Nature and Biodiversity

These fishing pioneers are making it easier to eat sustainable seafood

From dock to dish ... imagine if fishermen only caught species that are plentiful and in season. Image: Our Planet, Netflix

Joe Myers
Writer, Forum Agenda
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Nature and Biodiversity?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Future of the Environment is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Future of the Environment

Imagine a restaurant menu where the fish changed every week, and you never knew what you might be able to order.

Well, that's exactly the type of menu Dock to Dish is trying to create.

"You surrender your right to ask for anything... there's no more I want," explains Sean Barrett, Dock to Dish's CEO.

The community-supported fishing programme only catches what's plentiful and in season, before selling it on to local restaurants. In fact, the restaurants pay up front for their fish, and only know what they're going to get on a weekly basis.

Have you read?

Catch of the day: sustainability

The model allows local fishermen to make the decisions about what to catch – rather than being driven by demand for a particular species.

By catching only what's abundant, fish stocks are protected, and the pressure placed on ecosystems is reduced.

Discover

Join the Voice for the Planet movement

For Michael Anthony, Executive Chef at Dock to Dish-supplied restaurant the Gramercy Tavern in New York, it's about an openness to serve what's available, rather than saying this is what our guests want to eat. And he believes this is increasingly what consumer are looking for:

"The sophistication of the dining public is now demanding that any great restaurant should have intimate relationships with the producers it works with."

This relationship creates accountability, explains Barrett. The direct line of vision between source and consumer influences the behaviour of those catching the fish, how they care for the environment and their produce.

We're out of the flying fish

And there are benefits beyond accountability, relationships and the planet. The quality is higher, too.

In the US, seafood travels an average of 5,000 miles per serving – with 90% of it imported.

But, a fish caught by Dock to Dish will never fly. Indeed, it will never travel further than 150 miles from the port in which it landed.

This means it only ever passes through three pairs of hands in the custody chain before it reaches consumers. Compare this to other models, where it might pass through 40, explains Barrett – losing quality all the time.

Discover

What's the World Economic Forum doing about the ocean?

It's caught on

The fact the fish won't fly doesn't mean it isn't scalable though. There are now Dock to Dish restaurants and 'support a fishery' programmes across North and Central America, says Barrett.

As a result, it's also helping to restore the appreciation towards commercial fishermen as providers of food for the local community, he believes.

Chef Michael Anthony sums it up nicely: "We're connecting people who eat in our restaurant to the world in which we live."

Read more about the inspiring pioneers finding creative solutions to the climate crisis here: https://wef.ch/pioneersforourplanet

About the series: Each week we’ll bring you a new video story about the people striving to restore nature and fighting climate change. In collaboration with @WWF and the team behind the Netflix documentary #OurPlanet. #ShareOurPlanet

Read more about it here.

Want to raise your #VoiceForThePlanet? Life on Earth is under threat, but you can help. People around the world are raising their voice in support of urgent action. Add yours now at www.voicefortheplanet.org

Loading...
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Nature and BiodiversityIndustries in DepthFood and Water
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

What is Arbor Day and why is it important?

Dan Lambe

April 24, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum