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Holland America Line has become the first global cruise line to receive both Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certifications. The two organizations serve as the most credible standards worldwide for certified seafood.

“We took our Global Fresh Fish Program to another level, and created a whole new category in the world of sustainable seafood,” Holland America President Gus Antorcha noted during the certification announcement aboard the Nieuw Statendam at Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades on Sunday, April 7th.

“Iron” Chef Masaharu Morimoto joined Holland America Line as its Fresh Fish Ambassador in September 2023.

The cruise line’s pioneering Global Fresh Fish Program launched early last fall, when HAL engaged a global network of 60 ports to source and serve 80 types of fresh fish—from port to plate in less than 48 hours—in all restaurants on board. A major part of the inititiative was bringing aboard Iron Chef star Masaharu Morimoto as HAL’s Fish Ambassador, whose curated dishes were served fleetwide in the main dining room and as a fresh fish pop-up restaurant, Morimoto by Sea.

The Global Fresh Fish Program was joined by another important milestone the cruise line reached in 2023, Antorcha told the audience.

“We also were the only cruise line to achieve similar status in Alaska with the Responsible Fisheries Management certification in recognition of our commitment to serving fresh, certified sustainable and traceable wild Alaska seafood,” he said. “Now we can say the same throughout the world.”

Marine Stewardship Council | Aquaculture Stewardship Council

Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification.

Marine Stewardship Council’s focus is on sustainable wild-caught seafood, while Aquaculture Stewardship Council works with responsibly farmed seafood, with both organizations seeking to minimize environmental impacts.

Also attending and speaking at Sunday’s event was Erika Feller, Americas Director, Marine Stewardship Council, who commented on the importance of Holland America’s achieving the marine stewardship council and aquaculture stewardship Chain of Custody certification.

Marine Stewardship Council certification.

“Seafood is the largest globally traded food commodity. It’s bigger than coffee, corn or soy,” Feller said. “With a growing global poulation and seafood consumption steadily increasing, it’s critical that seafood is produced in a way that sustains fish populations and keeps marine ecosystems healthy. With the size and scale of a company like Holland America making this commitment, this has a real impact,” she added, “and it reinforces the work being done every day by fishermen and farmers on the water to make their operations sustainable.”

Onboard Dining and Guest Experience

A sushi appetizer and red snapper (below) were served at HAL’s certification event.

All 11 ships in the fleet are Chain of Custody certified to serve Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council certified and labeled seafood, with the full rollout starting across five Holland America Line ships in May 2024 at the beginning of Europe and Canada/New England season.

They include Volendam in the Canada/New England region, and Rotterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Zuiderdam and Oosterdam in Europe. Holland America Line’s six ships in Alaska serve 100% sustainable seafood under its Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) certification.

Guests will be able to enjoy a variety of Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council certified seafood dishes in Holland America Line’s Main Dining Room, as well as in Lido Market and onboard specialty restaurants. Certified seafood from nine regions worldwide will be incorporated into Holland America Line seafood offerings: Asia, Australia, Canada/New England, Mexico, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and Hawaii.

Onboard menus cite certifications.

Onboard menus will indicate the type of certification with a symbol marked next to the dish using the Marine Stewardship Council blue fish, Aquaculture Stewardship Council sea green, and Responsible Fisheries Management logos. While not all seafood species aboard Holland America Line are currently certified, the cruise line is working toward 100% accreditation of species that are eligible to meet the organizations’ standards.

Examples of seafood that will fall under the Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification umbrella on Holland America Line cruises include: Asian Barramundi, Tasmania Atlantic Salmon, Canadian and New England Haddock, Hawaiian Swordfish, Mediterranean Sardine, Mexican Tuna, Northern European Dover Sole, and South American Chilean Seabass, to name a few.

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