SFP has a lot planned for 2019, but above all we expect to be focusing even more on our ongoing Target 75 initiative, all with an eye on meeting our 75 percent goal by the end of 2020.

We were particularly interested in some news emerging this month about squid. Less than two years ago, the squid sector had a grand total of zero percent volume that met the T75 criteria for being sustainable or improving. This month, we can say with confidence that that number has risen to 18 percent.

We see this as a vast improvement, considering we were literally starting from zero, but that’s not the only impressive thing to note here. That improvement began at about the same time that SFP decided to merge two separate supply chain roundtables (SRs) into one larger entity, the Global Squid SR. SFP announced the merge at Seafood Expo North America in March 2017. The move combined SRs that covered squid fisheries in Southeast Asia and South America, making it easier for stakeholders worldwide to work together. It led to a large number of major seafood industry stakeholders working together at a global level for the first time, and set the stage for the improvements we’re seeing today.

Now, we can’t credit the SR alone for this, of course. There are a number of other players responsible, such as the China Blue Sustainability Institute, which facilitated an important squid fishery improvement project (FIP) that we announced last year. Another major player has been Ocean Outcomes, the NGO that announced the starting of another FIP late last year, this time focusing on East China Sea and Yellow Sea squid. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention the efforts of the Committee for the Sustainable Management of the Southern Pacific Jumbo Flying Squid (CALAMASUR) and its work with the recently launched Peruvian Jumbo Flying Squid FIP, where a great deal of the improvements have been recorded.

Efforts like these are one of the reasons that we can report this positive development now, but we firmly believe that the SR model is a vital one to ensure that this progress continues. I wrote about this last month, noting that Ocean Outcomes itself called out SFP’s Global Squid SR as a contributor to the FIP’s creation.

Sam Grimley, who is leading the Global Squid SR for SFP, told me that there are a number of fishery improvement projects (FIPs) in the works right now that could add another 19 percent to the global volume classified as sustainable or improving. In short, we can expect the SR to contribute to more good news in the months to come.

“Beginning at the point where we first formed the combined SR, we’ve done a lot in a pretty short time,” he said. “Based on that, it’s pretty safe to say we’ll be making more announcements about progress with squid down the road.”

SFP as a whole will have more to say about squid, too. Later this month, we’ll be releasing an updated version of our 2018 T75 Sector Report, with new figures that will reflect some of the progress that has taken place over the past year, and we plan to do the same around this time next year. We look forward to being able to track even more good news about the sector as we work toward achieving our Target 75 goals!