainable seafood process!

 


 

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Citation

Gallagher, C. (2018). Sustainable Seafood Strategies. Retrieved from http://www.bluecommunity.info/view/blog/5aca2b560cf26bc6ab8f41a4

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