You’ve likely heard the phrase “good catch!” Perhaps a loved one exclaimed it when you caught your first fish; you might hear it from your manager when you spot an error in a project at work; or you may receive it as a nod of approval when introducing friends to your new significant other. But what does it mean when you see “Platinum Good Catch Partner” on a decal with the South Carolina Aquarium logo floating in the window of a local restaurant?
From the Dock to Your Dish
First, let’s answer the question of what “good catch” means in the world of sustainable seafood. You may be familiar with the “farm to table” concept — this idea encourages consumers to learn where their food comes from, who farmed or grew the food and how it was prepared. South Carolina Aquarium Good Catch follows this mindset — in the seafood sense — by encouraging communities to support local, sustainable seafood practices and the consumption of responsibly harvested seafood.
In choosing local seafood options, you can follow the “farm to table” mindset whether at a restaurant or at the grocery counter. Choosing local seafood supports fishermen and aquaculture farmers and boosts the local seafood economy. You’ll be eating some of the freshest seafood available while making a positive impact on the climate — and that’s a win all around!
Care for the Climate by Keeping it Local
What does Good Catch consider local when it comes to seafood? If it’s harvested from North Carolina through the east coast of Florida, it receives our local seal of approval! Shortening the distance between where your seafood is sourced from and when it’s on your plate can make an ocean of difference in its overall climate impact. Because of the fewer food miles traveled, there are less emissions from transport (compared to seafood imported via planes or ships).
What’s another benefit, you might ask? Seafood harvested from the southeast region is managed by multiple state and federal agencies that are charged with creating and implementing some of the strongest seafood regulations in the world. These regulations aim to ensure that each species harvested and sold is within the appropriate age or size range, in the correct quantity and within the directed season. By sticking to these guidelines, fishermen and aquaculture farmers are not just collecting the ocean’s bounty for us to enjoy, but they’re ensuring they’re leaving behind a healthy, balanced ecosystem for future generations.
Good Catch is more than just us; it’s a community of advocates committed to local seafood practices! Good Catch partners are local restaurants, purveyors, retailers and caterers that dedicate efforts to sourcing a percentage of their seafood inventory from local sources and/or reducing their single-use plastic use in their businesses. There are three Good Catch partner levels: silver, gold and platinum. Remember the window decal we mentioned earlier? If you spot one, you know that business is a Good Catch partner!
No matter the level, visiting a Good Catch partner puts the power in your hands. By speaking with knowledgeable staff and asking what’s local, you’re making the right choices for yourself and the world. You may even learn something new or discover a favorite seafood along the way! After all, there are many obscure but tasty species out there in the big blue.
A Connected Community
Just as the tributaries weave in and out of the Lowcountry landscape, our innate connections to water and seafood are intertwined. A drive in nearly any direction leads to water — water carrying fishing boats seeking their daily catch, water teeming with oysters and clams ready for harvesting, water that supplies us with sustenance and supports our way of life. It’s in these waters that generations of families have made a living and countless species call home.
Support water’s wellbeing for generations to come by choosing a “good catch” for your seafood meals.
Published March 8, 2023