The purpose of the Hawaii
Seafood Sustainability Platform
Labels and brand claims do not make
fisheries do. An effective fishery
management system and its perfor-
mance record ensure responsible
fishing and sustainability.
This platform describes how Hawaii
Seafood meets the standards and
principles of sustainable seafood to
distinguish Hawaii from other sources
of fishery products in the marketplace.
It explains what is being done by
fishery managers, scientists and
the fishing sector to keep Hawaii
Our ocean fisheries set the benchmark
for responsible fisheries and the sus-
tainable seafood they produce. Hawaii
Seafood is sustainable because our
fisheries achieve high marks in meeting
international and American standards
for sustainable fisheries.
Why is sustainability important?
In Hawaii, sustainability means the
perpetuation of families, communities,
our multi-cultural population, food
traditions, healthy diets and lifestyle—
not just fisheries and fishing livelihoods.
This is our culture, our heritage, our
identity and obligation.
Fishing is an essential part of Hawaii’s
The ocean has pro-
vided the people of Hawaii with food for
centuries. Today, our people eat nearly
3 times the national average amount
of seafood each year. Hawaii’s ocean
fisheries are among the best-managed,
most intensively monitored and studied
in the world. But fishing pressure from
international fleets and the global
seafood demand is now so great that
it exceeds the ocean capacity for sus-
tainable harvest of some fish species.
The amount of fish harvested annually
simply cannot increase without end.
There is a limit to how much fish can
be harvested in a sustainable manner.
Strict limits and controls, and respect
for agreements are needed.
We are facing some hard questions
With the number of countries
competing for the ocean’s fish, how do
we in Hawaii act responsibly and make
sure that fishing is done sustainably?
Is Hawaii part of the problem or a model
of the solution for the sustainable
future of ocean fisheries? Can Hawaii
show the rest of the world how to fish
within limits to protect the fish and
preserve the ocean’s natural seafood
pantry? Can Hawaii serve as a model
for responsible fisheries?
Accountability to government control
is critical in the sustainability of
Hawaii open ocean longline
fishery products are traceable to U.S.
government-approved vessels, fishing
practices and management measures.
Our fishery management depends on
the work of dedicated scientists and
managers from the U.S. National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), the Western Pacific Regional
Fishery Management Council and others.
We rely on the fishery research,
monitoring and assessments performed
by these agencies to keep the fishery
sustainable based on sound-science
and precautionary management
decisions. For these reasons it is likely
that Hawaii Seafood meets any estab-
lished set of standards or criteria for
What can consumers do to
support sustainable fisheries?
Clearly, there are consumer choices to
Responsible consumers can
support responsible fisheries in the
market. Seek out sustainable seafood
by asking about the country of origin.
Find out how fish are harvested, handled
and processed. This is one way we can
play a role in preserving sustainable
seafood for future generations.
Unloading bigeye tuna (ahi)
Photo: John Kaneko