Friday, May 28, 2010

Choo-choo-choose me

Same fish, two prices. Why?
They're not the same and because we like distinctions so much around here, we'll lay it out:

One is previously frozen, one is fresh.
One is from China, one is from Equador.
One is cheap because it's plentiful and comes from a place with no accountability to their practices.
The other, is sustainably raised and distributed by a wholesale fish distributor partnered with Whole Foods.

What we did at our meeting two weeks ago was commit to being a fish market that stands for sustainability, completely by January 1. The earth provides what we sell, and therefore we owe it all we can. This means constantly looking at the Monterrey Bay Seafood Watch, demanding more from our suppliers, carrying new stuff and probably getting rid of some stuff.

"It's two shows of tilapia," Dicky laughs. "The sustainable one is double the price, we gotta give people the choice for now".
In an environment where everyone from UW football Coach Steve Sarkisian ($1.85 million salary) to the neighborhood folks living in low income housing and the temporary shelter dwellers buy fish for less than a dollar.....a choice is what we can offer. Making a choice is empowering and we hope that by us making a choice for better fish, customers will see the importance and power of the purse in the health of our planet and fisheries. Will we continue to carry two displays of tilapia? Probably not, but between the new sustainably raised ling cod and the new tilapia, today was a big day for Pike Place Fish.

As he dropped off our new selection of responsibly raised tilapia, Rick Cavanaugh of Select Fish (wholesaler for Whole Foods) added his support: "If you guys are going down the sustainability route, just know I can help. It can be a tough slope, but the world has a listening".
With over 10 million people at the Pike Place Market every year, a lot of whom come by our stand, we have a responsibiliity to take a stand for who we are and what we we want to see in the world. We can have fun at work, we're real good at that, but it's time for better seafood. We can't do this alone, so please keep the comments coming and know we thrive on discussion.

Up Next:
Thursday meeting with Mashiko Japanese Seafood Restaurant.
Muscular Dystrophy Association lockup event with the Seattle Seahawks

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