Next time you buy a pound of salmon from your favorite seafood stand, the National Aquarium is hoping you think about how the fish got there in the first place.
In a move that will increase its ongoing sustainable seafood efforts, the National Aquarium has announced the creation of the National Aquarium Sustainable Seafood Program.
As part of the program, the aquarium will develop enhanced education programs to help people better understand their seafood options and expand those choices through partnerships that link local fishermen to local markets.
The program is also aimed at improving opportunities for restaurants to serve local seafood.
“Outside of an aquarium visit, seafood-buying opportunities present particular moments when people think about fish and oceans,” says Eric Schwaab, National Aquarium Chief Conservation Officer. “As we build toward greater conservation impacts, this program is a natural way to expand our conservation reach.”
The program’s start-up funding was a gift from the Dana DiCarlo and Scott Plank Family Foundation and their urban development company, War Horse.
“Understanding seafood choices and making good buying decisions emerged as important ways for our visitors to advance watershed and ocean conservation by supporting local and sustainable fisheries with their family meals,” Plank said in a statement.
Through future funding for the program, the National Aquarium hopes to develop a “buy local” aquaculture.
“An estimated 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported,” says Schwaab. “Focusing on bringing more local seafood options to local customers promotes seafood sustainability, emphasizes the importance of clean local waterways, provides improved business opportunities for local fishermen and growers, and provides healthy food choices to local communities.”