As 2015 comes to an end, we thought we’d take a moment to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday and reflect on our great first year. Less than a year ago we launched O2 in New Orleans at the Seafood Summit and a lot has happened since then! Here are a few highlights from 2015.
- In Western Kamchatka our fishery improvement efforts resulted in over 30,000 metric tonnes of salmon entering the MSC assessment process. Vityaz Avto and Delta, clients which operate these fisheries, have worked with us over the past ten years to better calculate stock status, establish scientifically grounded escapement goals, revise harvest strategies accordingly, limit entry points for IUU fish through implementing our Catch Tracking System, and reduce bycatch of non-targeted species such as char and Chinook, verified through independent observer programs. The decision to undergo MSC assessment is a testament to recent improvement successes and ensures improvement work will continue as these fisheries seek full MSC certification.
- In Japan, we’re learning, expanding, and leading the way in nurturing the sustainable seafood movement. Establishing a common vision for sustainable fisheries in Japan is a must, no easy task with so many disparate actors, but one we’ve made headway in through engagement with both Japanese government and fisheries management cooperatives. Our research and assessments of key Japan fisheries against the MSC standard will provide a foundation for moving the conversation forward.
- We’ve grown! When we launched a year ago, we couldn’t have imagined adding so much talent in just one year. We brought on Dick Jones to ensure we can keep pace with the demand for our fishery improvement work, which is burgeoning alongside global demand for sustainable seafood. Adding Ivan Martinez-Tovar ensures we can continue to help fishery clients and partners navigate and understand the complexities of international sustainability standards. In China, we’ve hired Songlin Wang as our China Program Director, and we’re optimistic 2016 will be a taking off point for the sustainability of fisheries there.
- Our science team has been integral this first year, providing scientific advice to the Seafood Watch program, World Wildlife Fund, Marine Stewardship Council, Conservation International, and MRAG, among others. We’d like to thank these clients for the opportunity to provide the scientific foundation to support your work. We look forward to continued collaboration in 2016.
So what’s next for us? We’re taking a short well-deserved holiday break, but when we come back after the New Year, we’re hitting the ground running! We’ll be hosting a panel on Japanese fishery improvement efforts at the Seafood Summit in Malta in January, bringing on staff in Japan to keep pace with developments in that region, unveiling our recent IUU initiatives, and braving the winter weather to visit fisheries in Northeast Sakhalin.