What is Sustainable Seafood, and Why is it Important?

For those who have experienced a Shuckin’ Shack Discovery Day over the past six to twelve months, it’s likely they remember a simple acronym established to convey our core values: RISE.
For our Shuckin’ Shack franchise support team, RISE stands for:

Respect: We treat each other, our guests, and our employees as we expect to be treated. We believe in embracing uniqueness, valuing diversity, and respecting those around us at work and in life.

Integrity: We know and do what is right. We believe in being sincere, while also having the courage to stand up for things in which we believe. Integrity is doing what’s right, even when no one is looking.

Sustainability: We desire to meet present needs without sacrificing our future. Whether in environmental practices of protecting our coast, or in recycling and renourishment of our oyster beds, sustainability benefits all.

Excellence: We strive to go beyond normal and do more than is required. We believe in valuing excellence in professional achievement, as well as giving excellence back to our customers, and our community.

Why is the concept of Sustainability, especially sustainable seafood, so critical to who we are as a company? Before we provide an explanation, let’s first focus on the concern at hand. As you’ll see in the chart below, provided by Wikipedia, 50 years ago, the concept of using aquaculture production was brand new, while 50 million tons of wild capture fish fed consumers.

Global total wild fish capture and aquaculture production in million tonnes, as reported by the FAO.

As shown above, since the 1990’s you’ll find our wild capture volumes (shown in blue) haven’t changed dramatically, even as we prepare for the year 2020. With demand for fresh seafood continuing to grow annually (shown in green), it was clear that global farming and harvesting technique needed to change the various initiatives, techniques and movements to curtail environmentally destructive fishing methods.

As Wikipedia explains further:

Sustainable Seafood is seafood that is either live caught or farmed in ways that consider the long-term viability of harvested species and the well-being of the oceans, as well as the livelihoods of fisheries-dependent communities.

We believe that our “S” for sustainability within our core values, aligns perfectly with definition above - “meet present needs without sacrificing our future”. When LeeAnn Tluchowski, Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar’s Area Manager was asked in a recent interview, how the importance of sustainability became an integral part of the Shuckin Shack Seafood Franchise, she shared the following personal details:

“It has been a gradual process. I was born on Earthday so I have always had a connection to all things green. When I moved to North Carolina, I started volunteering with the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project and learned a lot about what effects humans have on our environment - especially our oceans. Shortly after opening the Shack in 2007, we started with oyster recycling and then we got all of our restaurants involved with the Skip the Straw movement a few years back. In 2015 we became a certified Ocean Friendly Establishment through partnerships with Surfrider Foundation and Plastic Ocean Project.

LeeAnn Tluchowski, Shuckin Shack Oyster Bar’s Area Manager

To learn even more about sustainable seafood, we encourage you to visit the Sustainable Seafood Coalition. If you’re looking for a thriving new seafood franchise, that is as concerned about our coastlines as we are about your restaurant’s bottom line, request information on our 2020 target market: Tallahassee!