We have an opportunity to make choices that can extend the life cycles of products and support sustainably sourced products to achieve a circular economy.
While oceans are home to at least a million plant and animal species, it is estimated that approximately 90 percent of the world’s fisheries have been pushed to or beyond their limits. The use of unsustainable fishing methods and overfishing of our current resources have primarily contributed to the decline of global fisheries. Pollution, poorly planned development, and the effects of climate change have also contributed to the degradation of the underwater environment.
That’s why in 2016 we embarked on a path towards sourcing more sustainable seafood.
The goal is ambitious and a first for our industry, but it will ultimately allow our guests to join us in supporting making responsible seafood dining choices. To make that choice more accessible for our guests, our aim is to source 90% of wild-caught seafood from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified fisheries, and 75% of farmed seafood from Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)-certified farms in North America and Europe. Additionally, we will achieve MSC and ASC chain of custody certification for our global fleet, affirming that both wild-caught and farmed seafood all the way back to a sustainable fishery or responsible farm are traceable.
Our challenge will be the ability to source enough certified MSC or ASC product in specific regions. As a global company, we need to source product and find distribution channels within every region, and a concern will be sourcing in places that are behind, in terms of sustainability.
It’s not an easy road, but RCL wants to do the right thing for our customers and support organizations working to conserve the long-term viability of global fish stocks.
We are developing and implementing improved sustainable and humane sourcing practices for key food commodities onboard our ships. We are well underway with our 2020 sustainable seafood goal and working towards sourcing cage-free eggs and pork from gestation crate-free producers by 2022. We have also recently committed to sourcing 100 percent of whole broiler chicken from GAP-certified sources by 2024 in North America and requiring these chickens be processed in a manner that utilizes a pre-shackle, multi-step controlled atmosphere processing style.
In 2016, we analyzed key food commodity categories to identify and prioritize commodities with the highest environmental impact. Then in 2017, we selected three products - coffee, tea, and sugar - to develop strategies to improve sustainable sourcing practices of each commodity by 2020.