Three sustainable seafood brands to know for World Oceans Day
If you love seafood but worry about the documentary “Seaspiracy” and the seafood scam, there may be a solution: truly sustainable seafood. These foods come from the sea but are fished and processed in a way that does not harm or help regenerate fragile ecosystems. Some are even helping to fight the climate crisis.
Just in time for World Oceans Day on June 8, three companies are using transparency, technology and traceability to innovate in seafood. Whether you’re enjoying a kelp burger, a piece of ahi tuna jerky or a fresh lobster tail that you can follow from fisherman to table, these entrepreneurs produce seafood to ensure the oceans stay healthy and productive.
(1) KnowSeafood: Using blockchain to track quality seafood
KnowSeafood is an online seafood marketplace touting high quality, sustainable and natural seafood. The idea is that âyour seafood has a storyâ, the company motto notes, and KnowSeafood wants you to know that before you even buy anything.
Consumers can follow a seafood’s full history, including a timeline and map, on the KnowSeafood website or on cell phones. It is possible to know when and where the product was caught, by whom, what methods were used, when it was frozen and when it will be delivered. Fishermen are required to upload catch information, which becomes the first block of information on the blockchain. According to Investopedia, blockchains are irreversible data sets that are readily available to display and “accurately and transparently order events”. At each processing step, the complete and chronological block of information on how the product has been handled is attached to the chain that follows the fish.
100% traceability and transparency âgives confidence to the seafood chain,â KnowSeafood co-founder Dan McQuade told EcoWatch. By partnering only with reliable and sustainable fishermen and tracing their products directly to consumers, KnowSeafood has “virtually eliminated much of the fraud and abuse that plagues the seafood industry,” said one company representative.
âI’ve worked in the seafood industry for decades and know exactly what happens when seafood goes through too many middlemen,â McQuade said. “This is where additives, antibodies, widespread seafood fraud, unsustainable fishing and safety concerns occur.”
Blockchain traceability technology and transparency are available for everything KnowSeafood offers, including New England lobsters which are sorted to avoid breeding and egg carrier lobsters; hand-harvested Peruvian bay scallops; and Aurora Salmon raised and fed an all-plant-based diet of corn and kelp husks, McQuade explained. The company’s newest venture is the world’s first farmed shrimp, 100% plant-based and non-GMO from Ecuador.
More information is available at KnowSeafood.com.
(2) Akua: Using Regenerative Ocean Agriculture to Create Kelp Burgers and Jerky
Akua has introduced sustainable kelp burgers. Akua
âSustainable seafood sources food from the sea that leaves the oceans more or less as it was found, which has no impact. Given the state of our oceans, sustainability is not enough right now, âCourtney Boyd, Akua Co-Founder and CEO. Myers told EcoWatch.
That’s why his business is focused on ocean kelp. Boyd Myers explained how kelp grows “by photosynthesis, without the need for fresh water, soil, fertilizer or food.” The process of growing algae sequesters carbon and nitrogen from the water, much like terrestrial plants do. According to Akua, this helps reduce local ocean acidification, which also helps reduce rising ocean temperatures, increase biodiversity, and support other marine species.
This process is “much more than sustainable – it is a regenerative practice” that leaves the oceans and the planet healthier, Boyd Myers said.
In the first six months before the official launch, Akua sold 22,000 kelp burgers and another 10,000 during its launch week on May 20. According to New York Times Food, burgers are best served on a hot griddle.
â2021 is definitely the summer of the kelp burger,â added Boyd Myers. âWe are seeing a big change in all forms of agriculture, from sustainable to regenerative, because it is extremely important that we leave the planet better than it is now for future generations. We cannot just stop , we need to go back. We need to grow food in a way that heals, not just sustains. “
More information is available at Akua.co.
(3) Pescavore: Using local and less harmful fishing methods to create ahi tuna jerky
Wild tuna encourages responsible management of tuna fishing. Healthy Oceans Seafood Company
According to Healthy Oceans Seafood Company CEO and co-founder Matthew Owens, the company that owns Pescavore, the brand focuses on innovative fishing technology, local and traceable fishing, and sustainable packaging.
For example, the brand’s ahi tuna jerky is a wild-caught single-serve product that promotes responsible management of tuna fishing.
Owens was frustrated that more than 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the United States was imported, despite having the second largest exclusive economic zone (which grants jurisdiction over natural resources) and access to locally harvested and sustainable seafood.
“In addition to a large carbon footprint, excessive reliance on imports creates traceability issues and thus increases the risk of illegal, unreported and unregulated fish entering the market,” Owens told EcoWatch. That’s why all of Pescavore’s tuna is landed in Los Angeles and made in the United States. The focus on local captures also restores economic value to national coastal communities, which is critical in the post-pandemic economy, Owens added.
Pescavore only consumes sources of healthy and abundant fish populations, such as yellowfin tuna, and avoids overfished and sensitive species while using innovative fishing methods.
“We source tuna that is not associated with dolphins or fish aggregating devices, and caught without a longline,” Owens explained. Selective fishing methods also create “a smaller carbon footprint than rod and line fishing and with almost no bycatch” of dolphins, sea turtles and other sensitive species, he added.
Pescavore snacks keep for up to 18 months, while the innovative sachet packaging saves 96% space compared to storing canned tuna. This further reduces the carbon footprint of the product.
âOne truck of our packaging has the capacity of 28 trucks of cans,â Owens said. “The pouches are made in part from recycled materials and are recyclable after use in Europe and hopefully with improved systems will soon be recyclable in the United States as well.”
More information is available at https://pescavoreseafood.com.
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