Sustainable seafood market moving from creating demand to scaling supply

I was asked to serve as a judge at the Academies of Social Entrepreneurship‘s Sustainable Fisheries Social Enterprise Business Plan Competition on April 23rd in San Francisco.  Five sustainable fish-related start-ups presented from Indonesia, Mexico, Nova Scotia, Oregon and California. The winner was Smart Fish of Mexico that who created export markets for verifiably caught fish from artisanal Mexican fisherman.

One of my fellow judges at the event was leading fish expert, Mike Sutton, currently with Audubon. Mike made the comment that these presentations were quite different than what he has usually seen at similar events in the past. Talking it through, we identified that, whereas the last twenty years focused on creating more demand for sustainable seafood, we were now seeing a market shift to scaling supply. A large enough base of consumers are shopping for sustainable seafood–and willing to pay a premium–to cause some major US retailers to focus on what it will take to scale verifiably caught sustainable seafood supply from its current supply plateau. The Mixing Bowl will encourage more discussion about the status of the seafood market at its FOOD IT Conference on June 24th and at the Fish 2.0 event in November.

Photo of Hoyt Peckham of Smart Fish pitching.

 

Rob Trice
Founder of The Mixing Bowl