Singapore hosts its first Sustainable Seafood Festival in June 2014
During this week-long campaign, WWF-Singapore and MSC hope to create a new movement for responsible consumption of seafood by empowering suppliers, retailers, restaurants and consumers to ‘pick the right catch’. This in turn will drive sustainability throughout the seafood supply chain.
Ms Elaine Tan, CEO of WWF-Singapore, says, “We are very excited to be launching this inaugural Sustainable Seafood Festival to heighten awareness about sustainable seafood consumption among the general public and within the food industry. Singapore is one of the biggest seafood consumers in Asia-Pacific devouring over 140 million kilogrammes a year. More than 87% of the world’s oceans are fully exploited or overfished. If we continue consuming the ocean’s resources at the rate and way we are, it is estimated that stocks of all species currently fished for food will collapse by 2048. There is a pressing need for everyone to do our part to ensure that future generations get to enjoy the same seafood that we have today.”
The Sustainable Seafood Festival (SSF) will put the spotlight on seafood products vetted through stringent standards by three key bodies: WWF-Singapore, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). These standards take a holistic approach in assessing the sustainability of a particular seafood by considering factors like ecological impact and sound management of fisheries, in addition to stock quantities.
Shares Mr Kelvin Ng, Asia Pacific Regional Director of MSC, “The MSC certification is one of the most credible indication of sustainability and has become a trust mark for seafood buyers and consumers alike. The certification process from fisheries to the supply chain is based on science and independent third-party verification. The MSC ecolabel is a simplified message for consumers to know that the seafood they have chosen come from a sustainable fishery, and from boat to plate, every step is traceable. Every purchase helps to conserve a sea life rich in biodiversity for future generations. This gives consumers the assurance that they are making informed and responsible choices.”
EXCLUSIVE DINING & SHOPPING OFFERS
During the festival, the public can look forward to exclusive offers and promotions centred on sustainable seafood at participating restaurants, hotels and retailers. These establishments will be offering special sustainable seafood dishes created just for the festival in support of this worthy cause. Diners can feast on innovative concoctions such as Salmon Tartar served with Watermelon, Marjoram and Raspberries Vinaigrette at iL Cielo, and a six-course degustation menu at Absinthe Restaurant Français that includes Grilled Atlantic Halibut, Australian Prawn Risotto & Kaffir Lime Leave Emulsion.
Mr William Costley, vice president, operations, Southeast Asia of Hilton Worldwide, says “Hilton Worldwide and both our hotels in Singapore – Hilton Singapore and Conrad Centennial Singapore – are excited to support and partner with WWF-Singapore for the inaugural Sustainable Seafood Festival. The festival presents a fantastic opportunity for our guests to learn about the importance of making sustainable seafood choices, while enjoying the culinary creativity of our restaurants. This also marks a modest but meaningful step forward for our hotels, as we continue to journey toward responsible and sustainable business operations.”
Hilton Worldwide has recently ceased serving shark fin across all its owned and managed Asia Pacific properties. The ban on shark fin previews the company’s on-going efforts to develop a Sustainable Sourcing Policy, including sustainable seafood.
More dining establishments are expected to join the festival, and this information will be continually updated on the website at picktherightcatch.com. Please refer to the attached annex for the current list of participating businesses.
SUSTAINABLE SHOPPING & COOKING
Cold Storage has come on board as a retail partner for SSF by expanding its existing range of certified sustainable seafood products as well as attractive promotions at selected stores during this one-week period. Cold Storage was in fact the first supermarket chain to initiate a “No Shark’s Fin” policy and offer a dedicated section for sustainable seafood at its stores in 2011.
PUBLIC OUTREACH ACTIVITIES
From June to September 2014, WWF-Singapore will organise a series of marine conservation-themed roadshows across Singapore to educate the public on the pressing need for responsible seafood consumption. Families can get together at the arts and crafts booths for where children can learn more about other marine species and their habitats through stories, games and water-colouring activities.
The public can also 'pick the right catch' by learning how to identify green-listed seafood on WWF's Singapore Seafood Guide, and ecolabels by MSC and ASC. The Singapore Seafood Guide - pocket-size for handy reference - can be picked up at roadshows across Singapore in June and at partner outlets. Alternatively, the guide can also be downloaded from the WWF-Singapore website.
FUNDRAISING GALA DINNER
A fundraising dinner, Panda Ball Singapore 2014, will be held at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Millennia Singapore, on 30 May to support the seafood movement in Singapore. The highlights of this dinner include a coral-inspired fashion show by one of Singapore's most sought-after couture designers Frederick Lee. A gown from this evening will be put up for auction. The dinner will also feature works from Aaron Wong, one of the most published and recognised underwater photographers in Asia. Tables are priced from $10,000 and can be purchased directly with WWF-Singapore at +65 6730 8131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
EMPOWERING THE FOOD INDUSTRY
The festival not only provides a platform for restaurants to ascertain customer interest, but also a support network by linking them up with suppliers that carry certified sustainable seafood products. WWF-Singapore is thrilled to announce that there are now five sustainable seafood suppliers: Indoguna, Lee Fish, Global Oceanlink, Responsible Seafood, and Golden Fresh. These suppliers have received the Chain of Custody certification from MSC, indicating that their entire logistic chain adheres to MSC’s strict standards and that every single product is also traceable to an MSC-certified fishery.
Ms Elaine Tan elaborates, “The Sustainable Seafood Festival takes a multi-faceted approach to make sustainable seafood a reality for everyone. Our public awareness activities will make it easy for consumers to look out for supermarkets and restaurants that offer sustainable seafood, and we are complementing these outreach activities by working with suppliers to increase the availability and diversity of sustainable products.”
For more information, please visit picktherightcatch.com.
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Kelvin Ng, Regional Director, AP
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About World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore
WWF – World Wide Fund for Nature is the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with almost five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. In 2010, WWF-Singapore started the Sustainable Seafood Programme with the release of a pocket-size WWF’s Singapore Seafood Guide to help consumers and businesses choose seafood from sustainable sources that are fished and farmed responsibly. The guide uses a simple traffic light system: GREEN – recommended eating choice; YELLOW – only eat occasionally; and RED – avoid eating. Over 250,000 copies of the guide have been distributed across Singapore and it is available as a free download on wwf.sg.
About Marine Stewardship Council
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation set up to help transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis. The MSC runs the only certification and eco-labeling programme for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation Guidelines for the Eco-labeling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries.
In total, over 300 fisheries are engaged in the MSC programme with 207 certified and over 100 under full assessment. Another 40 to 50 fisheries are in confidential pre-assessment. Together, fisheries already certified or in full assessment record annual catches of close to ten million metric tonnes of seafood. This represents over eleven per cent of the annual global harvest of wild capture fisheries. Certified fisheries currently land over seven million metric tonnes of seafood annually – close to eight per cent of the total harvest from wild capture fisheries. Worldwide, more than 21,000 seafood products, which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries, bear the blue MSC ecolabel. www.msc.org
About Aquaculture Stewardship Council
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation co-funded by WWF and The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) in 2010 to manage the certification of responsible fish farming across the globe. The ASC standards require farm performance to be measured against both environmental and social requirements. Certification is through an independent third party process and (draft) reports are uploaded to the public ASC website. The on-pack ASC logo guarantees to consumers that the fish they purchase has been farmed with minimal impacts on the environment and society. www.asc-aqua.org