IncredibleFish has taken a stand against the importation of undersized and immature grouper fillets into the US. IncredibleFish will not import pre-cut grouper fillets which are cut from groupers smaller than the FWC minimum size limit. We also do not purchase groupers, no matter which country they are from, which do not meet the FWC minimum size requirement (Florida Rule: 68B-14.00355).
IncredibleFish performed a yield test on 18 inch (total length) red groupers, the minimum size allowed by the FWC. This is also the minimum size allowed for whole red grouper imports from Mexico into the US. We had performed this test in order to try to put a stop to importers and suppliers bringing in pre-cut grouper fillets cut from undersized grouper from Mexico. After filleting multiple red grouper, we found that an 18 inch grouper will yield a 9oz fillet. This provided evidence to support that when you are bringing in a grouper fillet smaller than 9oz, you are bringing in a fillet cut from an undersized/immature grouper. To support this claim, research has shown that the average size of red grouper maturation is approximately 20 inches. However, the range of maturation for female red groupers ranges from 15-28 inches. We do not support the importation of undersized pre-cut red grouper fillets less than 9oz.
IncredibleFish had also performed a yield test on scamp and gag groupers. After our test, we decided that IncredibleFish will not import pre-cut scamp grouper fillets smaller than 8oz. We also will not import pre-cut gag or black grouper fillets smaller than 1.5lbs (24oz) each. We grouped black grouper with our gag grouper results based on yield and minimum allowable size limits. A copy of our test results can be provided if requested.
IncredibleFish does not purchase any snappers smaller than 12 inches. In regards to weight, this means that IncredibleFish will only purchase snappers from 1 pound and up. For yellowtail snapper, we will purchase snapper from ¾-1lbs and greater when harvested from the USA.
Due to the maturation size of snappers, we have taken the initiative to stop purchasing/selling smaller, immature snappers. We have undertaken this initiative because we only wish to purchase/sell snappers which have had the chance to spawn and thus, increase the population size of snapper. The practice of purchasing and selling snapper greater than 12 inches aids in increasing the sustainability of the fishery.
IncredibleFish does purchase ¾-1lb yellowtail snapper from the USA. These ¾-1lb yellowtail are all 12 inches or greater. In the USA, management and research has shown that the ¾-1lb yellowtails, 12 inches and greater, are mature and sustainable. It is important to note, that yellowtail are typically more elongated than other snappers. This characteristic yields a longer length and lighter weighing snapper. After reviewing some research, we found supporting evidence that yellowtail snapper will reach maturation at a smaller size than 12 inches.
"A fishery improvement project (FIP) operates via an alliance of seafood buyers, suppliers, and producers. These stakeholders work together to improve a specific fishery by pressing for better policies and management, while voluntarily changing purchasing and fishing practices to reduce problems such as illegal fishing, by-catch, and habitat impacts"
IncredibleFish helped create a FIP for Guatemalan mahi in 2012/2013 and was a participant until the start of 2016. IncredibleFish has since stopped its involvement due to a lack of progress and communication that had been made in the previous years by the NGO involved. Along with the lack of progress that was made by the FIP another reason for stopping our involvement was a lack of mahi supply coming out of Guatemala due to the El Nino in 2015. We wanted to focus our time, money, and efforts on a project which we thought needed more help, and could better use our resources.
We are currently in talks with Sustainable Fishery Partnerships (SFP) to become involved in another FIP. We are looking to become involved with a FIP in Sri Lanka for yellowfin tuna. Currently, the FIP is on hold because of the EU banning the importing of Sri Lanka Fish. However, due to the EU lifting its red card and ban on Sri Lanka Fish (April 2016), we believe that the FIP will resume operation in the near future. We think that this FIP can use IncredibleFish’ help and expertise and is a FIP in need of much support/effort. This is a FIP which we would like to become involved with as IncredibleFish imports a large number of Tuna from Sri Lanka.
We are currently in talks with Sustainable Fishery Partnerships (SFP) to become involved in another FIP. We are looking to become involved with a FIP in Sri Lanka for yellowfin tuna . Currently, the FIP is on hold because of the EU banning the importing of Sri Lanka Fish. However, due to the EU lifting its red card and ban on Sri Lanka Fish (April 2016), we believe that the FIP will resume operation in the near future. We think that this FIP can use IncredibleFish’ help and expertise and is a FIP in need of much support/effort. This is a FIP which we would like to become involved with as IncredibleFish imports a large number of Tuna from Sri Lanka.
"A supply chain roundtable is a forum for processors, importers, and others that buy directly from a specific seafood sector to work together in a pre-competitive environment to achieve improvements in fisheries or aquaculture. Retailers and other stakeholders can also be participants but primary producers generally only contribute as implementers of specific improvement projects."
"The roundtables work to support existing improvement projects and help those that are struggling to make progress, as well as identifying areas where new projects are needed. In essence, a roundtable is a mechanism for the supply chain to promote improvements in fishing and fish farming for a particular seafood sector in a specific area. A roundtable provides a valuable role in coordinating and encouraging improvement activities and helps projects share skills and experience."
IncredibleFish participates in an Americas snapper grouper supply chain roundtable, which focuses on Mexico and Central America. Suppliers provide their expertise and work together to improve the snapper and grouper fisheries focused on in the Americas. We focus on the implementation of new FIPs, the progress of established FIPs, new management strategies, sourcing recommendations, and opportunities in other countries for improvements.
IncredibleFish also participates in Eastern Pacific ocean large pelagics fisheries supply chain roundtable 8 . This roundtable focuses on highly migratory species in the region such as tuna and mahi-mahi. The highly migratory nature of these fish leads to many management challenges. Their roles in the food chain and the harvesting of these fish, leads too many environmental challenges including by-catch. We discuss, promote, and implement FIPs, local policy, and sourcing ideas to help achieve a sustainable fishery.
An example of how a supply chain roundtable is making a difference:
IncredibleFish brought to the roundtable’s attention the problem of undersized grouper fillets being imported into the US. Since Florida law only specifies that a whole grouper imported from Mexico must meet the minimum size requirements set out by the FWC, suppliers/importers were using undersized pre-cut grouper fillets as a loophole to get around this law. We brought this to the roundtable’s attention, which has led to members drafting and sending out MOU’s to their suppliers to stop this. See the first section (pre-cut and whole grouper) for more info on what IncredibleFish is doing and our stance on the subject.
We do not purchase illegally caught or sourced seafood.
We do not purchase fish harvested with the use of gill nets.
Gillnetting has been a major source of mortality for all sea turtle species.
Gillnets can entangle a wide variety of marine mammals.
Gill nets can create a lot of unwanted by-catch negatively impacting fisheries.
We make every attempt to source our seafood from fisheries which are not/have not been exploited.
We believe and science has shown that if fisheries are well managed, there will be a growing and sustainable population. We are committed to sitting down and working together to find productive, fair, and reasonable solutions to sustainable seafood.
IncredibleFish plans on becoming more involved with new sustainability programs/initiatives in the future. If there is one that you believe would benefit IncredibleFish or if you have any comments on anything IncredibleFish is already doing, please feel free to reach out to James Komisarjevsky: firstname.lastname@example.org