We’re a new non-profit dedicated to promoting and celebrating the sustainable groundfish fisheries of the West Coast of the USA (California, Oregon, Washington state). We hope to raise consumer awareness and appreciation of local sustainable seafood, improve the livelihoods of local fishing communities and preserve and revive West Coast fishing heritage and cuisine.
We were formed as an unusual collaboration between stakeholders that have traditionally not worked together: fishermen associations, fish processors, environmental NGOs, government agencies and academic institutions. Multi-stakeholder collaboration is important to us and is what makes us unique.
What is “Groundfish”?: groundfish is the official name for the fishery (a group of fish populations that are managed, regulated and fished together). It is an umbrella term that includes many species including: rockfish (widow rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, chilipepper rockfish, canary rockfish etc etc), sole (petrale sole, dover sole, rex sole, English sole), sablefish, ling cod, skates, starry flounders. All of these fish live on or near the bottom/ground of the ocean – hence the name groundfish. We will be focusing on rockfish and sole in particular (both of these species have distinct shapes and distinct fin shapes that may be useful as design elements). Our fish is super healthy, delicious, sustainably-caught, MSC-certified and caught by small-scale US fishermen.
A little historical context: West Coast groundfish was once a very popular fishery but through a combination of climate events and overfishing, the fishery had completely collapsed by the year 2000 and was declared a federal disaster. A lot of regulation and a new management system was set up, fishermen changed how they operated, and over time the fishery recovered and was MSC certified in 2014. In fact, it really bounced back – and today this fishery has abundant numbers of fish and is one of the best, if not THE best, ecological comeback story we know in the world of marine conservation.
The problem we tackle: However, this amazing come-back story isn’t complete yet. The harvesters, processors and fishing communities tied to this fishery have endured a lot of hardship on the road to ecological recovery. And sadly, while fish stocks have recovered, consumer demand for these species hasn’t. Two decades of absence from fish counters and restaurant menus has seen demand for West Coast rockfish and sole vanish. Many buyers, chefs and consumers have simply forgotten about these species and remain unaware of the fishery’s sustainability and social impact story. Which is where we come in…
In our communication (incl. our logo) we want to convey: feel-good optimism + sustainable abundance + local/a strong sense of place connected to the US West Coast.
We also want to stand out in the (old-fashioned) fishing industry as an organization that is breathing new life into it with more modern, innovative and consumer-centric communication and activity.
We will be using this logo in all of our corporate communication, be it our website and social media accounts, brochures and annual reports, trade show stands or food festival stands. This logo will thus be seen by a large variety of audiences - philanthropic funders, the seafood industry at large, foodservice professionals (chefs etc) and consumers (young professional foodies 25-35; older health-oriented couples 55+) in domestic US market.