In the convoluted realm of sustainable seafood, restaurants play an important role in providing consumers with information to help guide their seafood selections. Chefs who promote sustainable seafood influence consumers through their seafood sourcing choices, and thereby reward the responsible efforts of fishermen. GMRI helps support local Maine chefs with the most recent science-based information, and has set standards for restaurants, through its Culinary Partners Program.
Participating Culinary Partner restaurants serve a minimum of 20% of their seafood from the Gulf of Maine, including at least one Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested species. Staff attend annual seafood education seminars that focus on current topics such as fishing gear research, science, and management. Additionally, Culinary Partners set annual goals to improve the sustainability of their business practices. Individual goals for 2013 include a new composting program, installation of energy efficient lighting, and a shift to 100% Gulf of Maine- sourced seafood products.
GMRI's Culinary Partners Program motivates and rewards sustainability efforts that support the region's seafood industry, particularly in difficult times. It is also provides participants and their customers with the tools to make informed decisions around seafood sustainability. Early adopters of the program include five Maine restaurants: Five Fifty-Five, Jordan Pond House, Inn by the Sea, Local 188, and Sonny's.
For more information on the Sustainable Seafood Culinary Partners Program, click here.