2017 Annual Alliance Meeting
On September 11th and 12th, the Global Seafood Ratings Alliance reconvened at the Monterey Bay Aquarium to discuss the progress made to date and to redefine the goals for the next five years.
The new priority work areas are different than the 4 key areas of collaboration that are described in the 2016 Annual Alliance Meeting Summary below. Rather than continuing to work in smaller, focused work groups on things like consumer outreach efforts or species-specific initiatives, the GSRA will spend the next five years working collectively on three key efforts:
- Short-term: Develop “Minimum Viable Standards” which will describe the core elements that must be included in each member organization’s evaluations of fisheries and aquaculture sustainability.
- Long-term: Develop a “Global Seafood Sustainability Standard” which will be a single standard that will be used by member organizations to evaluate the environmental and social impacts of seafood around the world. This will be a monumental task but will be highly impactful as it will establish a consistent, rigorous evaluation framework for sustainable seafood.
- On-going: Collective Action will continue to be a core component of the GSRA. GSRA members will use their collective influence to focus attention on priority species, engage with businesses to ensure responsible seafood sourcing policies, and continue to elevate awareness of sustainable seafood issues at key global events.
2016 Annual Alliance Meeting
On October 6th and 7th, representatives from 12 of the world’s prominent seafood rating organizations met in at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California and signed a memorandum of understanding which marked the official formation of the Global Seafood Ratings Alliance (GSRA).
The goals of the GSRA are simple:
1. Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Seafood Rating Organizations (SROs)
2. Increase the standing and leverage of SROs within their spheres of influence and globally
To these ends, the Alliance will provide a forum for exchange of information between members, improve inter-program collaboration and coordination, provide support for member organizations as the Alliance works on collective efforts to improve wild-caught and aquaculture seafood sustainability, and harmonize affiliated NGOs’ business- and consumer-focused engagement strategies.
Meeting Outcomes Summary
The Alliance members spent two days discussing each organization’s successes and challenges in assessing and supporting sustainable seafood and identifying opportunities to share resources in order to amplify their collective impact. By the end of the meeting, 4 key areas of collaboration were identified and work plans were developed.
1. Business to business leverage
GSRA member organizations will develop common tools and coordinated communication for businesses, share best practices for business engagement, and promote effective strategies for encouraging responsible seafood sourcing policies.
2. Public consumer outreach
The GSRA will work to develop coordinated campaigns and common outreach tools, share best practices for consumer engagement, and unify messaging while accommodating country and cultural differences.
3. Priority species/species groups
Drawing on lists of species or species groups of highest priority for each organization, the GSRA will identify those species/species groups that are of greatest importance to multiple members. These include species/species groups which are fished and farmed sustainably and can be promoted, and those which have significant concerns in their fishing or farming practices for which collective action by GSRA members can lead to improvements by governments and industry to better manage production.
4. GSRA Data Set
GSRA members are consolidating all organizations’ seafood ratings into a single database in order to highlight consistencies and inconsistencies in seafood ratings across member rating organizations and allow for the development of a global prioritization list for future assessments. This will also allow GSRA member organizations to look at how they evaluate fisheries and aquaculture operations and work to align methodologies when necessary.