The Audit Process
Victoria offers a range of restaurants and grocery stores that carry an even greater diversity of seafood products. Seafood sustainability and sourcing have increasingly become two issues that both consumers and retailers focus on. As more consumers seek assurances that the products they are purchasing are sustainably sourced more suppliers and retailers attempt to fulfill the desire for sustainably produced or harvested seafood. In order to truly gauge the sustainability of seafood offered in Victoria our team set out to take stock of 29 restaurants and 10 grocery retailers’ seafood. On July 28, 2010 all of the assessed grocery retailers and restaurants were visited.
At each restaurant the menu and specials board were used to determine which species were being prepared. All species and country of origin information available from the menu was recorded along with any sustainability certifications. At the grocery retailers all fresh and frozen unprocessed (e.g. no fish sticks) were recorded along with any source and sustainability information.
Once the full list of seafood species at all grocery retailers and restaurants was assembled, each species was assessed using the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s (MBA) Seafood Watch criteria and then ranked with the sustainability colour coding for sustainability of the species. MBA codes seafood choices as
|Capture or farmed species whose use is a good choice ecologically|
|Capture or farmed species whose use raises concerns about ecological impacts|
|Capture or farmed species whose use causes ecological harm|
Further Information On Seafood Assessment
Additional seafood guides recommended by MBA:
These guides were used for species not addressed by MBA but found in Victoria food establishments. These guides were selected as they were listed by MBA as ‘other resources’.
Lastly, for species not addressed by any of these guides (8 species) we conducted an independent assessment using the five criteria outlined by MBA. These criteria can be found here.