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Darden Supports Improved Data Collection in the Gulf of Mexico Fishery

June 06, 2013

By: Darden Restaurants,

Darden Supports Improved Data Collection in the Gulf of Mexico Fishery

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How is Darden working with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership?

Since 2011, Darden has partnered with Publix and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) to support the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) for grouper and red snapper. This is a fulfillment of Darden’s commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).

How does SFP create positive change for vulnerable fisheries?

The first step in any effort to improve the sustainability of seafood is to evaluate the current state of the resource. To do this, SFP administers a website, FishSource (www.fishsource.com) to provide nearly a thousand profiles of commercially harvested wild seafood populations from around the world. The website does not make sustainability judgments itself – it simply compiles and summarizes all the information that seafood companies like Darden need to evaluate the sustainability of seafood products they are sourcing.

Is the Gulf of Mexico grouper and snapper fishery included in FishSource?

Before Darden stepped forward with the funding, the information on FishSource was years out of date and incomplete for the grouper and snapper fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico.  With new financial support, the Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation recently updated the species profiles for Gulf of Mexico red grouper, gag grouper and red snapper on FishSource.

What does the update indicate about the health of the Gulf of Mexico?

The newly updated profiles show that the red grouper population is healthy and though gag and red snapper are both overfished, they are rebuilding under strict management plans. The profile updates also revealed that better estimates of bycatch and discards in the fishery would improve assessment and management quality of these species and other types of reef fish.

What does this mean for the Fishery Improvement Project?

Darden and Publix will use this information to help recruit participants to the Reef Fish FIP, which is focusing on improvements in discard data collection, and continue moving this fishery towards sustainability.

For more information on the Reef Fish Fishery Improvement Project in the Gulf of Mexico, please visit the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership reporting tool: http://www.sustainablefish.org/fisheries-improvement/snapper-grouper/gulf-of-mexico-reef-fish

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