Q: What is “sustainable seafood”?
A: Seafood is sustainable when the population of that species of fish is managed in a way that provides for today’s needs without damaging the ability of the species to reproduce and be available for future generations, AND that the seafood is caught or farmed in a manner that has minimal environmental impact on the surrounding ecosystem.
Q: How is a seafood product “sustainably caught”?
A: Seafood that is sustainably caught is caught or farmed in a manner that has the least amount of environmental impact on the surrounding ecosystem. There is minimal amount of bycatch (catching creatures unintentionally), such as dolphins, seabirds, and turtles, and the fishing gear does not destroy the surrounding habitat.
Q: Are all seafood items on Holland America Line ships sustainable?
A: Yes. Holland America Line, in partnership with Marine Conservation Institute, has evaluated all of the seafood items on the ship’s menus, for both passengers and crew. Holland America Line will continue to work with Marine Conservation Institute and seafood purveyors to regularly review the sustainability of seafood served on board and to find sustainable sources of seafood for new menu offerings.
Q: How do you determine what seafood is sustainable?
A: When determining how to rank a particular seafood item, we first consult the sustainable seafood rankings of other conservation organizations. When evaluating rankings, our highest priority is ecosystem impact. Where there was a discrepancy in the way fish were ranked, we looked at why. If the fishery was determined to have a negative ecosystem impact, we will tend toward the lower ranking, if the discrepancy is for some other reason, such as uncertainty of the stock structure, we will most likely go with the higher ranking and the President of Marine Conservation Institute will be consulted in making that determination. Overall, we favor Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch ranking program, as they have a long and very thorough review process for most fish commonly found in the US market.
A few fish on our seafood rankings may at first appear to be out of line with the generalized rankings of other organizations. That is because these rankings are not generalized. We are getting seafood from particular suppliers, and the fishermen in these cases are operating in a manner that is significantly more sustainable than the average of their fishery.
Q: Why is Holland America Line moving toward sustainable seafood?
A: Holland America Line is committed to healthy oceans, for now and for future generations to use and enjoy.
Q: Who is Marine Conservation Institute?
A: Marine Conservation Institute is a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization working to save the oceans. Marine Conservation Institute is based in Seattle, WA and has offices in Washington DC and California. To learn more about Marine Conservation Institute, visit Marine-Conservation.org
Q: When did this program start?
A: The partnership between Holland America Line and Marine Conservation Institute is relatively new and started in the spring of 2010. In the fall of 2010 Holland America Line has changed their procurement processes to serve more sustainable seafood in their fleet.
Q: Where can I get more information?
A: More information on our sustainable seafood program and the partnership between Holland America Line and Marine Conservation Institute can be found at www.marine-conservation.org