Case in point: Orlando-Fla.-based Darden Restaurants, which counts Red Lobster among its brands, was formally recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative’s Seventh Annual Meeting for Darden’s three-year commitment to rebuilding fisheries through fishery improvement projects.
Initial projects with partners Publix Super Markets and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership will focus on Gulf of Mexico species, including red snapper and grouper. Reportedly the projects will include testing fishing gear that’s designed to be more sea turtle-friendly, developing better ways to assess stocks, and camera monitoring experiments to crack down on illegal fishing.
Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix also demonstrated its commitment to supporting sustainable fishing practices back in April when in recognition of Earth Day, it conducted a wild shrimp promotion in which it promised to donate 50 cents per pound from wild shrimp purchases (up to $40,000) to the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. The donation would assist the Honolulu-based independent non-governmental organization in providing gulf fisheries with resources and tools needed to promote sustainable fishing practices.
It’s heartening to see such seafood-industry-initiated efforts growing. They have the potential to find ways to improve fishing gear as well as the science upon which fisheries management policy relies. And they recognize that the commercial fishing industry’s health is as vital as that of seafood species.