Earns recognition for its influential Seafood Watch program
Monterey Bay Aquarium is “Tastemaker of the Year” for 2008. Recognizing the
aquarium’s Seafood Watch program (www.seafoodwatch.org) for its influential
role in transforming seafood buying habits, Bon Appétit Magazine honors the
aquarium and other recipients. The 11th annual Bon Appétit Awards ceremony
in New York City was held on September 15, 2008.
Selecting the aquarium for its work in communicating the message of
sustainable seafood at a time when many commercial fisheries are collapsing
or in decline around the world, the October 2008 issue of Bon Appétit
Magazine features more details about the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s
accomplishments in promoting sustainable seafood.
Aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard said the non-profit organization
was honored to receive this award, especially in light of the fact that
through their seafood choices, consumers and businesses can have a
tremendous impact on the health of the oceans. "That’s why we started
Since 1999, the Monterey Bay Aquarium (www.montereybayaquarium.org) has
distributed more than 24 million consumer pocket guides nationwide to help
individuals make seafood choices that protect the long-term health of ocean
ecosystems. It has partnered with the two largest food service companies in
North America – Compass Group and ARAMARK – which have made commitments to
shift their purchases of millions of pounds of seafood annually to
From its beginnings in 1997 as an informal set of recommendations intended
for use in the aquarium’s own food service and animal food room operations,
Seafood Watch has grown to encompass a robust research team that produces
and updates six regional pocket guides highlighting seafood items available
in different parts of the United States, a national pocket guide, three
Spanish-language pocket guides and a mobile version available instantly on
Internet-enabled phones and PDAs.
Monterey Bay Aquarium is now working with two other conservation
organizations – the Blue Ocean Institute and Environmental Defense Fund – to
release new consumer guides to sustainable sushi. The sushi pocket guides
and new online content will be available in mid-October.
The work of the Seafood Watch research team is the basis for other consumer
pocket guides produced by institutions including the Shedd Aquarium in
Chicago and Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta . The aquarium’s outreach and major
buyers teams have developed partnerships with leading food service companies
and restaurants, as well as more than 175 aquariums, zoos and other
organizations that follow Seafood Watch guidelines and distribute pocket
guides in their regions.
Nationwide, more than 2,500 people have signed up as Seafood Watch
Advocates, promoting sustainable seafood activities in their communities.
The future of seafood, and the fate of ocean wildlife, is an urgent
environmental issue, according to Packard. Recent projections predict all
commercial fisheries will be gone within 40 years at the current rate. The
mission of the Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the