Interview of the Week, Teresa Ish, Walton Family Foundation

Teresa Ish is a Senior Program Officer at the Walton Family Foundation, where she oversees the foundation’s work conserving oceans and fisheries in the U.S. and through changing market practices to improve sustainability.  Here are some of the highlights of the interview:

On Persuading Businesses to Be More Sustainable:

“If you run a seafood business and there aren’t fish in the ocean it’s really hard to keep selling fish.  So this is one of those environmental issues where there is actually quite a bit of alignment across the board with companies and fishers who are thinking about the long-term success of their businesses.”

What Does Sustainable Mean in Fishing:

“For wild fisheries, a sustainable fishery is one where the management decisions are based on good scientific information. The people fishing for the fish comply with those management rules..and the fishery is operating in a way that doesn’t hurt the ocean ecosystem, but also ensures that there are some fish left in the water to grow in the future.”

On Social Sustainability in Fishing:

“You are starting to see fair trade certified fisheries come out, which ensures that small-scale fishers are being paid fairly for their products just like you would see with coffee or cocoa.”

On Cooking New Types of Fish

“The Eat Seafood America website has great recipes and cooking demos and more ways for you to try new fish.  It is one of the foods that by choosing and loving sustainable seafood we are actually helping fish populations.  So it is nice to have something that is both good for us and great for the environment.”

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