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Seafood Sustainability

Preserving our Shared Future Through Sustainable Seafood

What IS Sustainable Seafood, anyways?

There’s no doubt that you’ve heard the word “sustainable” thrown around a lot, especially when it comes to food. From sustainably sourced produce to sustainably raised meats, this word is popping up on labels left and right.

At North Coast Seafoods, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a practice we live by to deliver our customers the best, high-quality seafood available. In the end, sustainable seafood benefits everyone - our customers, fishermen, and, of course, the environment.

 

Sustainable Fish and Shellfish

Simply put – Sustainable Seafood means seafood that is caught, farmed, or harvested using environmentally harmonious and socially responsible methods that jeopardize neither the health of our oceans nor the stability of the species in question.

Sustainability isn’t about drastic measures. Rather, it’s about creating more efficient, environmentally-friendly processes that can be sustained with minimal impact on natural resources.

How Does North Coast Ensure Sustainably Sourced Fish?

As a company that depends on our oceans’ natural resources, we are keenly aware of our responsibility to source and promote sustainable seafood. We are proud to work with a number of local and international sustainability organizations – such as the Best Aquaculture Practices, Aquaculture Stewardship Council and Marine Stewardship Council – to ensure that our seafood is environmentally responsible.

best aquaculture practices logoaquaculture stewardship council logomarine stewardship council logogulf of maine research institute logo

Sustainable Seafood is a story of continuous improvement, rather than a final destination to be reached. As part of the global seafood community, North Coast Seafoods regularly evaluates our impact and looks for new ways to make further improvements to our overall sustainability. This includes our fishing and harvesting policies all the way to our freezing and packaging methods.

 

What is the Most Sustainable Seafood?

Both Wild Caught and Farmed seafood can be sustainable and are each essential to ensuring continued seafood availability for future generations. What matters the most is how the seafood is raised (in some cases), harvested, and packaged.

Overfishing is one of the biggest threats facing our oceans today. With seafood consumption rising worldwide, well-managed ocean-raised (farmed) fish can take pressure off wild fisheries, where 80% of wild fish stocks are harvested at full capacity. It’s easier to manage the production of farmed seafood to keep the supply of fish and shellfish consistent.

For Wild Caught Seafood, sustainability means the populations are well-managed and not overfished, and the fishing method has minimal impact on habitat and other wildlife (limiting bycatch and minimizing damage to marine habitats).

For Aquaculture, or farm raised seafood, sustainability means minimizing impacts to the environment by limiting habitat damage, pollution, escapes of farmed fish and using sustainable feed ingredients. And no matter how your seafood is raised or caught, sustainable harvesting and packaging methods should also be emphasized.

How do we honor our responsibility to sourcing Certified Sustainable Seafood?

How do we honor our responsibility to sourcing sustainable seafood?

There are no clearly established steps to seafood sustainability - so we’ve created our own. We honor our responsibility to source certified sustainable seafood in a number of ways. From utilizing unique flash freezing methods to partnering with local and international sustainability groups, we can work toward a better future.

Of course, our commitment to seafood sustainability doesn’t end here. We are always looking for innovative ways to improve processes to mitigate our environmental impact while delivering delicious seafood to our customers.

Partnering with local and international sustainability groups to provide Certified Sustainable Seafood

There are many organizations that specialize in seafood sustainability. North Coast Seafoods seeks out partnerships to improve our sustainability and pass on these benefits to customers.

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BEST AQUACULTURE PRACTICES (BAP)

US-based non-profit managing a widely used certification and labeling program for responsible aquaculture.

• Protects surrounding ecosystems + biodiversity

• Mandate strict criteria for sustainable feed

• Preserves the quality of the water

• Set strict controls for the use of antibiotics

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MARINE STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL (MSC)

An international non-profit organization that sets the global gold standard forwild seafood sustainability (from a whole ecosystem approach).

Each MSC Certified fishery has been independently assessed on its impact to wild fish populations.This label means we are actively:

• Protecting our oceans from overfishing

• Supporting fishing communities

• Promoting seafood transparency and traceability

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GULF OF MAINE RESEARCH INSTITUTE (GMRI)

The Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested® label is a promise that seafood hails from the clean, cool waters of the Gulf of Maine (spanning from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod) and the fishery or farm is managed in a way that contributes to the long-term health of the resource. The label empowers consumers to buy seafood they can feel good about.

Suppliers of Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested product commit to continuously improving the sustainability of the seafood industry as well as annual documentation of continuing improvements by the supplier. North Coast currently sources responsibly harvested local:

Atlantic: Pollock, Ocean Perch, Sea Scallops, Monkfish, Haddock, Mackerel, American Plaice, White Hake, Whiting, and Winter Skate.

FISHERY IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS (FIPs)

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) are multi-stakeholder initiatives that aim to help fisheries work towards sustainability. Supporting FIPs has a tangible impact on increasing the number of fisheries working to make progress in the realm of sustainability, thereby incentivizing other fisheries to follow suit.

Our Seafood Tastes Better
Because Fresher Fish Tastes Better.

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