Promoting Responsible Seafood Choices from Local Origins

Sea Change™ is a program developed by Blueyou which is tailor-made to the specific needs of hotels, restaurants and retail companies in countries where locally harvested seafood products cannot be certified by credible independent certification standards such as the MSC and ASC.

In many countries in South East Asia and Latin America, small-scale producers have been traditionally catching and harvesting seafood species for the local market. Increasing market demand for certified sustainable seafood may exclude these local producers from their markets, due to the fact that credible, ISEAL-alliance approved certification programs are too costly and rarely feasible for many small-scale producers.


Market Access Solution for Local Producers

Sea Change™ offers a practical solution for this dilemma: Using a science-based assessment methodology, the program identifies low risk, responsibly harvested seafood choices and promotes such species on the local market.

Sea Change™ allows local producers which are supplying sustainable, inherently low impact-risk products such as farmed mussels, milkfish, tilapia, squid or sardines to keep being connected within local value chains – and eventually engage in a continuous process of improvement of their operations.


Sea Change™ Methodology and Assessment Process

The Sea Change™ program applies a seafood assessment methodology which uses science-based metrics to identify low-impact origins in a given country and location. The assessment matrix looks at system- and species-inherent properties which make certain seafood species and origins a low risk for environmental impact. Examples of such properties are specific life history patterns of a species, the catch method or the fact that a farming operation does not apply any feed.

Problems and Challenges

SE Asian hotels and restaurants committed to more responsible sourcing of seafood are challenged by multiple constraints and complexities:

1.  Most hotels have strong preference to source locally produced, fresh products from both aquaculture and fisheries (imported products are of lower priority, except for species such as salmon)

2.  There is no assessment system which allows the analysis and identification of seafood origins in line with hotels’ sourcing guidelines and policies

3.  Local seafood supply chains are complex, fragmented and there usually is no traceability

4.  3rd party certified seafood (such as MSC and ASC) is available on import trading level, but for final restaurant and hotel distribution and the serving of certified seafood to guests, the conditions for doing so (CoC certification!) are very cost prohibitive and not practical

5.  Additionally, certified seafood is available from imported sources mainly – therefore not offering incentives and leverage for change and reform of the local fishery and aquaculture industry!


With its five main components, the SeaChange™ program by Blueyou offers a tailor-made solution for SE Asian seafood distributors and their gastronomy sector clientele:

1.  A science-based methodology for cost efficient analysis and assessment of all seafood products in line with sourcing policies of hotels and internationally recognized criteria of sustainability and social responsibility
2.  A communication and promotion platform for identified responsible seafood choices (local and imported products) using the SeaChange™ logo as b-to-b umbrella brand and b-to-c communication tool for better choice seafood products
3.  A seafood choice guidance system for commercial procurement and chefs
4.  A commercial platform to acknowledge and recognize good existing practices by local producers and incentivize local industry to adopt better practices (driver for change!)
5.A framework to implement local traceability solutions and create transparent seafood supply chains

Impact on Markets

With the roll-out andimplementation of the SeaChange™ program, Blueyou expects the following positive impacts on food service and gastronomy markets in SE Asia:

1.  More responsible choices from local sources of both wild and farmed origin in restaurants and hotels in SE Asia
2.  Awareness amongst chefs and consumers for responsible sourcing – by not only talking but having a real solution!
3.  Proliferation of sustainable seafood choices from imported sources (certified seafood MSC and ASC)
4.  Driver for awareness and change in the retail markets, with success stories of change and reform in the local gastronomy sector (push and trigger effect to retail through media and awareness)

Impact on Fisheries & Aquaculture Resources

With the roll-out and implementation of the SeaChange™ program, Blueyou expects the following positive impacts on fisheries and aquatic resources in SE Asia:

1.  Creation of direct market linkages for existing good practice producers in both wild capture fisheries and aquaculture sector of SE Asia
2.  Linking FIP and AIP or other existing initiatives or transition projects to local markets in SE Asia (e.g. SFP FIP, WWF FIP, CI, TNC, EDF, RARE Fishforever etc.)
3.  Creation of improved value for primary producers and incentives for further improvement on local basis with transparent and visible connectivity to local consumer markets
4.  Support of sector policy change and reform in SE Asia through market incentives and active collaboration with local NGO that work on reform and change
5.  Market access in SE Asia for certified seafood from import destinations (MSC, ASC) (hotel and restaurants can sell certified seafood from MSC / ASC sources under the SeaChange program)

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