Meet Sean Wittenberg, founder of the seafood company Safe Catch. He started the business with a mission to source safe and sustainable tuna and other fish after his mother was diagnosed with mercury poisoning when she adopted a diet that included frequent servings of canned tuna. Sausalito, Calif.-based Safe Catch offers a wide variety of fish products in cans and pouch packaging, and the fish is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, the provider of the familiar and often controversial MSC “blue check” label. The company tests every tuna it sells for mercury, enforcing standards its claims are 10 times stricter than the Food & Drug Administration’s standard. It also offers sourcing and sustainability information about its practices for each species of fish it sells.
We discuss how Safe Catch assesses its suppliers in an era when 10% of the world’s fish stock is described by the Minderoo Foundation as on the brink of collapse, with almost half of fish stocks over-fished. The company relies primarily on purse seine net fishing, a form of fishing that involves large nets.
Sean explores the relationship between the continued burning of coal to generate electricity to the 300% increase of mercury levels in the oceans. We also discuss plastic pollution and the recyclability of Safe Catch’s can and pouch packaging, the latter which it collects through a mail-in recycling program supported by TerraCycle. You can learn more about Safe Catch at safecatch.com.