Ipswich Shellfish Group Sustainable Seafood Initiative
Fishery & Aquaculture Improvements
Ipswich Shellfish Company is in the process of educating our procurement and sale employees on our company’s sustainability commitment. This will ensure that they will be able to fully understand the sustainability of the seafood products Ipswich Shellfish Company is selling and educate our suppliers and customers.
We are committed to helping Ipswich Shellfish Group customers to understand the sustainability status of the fish they buy. In the years to come, we will create a system that allows our customers to assess the sustainability of the products they purchase.
Ipswich Shellfish Group is committed to implementing systems to eliminate unreported and unregulated seafood from our supply chain. As Ipswich Shellfish Group enhances its sustainable standards it will adopt best practices to retrieve information several steps back in the supply chain, to the product’s original source.
Ipswich Shellfish Group is committed to encouraging wide-scale sustainability improvements. The company has partnered with the SFP, as advisors, but will also continue to collaborate with vendors and partners to advance sustainable fishing initiatives throughout the industry. Suppliers of seafood to Ipswich Shellfish Group will be encouraged to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, improvement and transparency.
Ipswich Shellfish Group recognizes that not all seafood products meet the sustainability standards. In collaboration with Government and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) as well as with local fisherman and their communities, Ipswich Shellfish Group’s approach is to continue their partnership while supporting and implementing fisheries improvement projects that drive sustainability. These are called Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) and Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIP). Ipswich Shellfish Group will encourage suppliers to work proactively with fishermen and fish farmers to improve the environmental performance of the fishery / fish farm.
Sustainability has always been a core value at the Ipswich Shellfish Group. Since our humble beginnings in 1935, Ipswich Shellfish Group recognizes that a healthy business is dependent upon a healthy resource. Today, Ipswich Shellfish Group sources products from around the globe and partners with suppliers who share the same core values. Ipswich Shellfish Group believes that it has a responsibility to ensure that the products handled are harvested in an environmentally responsible manner that results in sustainable fisheries for generations to come. Sourcing sustainable seafood is not only important to the future of the fishing industry but to the livelihoods of fishermen worldwide as well as to the overall health of the ocean’s ecosystem.
Through Ipswich Shellfish Group’s partnership with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) we have a solid understanding of the sustainability of the products we purchase and market. This awareness affords Ipswich Shellfish Group to purchase and conduct sales on a preferential basis. By preferentially sourcing and selling, Ipswich Shellfish Group can address local, regional, and global concerns regarding the sustainability of a resource by:
- Implementing systems and practices to track seafood back to the harvest location and/or farm to ensure legality and to eliminate unreported and unregulated (IUU) seafood from our distribution.
- Sourcing only from suppliers that share our commitment to sustainability and transparency.
- Educating Ipswich Shellfish Group employees and our customers about the sustainability of the seafood products we sell.
- Not sourcing from any fishery found to have IUU issues or that is currently on the IUCN red list, or any fishery or fish farm that is unwilling to improve.
Ipswich Shellfish Group recognizes that there are steps that may be taken to ensure the seafood we provide to our customers is harvested in an environmentally responsible manner. Therefore, when Ipswich Shellfish Group encounters a source of seafood that is not presently sustainable, we utilize our purchasing influence to encourage fisheries and farms to move forward with credible, documented, and verified improvement projects:
- Fishery Improvement Projects (FIP’s)
- Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIP’s)
In 2012, the first year of partnership with SFP, Ipswich Shellfish Group’s commitment to sustainability made strides in assessing the sustainability of products we purchase, process and distribute to ensure that they meet and are verified as sustainable. Ipswich Shellfish Group will continue to work with our suppliers and fisheries to ensure that our commitment to sustainability is at the forefront of procurement decisions.
Ipswich Shellfish Group will continue to measure our progress and work closely with our suppliers and partners to ensure that improvements are being seen in fisheries and aquaculture. Ipswich Shellfish Group will report on the progress that has been made with regards to these goals in the Ipswich Shellfish Group Annual Sustainability Report. Ipswich Shellfish Group will also provide updates on fishery and aquaculture improvement projects and their achievements periodically on our web site.
Sustainable Seafood Assessment
Ipswich Shellfish Group has partnered with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage and catalyze global seafood supply chains in rebuilding depleted fish stocks and reducing the environmental impacts of fishing and fish farming. SFP provides strategic and technical guidance to seafood suppliers and producers, helps convene them together with other like-minded companies in Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), and builds consensus around specific improvements in policies, marine conservation measures, and fishing and fish-farming practices. SFP has a team of researchers and fishery scientists that will provide Ipswich Shellfish Group with information to assess the sustainability of the seafood products we carry and identify any necessary improvements.
In order to conduct this assessment, Ipswich Shellfish Group will work closely with our seafood suppliers to capture the necessary information. Once detailed information is collected on each fishery, the assessment will look at several factors including:
- Is the species listed as endangered or on IUCN Red List with respects to population?
- Is the fishery managed?
- Does the fishery have a science based stock assessment or other catch regulations?
- If it’s a rebuilding fishery, is there a plan in place to ensure recovery?
- What are the impacts of the fishing gear on habitat and other species?
- Are there IUU challenges in the fishery and can it be reliably traced to origin?
Ipswich Shellfish Group is proud to have a certification with Marine Stewardship Council (MSC); a global organization working with fisheries, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to promote the best environmental choice in seafood. Ipswich Shellfish Group is also a member of Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), an international, non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture. While we do consider the MSC and GAA standards favorably in our procurement decisions, Ipswich Shellfish Group does not require all of our products to be certified as sustainable. We do seek to ensure that the products we sell meet certain benchmarks for food safety, quality and sustainability as outlined above.