Our mission is to provide current and future generations of Dock to Dish cooperative members with fully transparent access to the freshest, healthiest and most sustainable wild seafood harvests available in their respective regions — while leading the ongoing adaptation of coastal communities to climate change.
“The future of sustainability is traceability.”
The Dock to Dish mission, model and methods were all designed with your grandchildren’s great grandchildren in mind. Since our inception, we have developed and honed the most sophisticated sustainability criteria—and most advanced tracking and traceability technologies—ever introduced to the wild seafood industry in tandem. Our unique membership programs are driven by abundant, underutilized local supply, instead of high-pressured global demand on specific target species. We require no more than 150 total “food miles” for transport, with as few as 10 in some distribution areas; and our operations generate the smallest carbon footprint of any other sourcing and distribution model in our class.
[Graphic courtesy of The Future of Fish]
Know Your Fisherman
At Dock to Dish we are continuing to revolutionize the marketplace by pioneering the world’s first live tracking dashboard to monitor hauls of wild seafood, with precision accuracy, from individual fishermen at sea directly to end consumers on land, in near-real time calibration. This unprecedented technology bundle that we are bringing online has been dubbed Dock to Dish 2.0, and is being created in partnership with Pelagic Data Systems®, Local Catch and Fish Trax Technologies. Once completed, the bundle will be open-sourced for all independent small- and medium-scale fisheries operations around the world to replicate and use.
“We are global leaders in live tracking technology.”
Dock to Dish sustainability initiatives have recently been recognized by the United Nations Foundation as being among the most advanced in the world, and have been featured prominently in the NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post, NPR, TIME magazine, the March for Science, VICE Environmental and National Geographic magazine. Special Dock to Dish video productions on sustainability have recently aired on PBS, ABC, WLIW, Zagat Channel, Smithsonian Channel, KTLA 5, the Karma Network and the Travel Channel. Dock to Dish has also recently been featured at the New York Times Food for Tomorrow Conference; ranked among the 25 Most Daring Organizations by Vanity Fair and Conde Nast magazines; named to Grist’s list of the Foremost 50 Initiatives Fighting for a More Sustainable Future; listed as one of Sonima’s top 50 Innovators Shaping the Future of Wellness; identified as one of the Top 7 Leaders of the Future of Food by Bon Appetit magazine; designated as New York State’s ambassador to the “United States of Healthy” by editors of Cooking Light magazine; nominated by both the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carl Safina to be recognized by the White House as a United States Champion of Change for Sustainable Seafood (during the previous administration); presented at TEDx Montclair; and been designated by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve as a member of the New York State Marine Resources Advisory Council (MRAC) at the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) through 2019. We are proud founding members of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA), the Amagansett Food Institute (AFI) and LocalCatch.org and also serve on the executive board of the esteemed Greenwave.org where we work to advance 3D ocean farming designed to restore ocean ecosystems, mitigate climate change, and create blue-green jobs for fishermen — while providing healthy, local food for communities.
The Smithsonian Channel presents Dock to Dish
Explore the origins of the Dock to Dish model in this short video produced by The Smithsonian Channel
Over the past fifty years, the seafood industry has become interconnected at a global scale, with fish now being the number one most traded food commodity worldwide ($130bn,) followed by soybeans and wheat. The average travel distance for seafood consumed in the U.S. is a staggering 5,476 miles. Because seafood is so highly perishable, it is often shipped in airplanes. Air freight ranks as the number one leading carbon producing means of transport; for every one pound of fish that is shipped across the country by air, more than two pounds of carbon is produced and released into the atmosphere. Dock to Dish fish never travels by air, nor leaves a 150-mile radius from the port that it was landed in. Our average “food miles” are in the 75 mile range, and our “fingerprint fish” policy ensures that 100% of all seafood distributed to our members can be traced back to the hands of a licensed commercial fisherman or specific vessel. Headquartered in Montauk, New York, we work hard to actively engage seafood producers and consumers through a membership-based, supply-driven marketplace model, where local commercial fishers are incentivized to only harvest seafood that is rated abundant and sustainable by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. By directly reconnecting our communities with the fishers who provide their seafood we are able to provide full accountability and transparency through an elimination of the industrialized ‘chain-of-custody’ for fish that historically existed between the dock and the dish. Our innovative model has proven to be a win-win-win for the environment, the consumers and the commercial fishers—with our future generations designated as the most prominent beneficiaries.
The Dock to Dish Difference
At Dock to Dish we are changing the nature of our seafood economy by pioneering fundamental, yet drastic, improvements to the outdated and perilous industrialized system of seafood sourcing and distribution that is currently in place throughout North and Central America. By demonstrating that a supply-driven membership model can flourish in numerous regional markets, we are creating a blueprint to be replicated internationally while revitalizing the commercial fishing ports of Montauk, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Quepos, Lake Nicaragua, Chesapeake Bay and Vancouver. By comparison: 5,476 miles = average distance that seafood consumed in the United States has traveled from fisherman to plate*. 71.2 miles = average distance that seafood consumed by Dock to Dish members has traveled from dock to dish. * National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA, 2016): Because “the U.S. imports up to 90 percent of its seafood, about half of which is aquaculture,” our current industrialized system is undisputedly contributing to global warming and climate change. At Dock to Dish, we designed our system to have a dramatically minimized carbon footprint and a reduction of ‘food miles’ that is measured by orders of magnitude. Our new system of local seafood sourcing and distribution was also built upon a broad spectrum of environmental best management practices for fisheries sustainability, and we are concurrently focused on increasing public access to the safest, freshest North and Central American seafood available while advocating for good health through holistic nutrition. We believe that our work is critical to realigning our nation’s food system, improving community health and elevating compensation and recognition for commercial fishing families — while ensuring the long term sustainability of our oceans and protecting working waterfronts. Because of our comprehensive ecosystem-based management approach, we are proud to have been named a Featured Supplier of sustainable seafood by FishChoice. This internationally recognized organization uses up-to-date sustainability ratings and certification information on wild fisheries that utilize environmentally responsible fishing methods. To ensure rating accuracy of their featured suppliers, FishChoice targets and analyzes the entire U.S. and Canadian seafood supply chain, and has partnered with only the most respected organizations that have science-based, credible sustainable seafood programs, including:
- Seafood Watch
- Ocean Wise
- Blue Ocean Institute
- NOAA Fisheries’ FishWatch
- Aquaculture Stewardship Council
- Marine Stewardship Council
- Food Alliance Certification
We believe that sustainable seafood is a simple concept: collaboratively managing our resources so that there will be equal or greater availability for future generations. But genuine sustainability is often an elusive goal, and truly achieving it can be like hitting a moving target from a moving target. Sustainability exists on a sliding scale spread across multiple criteria: food miles, mode of transport, carbon emissions, fishing methods, the size/location/species of fish, packaging materials. There is no shortage of ways to measure sustainability. We recognize that the challenge is to identify where we can play the most effective and balanced role through supporting our fishing partners, sharing their harvest with our members and educating ourselves and the community on ways to best preserve our ecosystems. We are constantly striving to improve and expand the Dock to Dish model of sustainability so that we can assure our members, our producers and the community that we are genuinely producing the least environmental impact possible—while providing superior seafood for our friends and neighbors. We always appreciate your thoughts and ideas, please email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org