Sustainable Seafood doesn’t have to complicated according to Martin Reed, creator of online seafood marketplace i love blue sea. Reed felt there was a lack of easily-available, fresh sustainable seafood in the United States so he started i love blue sea and now ships San Francisco’s freshest seafood anywhere in the lower 48 states. SeaWeb and i love blue sea have partnered up to deliver fresh, sustainable seafood right to your door. In celebration of Earth Day, we want you to support a healthy earth and ocean by purchasing sustainable seafood. Read our recent conversation below with Reed on why sustainable seafood matters for you and for the ocean.
SeaWeb: i love blue sea is your brainchild, and the first company of its kind. How did you come up with the idea to start i love blue sea and why it is unique?
Martin Reed: Just ten years ago, you likely would not have read that in our lifetime we could see the end of wild commercial fishing. It’s a stark possibility that made me change my life and move back to San Francisco, where I fell in love with the ocean growing up. My mission: to build on the hard work of countless before me in one of the world’s oldest professions: seafood. My work is to educate people why they should be avoiding some fish and eating lots of others and enable access to it. Rather than avoiding seafood altogether, it is much better for you and the oceans to support certain types of fisheries.
We ship the freshest seafood you will ever try nationwide to homes of discriminating and earth-conscious chefs, like you. We use the most eco-friendly materials available, including a repurposed packaging foam, not Styrofoam. You can further help out by reusing in lots of cool ways.
SW: What does sustainable seafood mean to you? How do you determine what to sell?
MR: Sustainable seafood is not necessarily all farmed or wild – it’s a bit more complicated to determine, involving the health of the population and the method in which it is farmed or caught. It also means you can back up your claims with third-party science. I trust objective outsiders intimately acquainted with our ocean’s ways more than a slick marketing department. Thankfully, there are scientists willing to help. We partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium and use their standards as a baseline. We give preference to green and local items and are upfront about everything since fraud is so rampant these days.
Don’t blindly trust labels; almost anyone can create them. Trust the person that you buy from. It has certainly been said before, but holds true that we vote every time we pull out our wallet.
SW: You said once that you hope i love blue sea would be the first of many similar businesses. Why the push for competition?
MR: My primary goal was to help show that people will support businesses that demonstrate concern for our environment. It’s a group effort and it appears to be paying off; businesses the size of Safeway and Wal-Mart are now working towards selling only sustainable seafood. This is a huge step forward in just the past year or two. They don’t come close on quality though :)
SW: Do you find that more and more consumers are demanding sustainable seafood and becoming aware of the impact their seafood choices make?
MR: Yes, and it makes me incredibly hopeful. The actions of a few have jeopardized the health of our collective oceans. This past year has taught us that the other 99% need not sit idly by. Together we can support the fisheries that are making responsible decisions and exert pressure up the supply chain. If people stop ordering long-line caught tuna and unagi, other people will stop catching it.
SW: You ship fresh, sustainable seafood anywhere in the lower 48 states (in eco-friendly packaging, no-less!). Which Americans are demanding the most sustainable seafood?
MR: It is anybody’s race at this point! We see orders going to parts of the country we had never heard of… people get it! And once people find out how fresh it is, we see more and larger orders going to their town.
SW: What does the future hold for i love blue sea?
MR: Same thing we try to do every day... save the world! We’re starting with getting people to eat fresh, healthy seafood. We’re working on getting more money directly to fishermen and fish directly from them to you. It’s exciting and lots of long hours, for sure!
SW: If you were to host a sustainable seafood dinner party with your favorite people, what would you serve?
MR: Something I fished myself! Nothing beats a day on the water hoping for dinner. Perhaps I would go for rockfish from Santa Cruz or monkeyface eel with our wild friend, Kirk Lombard. If you ever make it to San Francisco, book a tour with him to forage around the area for all sorts of fun edibles.
SW: If you could only eat one type of seafood for the rest of your life, what would it be and how would you prepare it?
MR: I love oysters and don’t think I would ever tire of them. I would feel really good about it too – they’re grown in the ocean and, as filter feeders, they symbiotically clean the surrounding waters. Full of vitamins, minerals, protein and essential fatty acids they are always a good call.
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