This year Project Director Garrett Okrasinski presented the Seafood Legacy Social Responsiblity Journey Report at the Tokyo Sustainable Seafood Summit. The report outlined human rights due diligence for the seafood sector in Japan and was the first of its kind for the region. Read the report in full here.
This year we partnered with the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation to launch the Supply Chain Risk Project. Senior Project Manager Chris Young led our data team in the project, which leverages global fishing watch vessel tracking data to find IUU fishing and labor risk indicators. This service aims to provide our retail partners and their suppliers with guidance on social responsibility and traceability best practices that go beyond what is possible from traditional tracebacks or desktop audits. These indicators can help better inform efforts for worker engagement.
With 20 years of experience, Fishwise has much past experience to reflect on and learn from. This year Senior Project Director Michelle Beritzhoff-Law applied those lessons to formalize many of our new and existing services. This year, Michelle has helped many new clients review and develop their seafood programs, worked to implement those programs, and provided training on the evolving sustainability landscape. Her work has already helped us find the most effective means of solving unique problems for new clients.
Thanks to our local partners in Vietnam, Centre for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development and Vietnam Tuna Association, the Traceability Principles guided discussion on ecological, social, and economic aspects of electronic traceability. Our Senior Project Manager, Hanae Matsui, worked with our partners to form a government-led multi-stakeholder task force on traceability in Vietnam. Over 60 stakeholders from the government, industry, fishers, port representatives, labor organizations, and NGOs participated in the final workshop in Binh Dinh.
Our newest staffer, Project Manager Ashley Peiffer, hit the ground running at FishWise with our Seafood Legacy Journey Report. As her first major deliverable in her new role, Ashley made significant contributions in outlining comprehensive human rights due diligence for the report, which was the first of its kind for Japanese seafood companies. Read the report here.
Project Manager Alyssa Withrow continued to drive our partnership with Hy-Vee, Inc. with a second iteration of our tuna vessel transparency activity. Following the supply chain of a nationwide supplier down to each individual fishing vessel over a 10-month period is no small feat. She searched for human rights or environmental red flags on 4,706 handline vessels, 167 pole and line vessels, 44 longline vessels, 44 purse seine vessels, one troll vessel, and one gillnet vessel. This analysis was more robust than the previous year because Alyssa examined 1,793 more vessels.
Our international work grew in 2023, thanks to Senior Project Manager Nina Rosen. Building on her work in Tanzania, she helped our partners create a tangible traceability plan for octopus with the potential to spread to other fisheries and countries around the western Indian Ocean. Nina worked in Ecuador alongside the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. and the Ecuadorian Chamber of Industrialists and Tuna Processors (CEIPA) as the Blue Ports Initiative kicked off in the region.
Senior Project Director, Lindsay Ceron knows a thing or two about U.S. import regulations and for five years, has focused on the evolution of the U.S.’s flagship traceability program, the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP). This year, she led the final chapter of a long series of roundtable convenings on SIMP. These nuanced discussions among customs brokers and industry leaders around the regulation’s impact on day-to-day work was eye-opening. As of November 2023, updates to SIMP are temporarily halted so that NOAA can revise the program and address many of the takeaways SIMP stakeholders explored during these roundtables.
Division Director, Kelley K. Bell, has a passion for social responsibility and a long track record of driving companies toward positive change. Over this last year Kelley and her Senior Project Manager, Nahla Achi, collaborated with Conservation International and Elevate (LRQA) to establish the Consortium for Social Risk in Seafood in order to enhance the Human Rights Due Diligence guidance on the Roadmap to Improve Seafood Ethics (RISE) and advance the use of the publicly available Social Risk Assessment. The group will focus on data-driven decision-making through a customized seafood platform.
In March, FishWise hosted the Future of Sustainable Seafood – Retailer Workshop in Boston, convening retail leaders and nonprofit organizations to discuss and identify a shared path forward for the responsible seafood movement. Our Division Director, Ashley Greenley, shared insights on supply chain due diligence and facilitated discussions to prioritize market initiatives for greater impact.
Senior Project Manager An Nguyen works on deliverables across three of our biggest partnerships. Her contributions touch on both environmental protection and social responsibility in supply chains as she helps carry out our due diligence activities. An’s work this year has helped our partnering companies overcome critical challenges in seafood sustainability. Learn more about our due diligence.
Chief of Party, Kate O’Rourke, led SALT in leveraging the power of the collective to forge solutions for legal and sustainable seafood, with a particular focus on comprehensive electronic catch documentation and traceability (eCDT). Through SALT, a dynamic community of stakeholders worldwide is accessing, sharing, and applying traceability knowledge and best practices to create inclusive, comprehensive eCDT programs that are effective and scalable to support economic, ecological, and social well-being.
Programs Director Sara Lewis worked on several new tools that will allow FishWise and our partners to measure and visualize risks and progress. This year Sara and her team led FishWise’s efforts in defining and implementing transparency, traceability, and counter-IUU best practices within supply chains and global collaborations.
Jenny Barker was named FishWise’s new Executive Director in early 2023. As the new Executive Director of FishWise, she has enjoyed the opportunity to work with our business partners, support the development of strategic priorities for FishWise and the movement, and reorient us for impact — but the best part has been learning more about our great staff!