Origin: Gulf of Mexico



Gulf Wild™

Created by environmentally conscious, working Gulf fisherman, Gulf Wild™ was created to restore confidence in Gulf of Mexico seafood. The innovative program brands Gulf products to help consumers, chefs and retail buyers identify responsibly managed, safety-inspected, wild-caught Gulf seafood that is trackable to its source.

The pilot program launched in March, one year after the BP disaster, working with restaurants in Alabama and Florida as well as with fishermen and fish markets in four of the five Gulf States. Fishermen who participate in the program individually tag each fish caught on their boat, with upwards of 1,000 fish being tagged on one trip. When consumers, retailers and chefs buy the fish, they can look up the uniquely numbered and trackable tags on to learn about the species, the fishermen who caught it and the 10-square-mile harvesting location in the Gulf. Gulf Wild™ is the first branded initiative to provide real-time tracking of Gulf of Mexico seafood.

One of the cornerstones of the Gulf Wild™ program are the Conservation Covenants that were developed by the fishermen to address sustainability issues. Working with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, they initiated a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) and commissioned an MSC benchmark study to measure the Gulf fishery by recognized sustainability standards. The Conservation Covenants highlight advances in management that are already helping to rebuild and maintain healthy fish populations. Gulf Wild™ fishermen also incorporate “above and beyond” leadership—including proactive efforts such as putting video cameras on vessels to eliminate discards, and partnerships with government and universities to improve data collection—in addressing environmental issues and long-term sustainability in the Gulf.

This month, the Gulf Wild™ program expanded its reach with 30 high production commercial fishing boats and 100 fisherman. Although the initial Gulf Wild™ offering includes Gulf Red Snapper and Gulf Red Grouper, more than a dozen species of Gulf Grouper and Tilefish in the Gulf of Mexico’s IFQ catch share program will eventually be added to the product line.