Posted by Ric Garrido

Hyatt Hotels global initiative to procure seafood responsibly in partnership with World Wildlife Fund is a program announced yesterday. The initial goal is responsibly sourcing more than 50 percent of their inventory by 2018 for seafood prepared in the hotel chain’s restaurants.

Hyatt will also work toward purchasing more than 15 percent of its seafood supply from fisheries or farms that have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).  This is the first phase of a long-term seafood sustainability strategy in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a leading global conservation organization, to build on Hyatt’s existing environmental stewardship. The partnership also focuses on enhancing the sustainability of seafood sourcing at Hyatt hotels by eliminating the procurement of highly vulnerable seafood species.

After a year-long engagement with WWF and an assessment of global seafood procurement processes at Hyatt hotels, Hyatt has identified the following initiatives to improve the sustainability of Hyatt hotels’ seafood sourcing practices and standards:

  • Hyatt will focus on the procurement of responsibly sourced farmed and wild-caught seafood at Hyatt hotels globally, with an initial emphasis on key species such as salmon, shrimp, grouper, Chilean sea bass, and tuna. This will include a clear preference for seafood sourced from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified fisheries and farms and those involved in Fishery or Aquaculture Improvement Projects. Hyatt will also identify other sustainable sources of seafood in collaboration with WWF.
  • A complete ban on the consumption and procurement of shark fin at all Hyatt restaurants and food and beverage outlets globally.  This builds on Hyatt’s commitment in 2012 to remove shark fin from all restaurant menus. Any banquets and event bookings made before May 15, 2014 that include shark fin will be honored.
  • In addition to banning shark fin, Hyatt will seek to reduce and systematically eliminate sourcing of other highly vulnerable seafood species identified by WWF.
  • Hyatt colleagues involved in food and beverage offerings at the company’s owned and managed full service hotels will participate in a comprehensive sustainable seafood training program developed in collaboration with WWF.
  • Hyatt will measure global performance and progress of these efforts with the support of WWF analysis and recommendations.

Loyalty Traveler Take

Park Hyatt Washington D.C. is a hotel I stayed at three years ago. Almost as exciting as sleeping in the Park Hyatt on a points stay was seeing the World Wildlife Fund headquarters across the street from the hotel.

D.C. Day 5 074

World Wildlife Fund headquarters, Washington D.C.

My hometown of Monterey, California has a fishing history exemplifying unsustainable practices. Monterey was called the sardine capital of the world 75 years ago. More than 3 million tons of sardines were fished out of Monterey Bay between 1926 and 1946. The sardine industry went into precipitous decline in the 1950s with less than 300,000 tons processed from 1946 to 1956 and less than 100,000 tons from 1956 to 1966. By the time I was a teenager hanging out in Monterey, the sardines were gone and the canneries of Cannery Row Monterey were all abandoned.

Monterey Sardine Catch

Monterey Sardine Catches 1916-2006, Monterey Bay Aquarium infographic

When I was a public school teacher in a small fishing village in Maine 20 years ago, many of the parents worked in the the Stinson Seafood plant in Prospect Harbor, Maine. That cannery was the last large sardine cannery in the United States when it closed in 2010.

In 1984 Monterey Bay Aquarium opened on Cannery Row. Seafood Watch is one of the major initiatives of Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The Most Important Thing You Can Do for the Oceans

Whether at a restaurant or in your grocery store, ask the question: “Do you sell sustainable seafood?” Businesses take requests from their customers seriously, so each time you ask, your voice helps shape the practices of the entire seafood industry.

There are other ways to make a difference:

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

There is a global movement to live sustainably, conserve resources and conduct business responsibly. Hyatt Hotels pledging to procure seafood responsibly is a step in the right direction.

Overfishing

“In Good Taste” Sustainable Seafood Guide, Shark Reef Aquarium, Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas

Last summer I visited Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The exhibit was environmentally educational and the exhibits promote Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch consumer guide.

The oceans are vast, their resources are limited.

Overfishing

Shark Reef Aquarium overfishing infographic at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas.

What’s Causing the Problem?

Overfishing – 76% of global fish stocks are at capacity or already depleted.

Bycatch – 7.3 million tons of unwanted fish and animals are caught and thrown overboard every year.

Trawling – The area of the seafloor trawled each year is 150 times that of all forests clear-cut worldwide.

Every step in the right direction helps. Thanks Hyatt.

The abundance of anchovies in Monterey Bay has brought numerous whales to the area this summer. Sustainable practices allow a thriving marine environment.

Humpback-5

Humpback whale lunge feeding at Moss Landing beach, Monterey Bay, California.

Loyalty Traveler post – Humpback whales in our faces at Moss Landing beach.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

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4 Responses

  1. Thank you for this update. For the past few years I have changed my seafood consumption and will only buy wild caught, sustainable seafood. Aside from the fact that it is the right thing to do, wild caught tastes better and is better for you. Seafoodwatch.org is a great website to check before you purchase seafood. Kudos to Hyatt for implementing is program.

    Btw, is that a recent pic of the Humpback whale at Moss Landing? What months would recommend as the best time to see them?

  2. I just read your article on the whales. Sounds like a great place to visit!

  3. @Kijo – Whales are around year-round if you take a whale watching cruise.

    August is the time of year Blue Whales are spotted in these parts. But August is also the foggiest month of the year around Monterey Bay. There has been very little sun this past week here.

    Humpback whales tend to be here year round. Gray whales migrate south to Mexico from mid-December to February and north from March to May. Spouts can be seen from the coast in places like Point Lobos.

    Seeing whales near the beach last week in Moss Landing is uncommon. There have been many sightings this summer. I have seen more whales this summer from the beaches than any previous year. A juvenile gray whale was seen at Santa Cruz wharf last week and is a whale media star on its late northerly migration along the California coast.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/central-coast/ci_26295667/plucky-gray-whale-spotted-santa-cruz

    Here are some posts I wrote on whales this past winter:

    http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2013/12/06/whale-watching-tours-monterey-bay/

    http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2013/12/16/gray-whale-travelers-have-arrived-near-monterey/

    http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2014/01/22/whale-fountains-at-hyatt-highlands-inn-california/

    http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2014/01/22/hyatt-carmel-highlands-big-sur-coast-townhouse-and-view/#more-28890

    Comment by Ric Garrido on August 8th, 2014 at 10:02 am
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