Dock to Dish: Panama

The Cayuga Collection launches Panama’s first Dock to Dish® Sustainable Seafood Initiative at Isla Palenque off the Chiriqui Coast.

The private island sanctuary along Panamas Pacific coast is one of nine Cayuga Collection properties that are establishing Community Supported Fishery programs in order to protect their surrounding ecosystems, preserve artisanal fishing traditions and provide resort chefs and guests with steady access to the most sustainable premium-quality local seafood

Isla Palenque Island Resort, a 400-acre private island in the Gulf of Chiriquí, and part of award-winning luxury hospitality group The Cayuga Collection, is proud to announce the launch of their latest Dock to Dish® program designed to deliver a truly sustainable catch of the day. Recognized as a “breakthrough innovation” by the United Nations Foundation in 2017, Dock to Dish® programs help to put participating members “on a path to healthy, valued and understood oceans,” and Isla Palenque is the next generation of properties from the Cayuga Collection to take on this tremendous cause and commitment.

As part of this partnership dedicated to sourcing local, artisanal and low-impact wild seafood, Isla Palenque will receive daily deliveries from designated nearby fishermen – from the nearby port of Boca Chica – who are licensed, trained and always fairly compensated for their labor. The new Dock to Dish® program at Isla Palenque Island Resort will introduce dining guests to a new supply-driven format in which the local ocean ecosystem and participating artisanal fishermen decide what will be served for dinner.  In the Dock to Dish model, there are no longer demand pressures placed on the most popular species of fish, a practice which often drives the marketplace to deplete certain stocks.  Instead, the most abundant and rapidly-reproducing “forage fish” of the area begin to take center stage.

“For years we have worked very closely with the Cayuga Collection creating customized Community Supported Fishery programs at their award-winning resorts in a partnership that is rooted deeply in shared values. Together we design Dock to Dish initiatives with a three-way focus on strengthening the community, conserving local resources and generating the smallest carbon footprint possible. The Cayuga vision of true sustainability is authentic and comprehensive, and they view everything through the lens of their guests’ experiences. This unique approach enables them to lead by example and fulfill their mission of providing travel done differently.”

– Sean Barrett, Dock to Dish Co-founder and Chairman of the Board at GreenWave Restorative Ocean Farms

The flagship Dock to Dish® CSF program of Montauk, New York, was originally co-founded in 2012 by well-known farm to table chef and author, Dan Barber, and his brother David, co-owners of Blue Hill at Stone Barns; along with chef Eric Ripert of the famed Le Bernardin. Since its inception on the Atlantic seaboard, subsequent Dock to Dish® CSF programs have been established on the Pacific coast of North America under the leadership of chef Michael Cimarusti in Los Angeles; chef Thomas Keller in San Francisco; and chef Ned Bell in Vancouver, British Columbia. New international Dock to Dish programs have also been established in Fiji at the private island of Kokomo under the leadership of Chef Anthony Healy and fisheries expert Jaga Crossingham; and throughout the Cayuga Collection of sustainable luxury resorts and award-winning ecolodges along the Southeastern Pacific coast in Central America.

Across the western hemisphere, Dock to Dish® programs are directly reconnecting artisanal fishing communities to leading chefs through unique cooperative programs that are steering inshore fisheries towards a more sustainable future. The programs eliminate any ‘chain of custody’ for wild seafood and bring the travel distance, or “food miles,” for fish down to double – and even single – digits in some cases, generating the smallest carbon footprint of any other sourcing system in their class. Through a partnership with Pelagic Data Systems® of San Francisco and the FishTrax electronic fisheries database platform (Oregon State University), new Dock to Dish programs come equipped with the most sophisticated live-tracking capacity and traceability technologies for wild seafood that have ever been introduced to small-scale fisheries in tandem.

Dock to Dish® has had a string of successes in North America, and having recently established itself in Costa Rica, Panama now was a natural and organic fit. Of the nine properties in the Cayuga Collection, seven have already partnered with Dock to Dish®, and another two locations are anticipated to come on board by 2020.

About Isla Palenque Island Resort

Located in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama, Isla Palenque Island Resort is an undiscovered private island sanctuary boasting 400 acres of lush jungle, and framed by seven untouched beaches. Reimagined and redesigned, this private island is the unparalleled combination of luxury and sustainability, with eight beach suites (coming June 2018), a six-room villa estate vacation rental house, onsite tours, an abundance of wildlife and locally-sourced food. For more information, please visit

About the Cayuga Collection

The Cayuga Collection consists of lodges and sustainable hotels throughout Costa Rica and Nicaragua and Panama. All Cayuga properties specialize in creating the symbiosis of sustainability and luxury, always providing a sense of place by taking into account local culture and customs. To Cayuga, sustainability is about more than reusing your towel twice and and simply recycling. The luxury hospitality group has earned various awards and recognitions including the Travel + Leisure Global Vision Awards, The Condé Nast Traveler World Saver Award for Small Hotel Chains, The Condé Nast Traveler World Saver Award for Poverty Relief Efforts, Winner in the Americas of Green Hotelier Awards 2016, National Geographic World Legacy Award for 2017, along with two of our esteemed properties becoming National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. Some of the collection’s esteemed properties have also been accepted into Virtuoso®’s exclusive portfolio of luxury travel partners. Most recently, Cayuga’s sustainable efforts have lead to winning a People Award at the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2018 from The Authority on World Travel & Tourism (WTTC). Cayuga works with local communities to train and employ local people and improve local living and learning conditions. Each of its properties is involved in conservation and community development, and the company even helped to create a public charity called Equilibrium to further its reach and impact. For more information about all of Cayuga’s properties and experiences, visit