US-based Acme Smoked Fish Foundation has announced the first recipients of the Seafood Industry Climate Awards (SICA).

Each recipient will receive a $40,000 (€40,000) grant to support innovation focused on lowering the carbon footprint within the seafood industry and/or increasing the leadership role of underrepresented groups in the industry.

The first three award recipients are the Mi'kmaq Nation, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA), and Luke’s Seafood.

Mi'kmaq Farms and Fish Hatchery, run by the tribal Mi’kmaq Nation in Maine, currently raises 12,000 pounds of trout each year, utilizing Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) technology. With this funding, the hatchery will now be able to couple renewable solar power with the existing RAS system.

In Alaska, ALFA is launching a pilot to convert the Alaska fishing fleet to hybrid diesel and electric as the next step toward decarbonization. The initial pilot will work with two vessels in the fall and winter of 2022-2023 to convert to hybrid diesel and electric, track data and engage the community.

Luke’s Seafood’s All Boats Initiative is a lobstering program that supports black, indigenous and people of color students.

The SICA award will help fund the cost of instructors who can join the team on the water as they teach students the ins and outs of piloting a boat, baiting and setting traps, hauling traps, selling lobster, and more in a sustainable manner.

“We are inspired by our first-ever SICA Award Recipients and proud to support their vision and actions to address climate change and diversity in the US seafood industry,” said Acme Culture and Sustainability Officer Rob Snyder said. “We look forward to seeing this critical work through and providing resources along the way.”

Acme Smoked Fish established the foundation in the fall of 2022 with an initial contribution of $250,000 (€250,000) in memoriam to the late Eric Caslow, co-chairman of the company.