WHOLESALE PROCESSOR AND DISTRIBUTOR OF FRESH AND FROZEN SEAFOOD

About Us

Sustainability Defined

  • Sustainability is the maintenance of a level of a stock of fish which allows perpetual harvest. The species maintains adequate numbers of adults to reproduce and the young are able to grow into harvestable size and abundance and the species maintains its ecological role.  The harvest of wild stocks of fish from the ocean or from tidewater areas is managed by either the individual states, an interstate compact of several states or the federal government.

Sustainable Resource Management

  • Fishery regulatory agencies use a variety of tools to achieve sustainability, including many of the same tools used by private sustainability certifiers. Such regulatory tools include Fishery Management Plans (FMP) to sustain harvests and rebuild stock sizes fallen below scientifically derived target sustainability levels and restrictions on fishing seasons, fish size, days at sea, and gear. As you can see in the table below which summarizes the sustainability measures used in Virginia's primary fisheries, many fish species are regulated using several of these tools.  

Virginia's Regulatory Agencies

  • Virginia Marine Recources CommissionVirginia's marine fisheries are managed by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), which works with regional and federal authorities to regulate fish that migrate across state boundaries. Other agencies include:
     
    • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) provides law enforcement at the harvest and wholesale distribution levels, enforces regulations that ensure the chain of custody of seafood products is documented with harvesters and seafood dealers, and monitors highly migratory fish that inhibit federal waters.
    • Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) oversees interstate fishery management plans (FMP) for fish that migrate in and out of Virginia waters.
    • Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) regulates and manages fish that primarily inhabit offshore waters (more than 3 miles off the Virginia coast).
    • New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) co-manages some important seafood products in Virginia, such as the Atlantic Sea Scallop, with MAFMC.

 

Summary Of Virginia's Sustainable Fisheries

    Common Name

    Most Local FMP

    Size Limit

    Quota

    Gear Limits

    Seasonal Closures

    Overfishing Mid-Atlantic

    Black Sea Bass

    Virginia

    Y

    Y

    Y

    N

    N

    Bluefish

    Virginia

     

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Butterfish

    Mid Atlantic

     

     

     

    N

    Crab, Blue

    Virginia

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y

     

    Crab, Red

    Federal

     

     

     

    N

    Croaker

    Virginia

     

     

     

     

    N

    Dogfish, Spiny

    Mid Atlantic

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    N

    Eastern Oyster Farmed

    Virginia BMP

    N

    N

    Y

    N

    N

    Eastern Oyster Wild

    Virginia

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y

    N/A

    Flounder, Summer

    Mid Atlantic

    Y

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Grey Trout

    Virginia

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Y

     

    Hard Clam  Farmed

    Virginia BMP

    Y

     

    Y

    N

    N

    Hard Clam Wild

    None

    Y

    NA

     

     

    NA

    Monkfish

    Mid Atlantic

     

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Sea Scallop

    Fedral

    N

    Y

    Y

    N

    N

    Spot

    Virginia

     

     

     

     

     

    Speckled Trout

    Atlantic States

    Y

    Y

    N

    N

     

    Striped Bass

    Virginia

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

    Whelk

    None

    Y

    Y

    Y

    N

     

                 

 

Other Resources

  • Monterey Bay AquariumInformation on sustainable species can come from a variety of outlets. The most popular source of sustainable fish for chefs is the Monterey Bay Aquarium List. This list is a good starting point for chefs but shouldn't be viewed as the final word. For example, the summer flounder (fluke-- Paralichtys dentatus) is at 77% of its target biomass. It will be fully recovered by 2013. It is not overfished and its population is growing. Choosing sustainable species requires more research than just reading from a list. Another excellent source of information on many fish species is the NOAA Fish Watch web site. It outlines the sustainability status, life cycle, and harvest of many domestic fish species.