Seafood choices alliance names first “seafood champions” during Boston seafood show – Fishupdate.com

Seafood choices alliance names first “seafood champions” during Boston seafood show Published:  13 March, 2006

THE 2006 Seafood Champion Awards, presented today by Seafood Choices Alliance at Legal Sea Foods’ Exchange Conference Centre, were given to six key figures in the seafood business who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in advancing the marketplace for sustainable seafood.

With consumers worldwide eating more and more seafood each year, the increased demand can have an impact on the health of global fisheries. According to the United Nations, more than two-thirds of the ocean species we eat are over-fished and much attention is being paid to the significant environmental impacts from some types of aquaculture operations. It is in that challenging context that this year’s Seafood Champions have proven their value, by leading the effort to make smart seafood choices, which are both good for the ocean and for business.

The 2006 award winners include:

· Marks & Spencer, the United Kingdom-based retailer that has become a global corporate leader in promoting sustainable seafood. M&S has worked closely with individual fisheries and has created ties with fish farming communities in order to meet the need for high quality, responsibly caught fish and ensure fish supplies well into the future.

· Unilever, the multi-billion dollar global manufacturer of food, home care and personal care brands that became an early corporate leader on seafood sustainability by creating the Marine Stewardship Council in 1996. Its early investment and visionary leadership have allowed Unilever to rise above its competitors in growing the market for sustainable seafood.

· EcoFish, Inc., the New Hampshire-based seafood distributor that sells only sustainable options and can now be found in over 1,000 stores and more than 150 restaurants throughout the U.S. EcoFish is setting a positive example for corporate America through its promotion of high quality, sustainably harvested, healthy and delicious seafood.

· Gourmet Magazine, the renowned epicurean magazine that has recently made the editorial decision to broadly educate its readership on the issues of sustainability. By using sustainable fish in the magazine’s recipes, Gourmet effectively harnesses its power as an opinion leader and trendsetter to drive demand for more sustainable seafood.

· Rick Moonen, the chef and co-owner of RM Seafood at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, who has became an active voice in the culinary world for the protection of over-exploited species. Across the restaurant community, Rick has led by example in his efforts to educate consumers and grow the marketplace for ocean-friendly cuisine.

· Jacques Pepin, the world-famous French chef who personally brought the issues surrounding Caspian Sea caviars to the forefront of public concern. As a chef for over fifty-five years, he has personally witnessed the decline in wild seafood available, and feels that it is every person’s responsibility to make wise seafood choices.

In addition to the first ever Seafood Champion Awards, Seafood Choices Alliance issued nine certificates of recognition to those key players whose early leadership and dedication led to much of the momentum seen today in the global sustainable seafood market. Those individuals include Traci Des Jardins (Jardiniere), Zeke Grader (Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations), Greg Higgins (Higgins Restaurant and Bar), Peter Hoffman (Savoy New York), Henry Lovejoy (EcoFish), Rick Moonen (RM Seafood), Nora Pouillon (Restaurant Nora), John Pappalardo (Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association) and Patty Unterman (Hayes Street Grill).

Seafood Choices Alliance established the Seafood Champion Awards to recognize individuals and/or companies for outstanding leadership in promoting environmentally responsible seafood. Legal Sea Foods is a key sponsor of the Seafood Champion Awards event for 2006. Future Seafood Champion Awards will be announced on an annual basis.

Seafood Choices Alliance is a non-profit global trade association for the issue of ocean-friendly seafood; with more than 3,000 members from around the world, the Alliance helps the seafood industry – from fishermen and fish farmers to distributors, wholesalers, retailers and restaurants – to make the seafood marketplace environmentally and economically sustainable. Seafood Choices Alliance mobilizes and connects the world’s leading voices in support of a sustainable supply of seafood choices, highlighting the need for a global solution to threats facing the ocean.

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