WASHINGTON, D.C., October 4, 2016.
Monica Jain named one of 12 White House Champions of Change for Sustainable Seafood
On Friday, October 7, the White House will recognize Fish 2.0 founder Monica Jain, Fish 2.0 alumnus Alan Lovewell and 10 other people from across the country as White House Champions of Change for Sustainable Seafood. Jain earned the honor for her achievements with Fish 2.0, as well as her longtime dedication to ocean conservation and advancing seafood sustainability. Lovewell, the CEO and co-founder of Real Good Fish and a 2013 Fish 2.0 finalist, earned recognition for building a community-supported fishery that connects local fishermen with local consumers via weekly deliveries of high-quality sustainable seafood.
“The United States fishing industry is critical to the economic health and well-being of communities across the country, supporting 1.8 million jobs and contributing over $200 billion to the economy in 2014,” the White House release says. “However, our marine ecosystems are under threat from multiple stressors, including climate change and ocean acidification. The need for innovation in sustainable fisheries has never been greater."
“Local leaders serve as the backbone of our communities, working to build resilient coasts and striving to protect the at-risk towns whose futures depend on the recovery of our fisheries. The administration applauds the hard work, collaboration and sacrifice by many across the country to become responsible stewards and safeguard our seafood security. These Champions of Change are ensuring the United States is a global leader in sustainable seafood management.”
Three-day program in Fiji provides business-building advice, help in applying for global competition; workshop applications due October 5
Fish 2.0 will hold a free three-day business development workshop for Pacific Islands seafood businesses in Suva, Fiji, November 8-10, 2016. Participants will receive expert advice on communicating about their business, training on pitching to investors, and guidance on succeeding in the 2017 Fish 2.0 competition. The one-page workshop application, available at http://www.fish20.org/2017pacifictrack, is due October 5.
Alfred Kalontas, the founder of ALFA Fishing in Vanuatu, bootstrapped his business from nothing to become the preferred seafood supplier to over 70 percent of the hotels and restaurants in the island nation’s capital, Port Vila. He is now starting to export his high-quality, sustainably caught products to New Zealand and is seeing demand from Australia and beyond.
When you buy fish from the grocery store, it's not always clear exactly what you're getting. The industry is fragmented and murky, plagued by seafood fraud—when fishermen or processors take cheaper, lower quality fish and disguise or mislabel it to try and make more money. Don't count on regulators to catch this deception. In 2009, the Government Accountability Office took a hard look at the three agencies responsible for detecting seafood fraud, and concluded they were failing to "effectively collaborate with each other"—putting consumers' wallets and health at risk.
Wild fisheries are stable at best and declining at worst. That means we need aquaculture to meet the world’s growing demand for protein. And to feed the world sustainably, the industry has to figure out how to feed farmed fish without using wild fish stocks.
“Fish 2.0 accelerated our business to a fundamentally different level.” “It’s boosted the confidence and pride of board and staff in our business model, in addition to validating our model with current and potential funders.” “Winning Fish 2.0 was a huge event for our young company.”
Seventy percent of the earth’s surface is made of oceans, yet only 5 percent of this vast expanse has been explored — and far less than that protected. Businesses are waking up to untapped economic opportunities within these watery regions, which absorb 30 percent of the planet’s carbon emissions.
It wasn’t until Monica Jain was in her 20s that she fell in love with the sea, but it’s not her fault. A St. Louis, Missouri native, Jain studied biology at Stanford, thinking she would go to medical school. As a senior in need of extra credits, she took a scuba diving class, and made her first-ever dive in Monterey Bay near Lovers Point. “I was like, ‘Stop the press! There’s a whole world under here and no one told me!’” she says. “I was so upset.”