PHUKET, THAILAND – 12 December 2017 – Marriott Thailand Bussiness Council in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) hosted the 1st Marriott International’s Sustainable Seafood Meeting to share good practices and discuss its commitment towards the use of sustainable seafood and community support @ JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa.
The welcome addressed by Oriol Montal, General Manager of JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa. Executive Chef, Dietmar Spitzer, presided over the meeting alongside Sean Panton, Co-Chairman and Director of CSR, Marriott Thailand Business Council and Kanokwan Homcha-aim, Field Coordinator South Marriott Project, IUCN.
13 of food & beverage leaders and chefs from Marriott Hotels & Resorts in Phuket shared the strategy for moving forward, taking along with today’s lessons to be put into action at each property. Executive Chef, Dietmar Splitzer together with Kanokwan Homcha-aim, Field Coordinator South Marriott Project, IUCN and Sean Panton, Co-Chairman and Director of CSR, Marriott Thailand Business Council presented sustainable seafood sourcing, which included sharing current sustainable seafood sourcing project results and principle knowledge of fishery supply chain, fishery ecolabel, standard and certification, rethinking the term “sustainable”, “responsible’ seafood and an example of responsible seafood providers in Thailand from both small scale fishing communities to big seafood export companies. The session opened for all food & beverage leaders from Marriott Hotels & Resorts in Phuket to shape the strategy how to move forward and take today’s lesson learned in order to start action at each property.
Food & beverage leaders and chefs from Marriott Hotels & Resorts in Phuket visited 2 artisan fishing communities that supply responsible seafood for the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa located 23 kilometers away from the hotel up north. Baan Nai Rai, Thai Muang Phang Nga delivers soft shell crab, sea bass and grouper to the hotel weekly. Baan Nai Rai is well-known as the low impact fishing community as the equipment used on the boat is just a fish-specific net and a torch. Their traditional and sustainable fishing techniques have been passed down through generations with community agreement that there will no ‘Formalin’ added for preservation. Juvenile fish will be kept in the floating cages until they reach to suitable sale size. All seafood here are caught and almost instantly sold as soon as the boats arrive at shore.
The ‘Black Crab’ community in Mai Khao, Phuket is also fishing responsibly. This community catches black crabs in the wild from their natural habitat, Klong Au Ta Pao mangrove forest (National Reserve Forest area 1,556.25 rai). This community uses low impact fishing gear such as a cylinder crab trap (40 cm diameter, 20-25 cm height, 1-2 inches mesh size) to ensure no other species are caught. Fishermen go through mangrove creeks by boats with no engine and catch only black crabs that are bigger than 150 grams. There are no preservatives added during the storage and transportation process. Black crabs are caught and delivered to the hotel within 24 hours.
Executive Chef, Dietmar Spitzer, said: “buying seafood directly from such local small-scale artisan fishermen helps chefs ensure the safety, quality and freshness of our produce while being environmental friendly and helping to improve the livelihood of local fishermen. Since the project started in 2013, Marriott purchased over 5.6 million Baht worth of sustainable seafood from local communities. It also shortened up the seafood supply chain”.