On May 15, Red Lobster announced its partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. The partnership aligns with the sustainability goals of both Red Lobster and the nonprofit aquarium; both organizations have high hopes for the positive impact of the partnership.
The Seafood Watch program is focused on encouraging sustainable seafood purchasing in hopes of improving the long-term viability of large-scale fisheries. The program already has more than 340 business partners and works with more than 1,000 partners in business, restaurants, and conservation to raise awareness about seafood choices.
The seafood chain, famous for menu items like its endless shrimp, will use scientific data from the aquarium to inform decisions on where it purchases its seafood. As one of the world’s largest seafood purchasers, Red Lobster has buyers in over 20 countries.
“Together, we believe there is tremendous opportunity to have a positive impact on the whole seafood industry and the health of our oceans,” Red Lobster CEO Kim Lopdrup told The Daily Meal.
The chain also plans to use Seafood Watch data to educate both restaurant guests and team members on making sustainable choices with seafood.
The partnership is one of the first steps toward the chain restaurant’s “Seafood with Standards” commitment, announced in February. Red Lobster publicly pledged to solely serve traceable, sustainable, and responsibly sourced seafood. “These are more than just words on our menu,” the seafood chain’s website announced, “it’s our promise that all of the seafood we serve is sourced to the highest standards.”
“We applaud Red Lobster for its commitment,” said Julie Packard, executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, in a news release. “It sends a strong signal to the marketplace: Fishing fleets and aquaculture producers will be rewarded for adopting practices that support healthy ocean ecosystems. Ultimately, that will mean better choices for everyone who enjoys seafood.”
For those who look to make sustainable seafood purchases at home, as well as while they’re out to eat, you might want to first check out these surprising facts about supermarket seafood.