It can be hard to know where the fish on your plate really came from, or if it was caught in a sustainable way. Even in fisheries with good management in place, it's hard to know if everyone is playing by the rules. Fortunately, that's not the case with the West Coast's new groundfish "catch share" program. In this program each fisherman is given a portion of a scientifically established total catch to harvest. To make sure fishermen stay within their allotted catch, each and every vessel must carry a third party observer. Observers monitor 100% of fishing activities, which means that every pound of fish caught in the West Coast's catch share program is accounted for, and that the total catch will never be exceeded. In other words, no overfishing – guaranteed.
In other fisheries, government regulations may look very different from actual fishing practices at sea. This label indicates that – on 100% monitored vessels – regulations and practices are one and the same. We think this is something to brag about, so with our partners at Central Coast Seafood and Santa Monica Seafood in California, we've created the 100% Federal At-Sea Monitoring label to identify fish from the catch share program. The label is still new, but our goal is that soon all fish caught in the catch share will have it.
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