Q & A on Sustainability

1) Why choosing sustainably caught wild seafood matters.

The state of world’s oceans has been dramatically altered due to decades of coastal development, pollution and overfishing. The good news is many nations around the world are working tirelessly to restore fish populations and the marine environment. Choosing seafood that is managed and caught in a way that balances our consumption of seafood and the health of the ocean ecosystems is part of the long-term solution. Your choices matter!!!

2) How important is it to understand how and where a fish was caught?

It is some of the most critical information that increases your understanding of the fish that you are eating. By asking questions concerning the key measures of sustainability for wild seafood, by requiring robust traceability on the seafood products you purchase you will be able to make informed choices.

3) How does Blue Horizon Define “sustainability”?  

Blue Horizon Wild looks to the leading, scientifically based marine conservation organizations working to restore and protect the world’s oceans and that balances both the natural health and vitality of the seas and our human dependence on this natural resource. Blue Horizon Wild defines sustainable seafood as being sourced from wild fisheries that can maintain or increase healthy populations and production into the long-term without risking the structure or function of marine ecosystems.

4) How does Blue Horizon Wild decide what to buy and what not to buy?

Blue Horizon Wild has established a responsible sourcing policy that guides all of its purchasing decision on seafood. Blue Horizon Wild only sources wild fish that is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council and/or defined as sustainable by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program or equivalent programs like Blue Ocean Institute and SeaChoice Canada.

5) Does Blue Horizon Wild only source fish caught in the U.S.?

Most of our fish is sustainably harvested in the U.S. and Canada. However, we do source some fish from other areas of the world that meet our responsible sourcing policy. Did you know that 84% of seafood that is consumed in the U.S. does not come from the U.S.?

6) Why does Blue Horizon Wild preferentially source seafood from small community based, artisanal fisheries?

In many cases the fishermen that have begun to change their fishing practices to reduce issues like by-catch and habitat damage are small companies and community based. These fishermen are doing the right thing and making a difference. By purchasing our seafood from them, we support their efforts and provide an important market for their efforts. 

7) What does Blue Horizon think about seafood from aquaculture? 

Blue Horizon Wild recognizes the importance of aquaculture as a source of seafood and that some aquaculture species like clams, scallops and mussels are sustainable choices. However, Blue Horizon Wild feels that seafood from the wild, that meets our sustainability criteria, is a better choice. It tastes better, it is better for you and helps preserve the vitality of coastal communities that depend on fishing.  Did you know that last year over 50% of the seafood consumed in the world today was from farmed sources? This was the first time in history!!!

8) What criteria does Blue Horizon Wild use to source “sustainable seafood”?

Blue Horizon wild sources seafood that is either certified by the Marine Stewardship Council or defined by Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program (or equivalent) as either “Yellow” (a good alternative) or “Green” (a best choice). Both of these organizations use a scientifically rigorous methodology to measure the sustainability of a fishery. These methodologies look at factors such as the stock status, habitat impacts associated with the catch method, the life history strategy of the fish species, and how a fish species is managed etc. to determine if it is a sustainable choice.

For more information on these programs please see: 

Seafood Watch

Marine Stewardship Council

9) Are there other organizations that Blue Horizon Wild looks to for guidance on what is and what is not sustainable?

Yes, Blue Horizon Wild looks to the Blue Ocean Institute and SeaChoice for sourcing guidance as well. Both of these organizations use a rigorous scientific methodology to measure the sustainability of a fishery and are well respected by seafood businesses and other environmental organizations.

For more information on these programs please see:

Blue Ocean Institute


10) What happens when one environmental organization defines seafood as sustainable and another environmental organization says it is not sustainable?

This happens infrequently. If and when it does happen for a Blue Horizon Wild product we will look at the details behind why there is a difference and make a decision on whether or not to source this seafood.

11) How does Blue Horizon Wild know that the fish it buys meets its responsible sourcing policy? 

Blue Horizon Wild is working with one of the leading seafood traceability companies in the world. By implementing this system we can trace our seafood back to the point of capture and, critically, verify the key sustainability metrics to ensure our seafood meets our purchasing standards.

12) Does Blue Horizon Wild source seafood from Fisheries Improvement Projects (FIPs)?  

Blue Horizon Wild does not currently source fish from improvement projects. Blue Horizon Wild applauds the use of FIPs to eventually increase the supply of sustainable seafood. Several highly respected conservation organizations are involved in FIPs including the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Environmental Defense Fund and the Ocean Conversation.

13) What is the “red list”?

Many marine conservation organizations including the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program, the Blue Ocean Institute, Greenpeace and others list seafood that should not be purchased due to serious concerns about their sustainability. This seafood is listed on a “red list”. In the seafood watch program the red list is described as the “avoid” list.  Blue Horizon Wild does not source any fish found on the red or “avoid” list.

14) Why is Blue Horizon committed to only providing sustainable seafood?

By cutting through the confusion on what is and what is not sustainable, BHW does the work for you so you can be confident your choice of seafood is helping preserve and restore our oceans to health.

15) What about mercury in seafood and other contaminants in fish?

Blue Horizon Wild does not source seafood that is high in mercury or other contaminants. All of our seafood is tested for mercury.

For information on mercury and contaminants in seafood please go to: Environmental Defense Fund  and/or NOAA  

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