International Seafood Buyers Tour Sakhalin FisheriesNews & Program Updates
Bringing Buyers and Fisherman Together Toward a Common Goal
In early 2008, Wild Salmon Center and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) initiated a collaborative effort to use market-based incentives to encourage sustainable fisheries practices in the Russian Far East. Sustainable Fisheries Partnership is an international NGO that is successfully encouraging major commercial seafood buyers to source sustainable, third party certified seafood thereby providing incentives for best practices in fishery management (see above article on SFP).
In September 2008 Brian Caouette and Julie Kuchepatov of WSC, and Howard Johnson of SFP, with great support from the Sakhalin Salmon Initiative Center, hosted several major international seafood buyers for a tour of Sakhalin's commercial salmon fisheries. Executives from Trident Seafood (one of largest US-based seafood companies) and Highliner Foods (largest Canadian seafood company) visited salmon processing plants, hatcheries, and several wild rivers filled with spawning salmon. A highlight of the trip for the group was participating in a commercial trap net fishery that was actively harvesting thousands of silvery salmon.
Representatives of Trident Seafood and Highliner Foods, two companies that have made a commitment to sustainability and are currently sourcing and advocating for MSC certified fisheries, met with members of the Sakhalin Administration, representatives of commercial fisheries unions and with fishermen themselves. At these meetings Russian fishermen were able to receive first-hand accounts from representatives of the tangible market benefits that come with a sustainably managed fishery and MSC certification and, in turn, buyers were able to learn more about the challenges and opportunities for commercial fisheries in Russia. This tour, along with support of MSC certification of salmon fisheries and facilitating NGO collaboration in international sustainable fisheries work, is part of Wild Salmon Center's larger strategy to increase global awareness and support for the long-term, effective management of wild salmon fisheries across the Pacific Rim.