John Sackton is the Founder and Publisher of Seafood.com News. He is also a globally recognized expert in seafood and fisheries markets.
He started in the seafood industry as a journalist nearly 40 years ago. He worked at the New England Seafood processors association, and as North American General Manager for Baader, the German fish processing equipment maker. In 1995 John founded SeafoodNews.com. He consults on seafood market trends and prices, and formed a partnership with Urner Barry, the largest US Seafood Price reporting company to publish SeafoodNews.
Since 2005 he has been the non-binding price formula arbitrator for the Alaskan Bering Sea Crab Fisheries, and also works with the West Coast Dungeness crab and shrimp harvesters. He works with the Canadian industry on cod, lobster, crab and shrimp.
He is one of the founders of the National Fisheries Institute’s annual Global Seafood Market Conference. He speaks and writes on seafood markets, global fisheries issues, and seafood sustainability. His Editorials and commentary are a major part of SeafoodNews, the most widely respected seafood industry news service in North America.
John has also written extensively about the role of the Marine Stewardship Council and other Fisheries NGOs in the industry, often focusing on the tension between the public charitable purpose of sustaining healthy fish stocks and the financial pressures on NGOs to tailor their approach to areas which excite donors and supporters. At times the two goals are in conflict.
John graduated from Harvard College, has a MA in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, and lives with his wife in Lexington, Massachusetts, near their three grown children and their families.
Marine Sanctuaries and Food Security
There is a significant effort at the International level to create marine protected areas as undisturbed habitat with no human activities. But the oceans are all already disturbed by human activity from plastics to acidification to temperature changes. Global warming means marine species change their spatial distribution, often at greater scale and rapidity than on land. For this reason, static marine reserves can fail to provide long-term benefits. Supporters of biodiversity and healthy fish stocks must use a science based decision mechanism if we are not to harm our own food security. In fisheries, we need to harness political support for marine reserves that also protect food security. Food security does not conflict with preserving biodiversity and healthy fish stocks. Fish is one of the most low-carbon sources of protein, and vital for human wellbeing. Biodiversity and climate goals that don’t recognize the special place of marine protein are incomplete.