“Establishing an open and dynamic platform for interested stakeholders to discuss the status, challenges, and awareness for more sustainable seafood in the Philippines, focusing on local solutions for change and reform in the fisheries and aquaculture sector.”
Let me start this post by saying, and by reiterating that “I don’t really fancy eating fish.” But when you ask chefs from Manila’s top hotels, and chefs from reputable restaurants and establishments, you don’t have any other choice but to really eat fish and seafood with gusto.
The event however, goes beyond the appreciation of seafood made awesomely by the country’s best chefs, but by focusing rather on corporate responsibility, and advocating seafood sustainability.
“The urgent need and commitment towards fully traceable, legal, sustainable, and socially responsible seafood cannot be overemphasized.” Christian Schmidradner, General Manager of Meliomar Inc., and organizer of the event.
Now more than ever, restaurants and hotel groups recognize their increasing responsibility to procure from sustainable sources and to educate their consumers about the need for sustainable seafood.
“Our commitment is part of a global effort to sustain fisheries resources and protect our oceans, with the recognition that our restaurants and hotels have the responsibility and the power to address this issue from a direct supply chain perspective.” Executive Chef Meik Brammer of Marriot Manila Hotel.
With more than 90% of fish stocks in the Philippines being over-exploited or depleted, and destructive and illegal fishing wreaking havoc on the marine environment, returns per catch effort are at the lowest level ever recorded. Similarly, many aquaculture operations use unsustainable sources of feed and pollute aquatic ecosystems with chemical and antibiotics.
Personally, I have a misconception on being seafood sustainable. My idea was, the concept pushes people to use unconventional fish varieties over the more popular ones. Yes, it is part of the vision. However, it goes beyond that, Vince Cinches of Greenpeace Philippines explains that sustainable seafood “eases out over-fishing, wasteful fishing, and destructive fishing practices that accidentally catch sharks, and turtles by cleaning up their menu and serve only traceable and sustainable seafood.”
Environmental groups and civil society organizations lauded the historical decision of these major hotels and restaurants for taking the lead, and being part of the global effort to protect our oceans, one menu at a time.
Disclaimer: It was a media event. Everything written here is entirely based on my own opinion, my own biases, and my own insights.
Sustainable Seafood Week
February 15 to 21, 2016
Contact Person: Ms. Claudia Rose Mendez (Meliomar Business Development Officer), firstname.lastname@example.org
Hyatt City of Dreams Manila
Marco Polo Ortigas
Marriott Manila Hotel
The Peninsula Manila
New World Makati
Disciples Escoffier International Asia
Raising consumer awareness and moving the country’s seafood industry towards greater sustainability are urgently required to help reverse fisheries decline.