The high-end restaurants’ seafood and its impact on the local environment

The high-end restaurants in Taipei are seeking for the highest quality of seafood from the local seafood markets. The crucial character of local seafood in the north coast of Taiwan is that vendors sale living fishes. The crucial reason is that there are many Buddhists buy the living fish so that they can return them into the ocean. However, living fishes are also a good product for these high-end restaurants because the character represents “high quality” and “local catching.”

“How to define the “local catching” seafood?”, “Does the work follow the inspiration of sustainability?” I’ve asked myself many times when I was working with the fishermen. I know I hold the high-end restaurants which seems like the stakeholder and can pay the highest prices in the seafood market.

Why not use the money from restaurants and help them to have the first found from the consumers? Then, they would have capitals to switch their skills.

Unfortunately, using a company to support a dream is very difficult. While my company connects to the relation between the restaurants and producer and the producers have enough income in the first month, they did not want to change their fishing skills and seek for a sustainable fishery. Instead, the high-end restaurants support the fishermen to catch fish by bottom trawling in the near-shore area (less than 3NM, 3NM-12NM, and the products were IUU).

Even though the restaurants’ general managers knew it is an illegal activity, but the cheapest prices in the market and the lack of power of prohibition lead the situation becomes worse. Uncomfortable cooperation is a cheat. It seems these Michelin Star restaurants just want to use the stars to sell products. It is the reason why: when we require them to carry the social responsibility and environmental responsibility in their selling, they have many reasons to circumvent the responsibilities on the local environment. The “local product using” is like a joke in the catering.

p.s. My company decided to stop providing services to these restaurants. Probably this decision will let my company has very long time cannot have a stable income. However, I hope the Micheline office can use top-down impact on these Michelin restaurants to follow the SDGs and take the social and environmental responsibility.

The sea urchin is transported in animal welfare. Each living sea urchin from my company has kelps in the box. The kelp in the box provides a comfortable environment (for food and for hiding) for sea urchin.

The Importance of Safeguards in Conservation Projects

US Capitol, Washington DC

As the summer goes on, I have been working and learning with the Environmental and Social Safeguards Team here at WWF. My team has been inclusive and supportive. I got to participate in different workshops and webinars in which the safeguards team trained WWF offices located in Latin America on safeguards policies. 

I think implementing environmental and social safeguards is an innovative approach and WWF is setting an example of how environmental organizations and NGOs need to constantly evolve and adapt to new circumstances and see communities as an integral part of conservation projects. WWF-US recently stated its commitment to safeguards, making it perfect timing for me to learn about this new and upcoming topic.

In addition to enjoying my internship I have had the chance to explore Washington DC. I am able to to visit a museum after work, go to an educational film, explore the city and meet new people. For example, I had the opportunity to meet US Congressmen and tour government buildings. Most museums and attractions are free and it is easy to bike or take public transportation from one place to the other.