Let’s Talk Local Seafood with South Carolina Aquarium Good Catch
We are thrilled to have the South Carolina Aquarium back as a content collaborator during Eat Drink Local Month! They recently relaunched their Good Catch program and graciously shared some insight into how we can all support sustainable seafood practices.
By: Katelyn McGlothlin, Marketing Communications Coordinator, South Carolina Aquarium
You’re likely familiar with the “farm to table” concept: the practice of learning where your food comes from, who farmed or grew it and how it was prepared. South Carolina Aquarium Good Catch follows this mindset — in the seafood sense — by encouraging communities to support local, sustainable seafood practices and the consumption of responsibly harvested seafood.
Let’s Stay Local
Let’s start with defining what is “local.” If it’s harvested from North Carolina through the east coast of Florida, it receives the Aquarium’s local seal of approval! Shortening the distance between where your seafood is sourced and when it’s on your plate can make an ocean of difference in its overall climate impact and the quality of the food.
Compared to seafood imported via planes or ships, local seafood produces fewer emissions from transport because of the short distances traveled. Plus, it’s free of preservatives since you’re buying it fresh from local fishermen — it doesn’t get tastier than that!
Big Time Management
A quarter of global seafood is caught illegally or in association with illicit activities. Seafood harvested from the southeast region is managed by multiple state and federal agencies that are responsible for some of the strongest seafood regulations in the world. These regulations aim to ensure that each species is harvested safely and sustainably. By sticking to these guidelines, fishermen and aquaculture farmers are not just collecting the ocean’s bounty for us to enjoy, but they’re ensuring they’re leaving behind a healthy, balanced ecosystem for future generations.
The animals are not the only ones benefitting from these regulations; they also ensure fishermen have decent and dignified working conditions. So not only are you consuming responsibly harvested seafood, you can rest easy knowing you're supporting the fishermen who caught it.
Good Catch is more than just the Aquarium; it’s a community of advocates committed to local seafood! Good Catch partners are local restaurants, purveyors, retailers and caterers that dedicate efforts to sourcing a percentage of their seafood inventory from local sources and/or reducing single-use plastic in their business.
Visiting a Good Catch partner puts the power in your hands. By speaking with knowledgeable staff and asking what’s local, you’re making the right choices for yourself and the world. You may even learn something new or discover a favorite seafood along the way! After all, there are many obscure but tasty species out there in the big blue.
A Step Ahead
The South Carolina Aquarium wants to equip you with easy steps you can take to support local seafood this Eat Drink Local Month:
- Learn more about South Carolina Aquarium Good Catch
- Support the Aquarium’s Good Catch partners for delicious seafood found all around town
- Take the Pledge to “Ask Before you Order”
- Join the Good Catch Seafood Survey, a project in the South Carolina Aquarium Citizen Science ap
- Try this recipe using sustainability-sourced shrimp
All images were provided by the South Carolina Aquarium.