Howard Johnson – 2010 Seafood Champion
Howard Johnson has 40 years of experience and expertise across all sectors of the global seafood market. His work during the last decade has focused on forging a productive dialogue on sustainability between seafood industry and the conservation community. In publications, speaking engagements and conferences, Johnson has continuously highlighted the need for all industry sectors to adopt sustainable seafood programs and policies.
He currently serves as director of Global Programs for the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and travels worldwide to engage the seafood supply chain in fishery and aquaculture improvement projects.
Seafood Choices: What is your favorite seafood?
Howard Johnson: Wild king salmon.
How did you get interested in the issue of sustainable seafood?
After being involved in the seafood industry for over 30 years I began to pay more attention to conservation and decided the industry needed to become involved.
How would you describe your philosophy on ocean conservation?
I want to continue to enjoy wild seafood and I want my grandchildren to have that same experience. The only way that can happen is if we collectively adopt practices that do not negatively impact our ocean ecosystems.
What does being selected as a Seafood Champion mean to you?
I am greatly honored to be a Seafood Champion. It is with a great deal of satisfaction that I see so many major seafood companies now recognizing the importance of sustainability within their supply chain. Credit for this heightened awareness in seafood sustainability within industry goes to many people and organizations including Seafood Choices and my group the Sustainable Seafood Partnership. The recognition of my contribution in this effort is most gratifying.
Please tell us about your work with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. What sectors do you focus on?
I am Director of Global Programs, which means I travel a lot and work on projects that involve bringing the international seafood supply chain into fishery and aquaculture improvement.
What changes have you seen as a result of your efforts?
The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership has a great team and it is through the collective efforts of our team that we have launched over 30 fishery and aquaculture improvement projects around the world. Improvement takes time, particularly in some very difficult fisheries, but progress is being made.
What trends have you noticed in seafood in the past 10 years?
Since I have come from the seafood industry I think the most noticeable trend has been the increased involvement of the industry in trying to find solutions to sustainability issues in concert with conservation organizations.
What do you see in store for the future of fisheries?
I am optimistic that we can restore at least some of our fisheries to levels that will increase supply likely not to historic levels but increases nonetheless.