The James Beard Foundation announced Monday a national launch of Smart Catch, a sustainable seafood pilot program for restaurants. The program, announced at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Seattle, “provides training and support to chefs so they can serve seafood fished or farmed in environmentally responsible ways,” according to a release from the organization.
More than 60 chefs have signed on as charter members, including Kathleen Blake of the Rusty Spoon in downtown Orlando and Hari Pulapaka of Cress in DeLand. Blake and Pulupaka are the only Florida chefs to have pledged so far.
Restaurants that adhere to the Smart Catch standards will earn an emblem to display on their menus identifying them as responsible seafood consumers. Chefs must commit to serving 80 percent or more of sustainable seafood sold through reliable sources that adhere to the standards of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program and NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index.
According to the release, more than 90 percent of the world’s fisheries are either fully fished or overfished.
Smart Catch was started in 2015 by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen.
For a list of the other chefs currently pledged to participate, visit the James Beard Foundation website.