Seafood is a staple in many diets around the world, providing a rich source of protein and essential nutrients. However, with the increasing demand for seafood, the fishing industry has become more industrialized, leading to concerns about sustainability, overfishing, and the impact of fishing practices on marine ecosystems.
One way to ensure that seafood is sourced in a sustainable and responsible manner is to buy wild seafood from trusted providers. At Whidbey Island Seafood Company, we source our seafood from vessels that participate in the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Observer at Sea Monitoring Program, run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This program provides independent monitoring of commercial fishing activities to ensure they are conducted in accordance with federal regulations and sustainable fishing practices.
The NMFS Observer at Sea Monitoring Program is an important component of the U.S. sustainable seafood industry, as it provides valuable data on the impact of fishing activities on marine ecosystems and helps to ensure that fishing practices are sustainable. By having NMFS observers onboard commercial fishing vessels, the program is able to monitor the impact of fishing on marine species and habitats, as well as provide information on the size and species of fish that are caught. This data is used to inform management decisions, such as the setting of catch limits and the creation of marine protected areas, which help to ensure the long-term health of marine ecosystems.
We take pride in sourcing its seafood from vessels that participate in the NMFS Observer at Sea Monitoring Program. This ensures that the seafood we provide to our customers is sustainably caught and responsibly sourced. The program requires vessels to follow strict fishing regulations and guidelines, which are designed to minimize the impact of fishing on marine ecosystems. This includes restrictions on the use of certain fishing gear, such as bottom trawls, which can cause significant damage to seafloor habitats, and limits on the catch of certain species, such as those that are considered overfished or threatened.
In addition to the environmental benefits, buying wild seafood from us provides consumers with the transparency and traceability of the seafood supply chain. The program requires vessels to maintain detailed records of their fishing activities, including the species and size of fish that are caught, the location of the fishing grounds, and the methods used to catch the fish. This information is then used to track the seafood from the point of catch to the point of sale, allowing customers to know exactly where their seafood comes from and how it was caught.
By choosing to buy wild seafood from Whidbey Island Seafood Company, consumers can support small-scale and artisanal fishing communities, while also enjoying seafood that is not only delicious and nutritious, but also sustainably caught and responsibly sourced.