Edible Innovations: Raising Awareness About Ethical Seafood with Fishpeople

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Edible Innovations: Raising Awareness About Ethical Seafood with Fishpeople

From Singapore to the USA and all around Europe, Edible Innovations profiles food makers that engage in improving the global food system at every stage, from production to distribution to eating and shopping. Join us as we explore the main trends in the industry from a maker perspective. Chiara Cecchini of Food Innovation Program — an ecosystem with a strong educational core that promotes food innovation as a key tool to tackle the great challenges of the future — introduces you to the faces, stories, and experiences of food makers around the globe. Check back on Tuesdays and Thursdays for new installments.

Loaded with lean proteins and stocked with omega-3 fatty acids for both your brain and body, fish and seafood act as an excellent source of beneficial nutrients. However, parts of the seafood industry is shrouded in mystery and unethical practices. It is not always mandatory to disclaim where or how seafood is caught, and this can make consumers think twice about purchasing it.

Within the last five years, documentaries about the disreputable capture of seafood have taken center stage and racked up quite a few awards. A desire for sustainably sourced seafood is now almost as popular among the average consumer, as it is around foodies.

However, healthy protein can be difficult to cook and season, as it is not usually a part of our weekly menu. Without practice, cooking seafood just the right way, and then flavoring it so that it is both tasty and healthy can be a challenge. Ken Plasse (@kplasse), CEO of Fishpeople (@fishpeoples), strives to bring further awareness to both ethical fishing practices and cooking and handling seafood. Fishpeople wants to make all your fish meals both delicious and responsible.

Ken joined up with Fishpeople in 2015, with over fifteen years of executive experience focused on new and leading consumer products. He wanted to create a brand that the customer could both trust and love. Not only would Fishpeople be a household name for sustainably caught seafood, but it would be a worry free way to create dinners.

Ken Plasse

Easy step by step recipe would allow customers to create meals for their families, while also investing in the sustainable practice responsible for catching their products. This way, consumers can connect with the protein on their plate. The belief is that when you truly understand how your dollars can influence a more ethical market, then you will be more inclined to support sustainable community-oriented companies.

So, what exactly do you get from the Fishpeople company? Fishpeople offers customers a kit with two fish filets, both from fish caught in the wild within the United States. The kit also contains the garnish and a topper, as well as foil and even a moisture-lock tray. Customers also get a step by step recipe.

For picky eaters, Fishpeople has four flavors to choose from, all as easy to prep as the next. All the recipes are chef inspired, but easy enough to follow in your own home. Meal sizes and recipes can be adjusted so that you can have a delicious entrée, soup, or appetizer for your meals.

Fishpeople exist as the middle man between your plate and the sea. They purchase seafood from sources that do not rely on bulk fishing, and instead fish with integrity and respect, so that people can continue to eat fish for generations to come. All of the fish that Fishpeople buys and eventually sells are naturally free of any artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, and there are no antibiotics added.

Fishpeople source their fish from independent fishermen with high moral standards who give back to their local communities. For Plasse and the other folks over at Fishpeople, sustainable practices do not end with how we are treating our oceans. The process includes how we work together as communities, and how we treat our food. Their partnerships with local fisheries strengthen community ties and help create livable wages. Most people who work in the fishing industry are not paid regular wages, nor are they offered health insurance as part of their jobs. For Fishpeople, part of the change that needed to happen was with the way workers and fishermen were treated.


Plasse’s background in big brands helped develop one of Fishpeople’s key elements: total transparency. Simply by entering the code on your product on the Fishpeople website, you can find who caught your fish, when they caught it, and even see the name of the boat it is caught on.

Fishpeople plans on growing larger to ensure more seafood is caught sustainably, living wages and health insurance continue to improve within the industry, and both consumers and producers continue to find ways to engage with the sea. At the end of the day, Fishpeople is all about creating a better, and healthier relationship with the ocean and all those that live near it.

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Chiara is fascinated by food as a means to impact bodies, minds, and environment. She has studied international business in three different countries, and is an alumni of the Food Innovation Program and US Director at the Future Food Institute.

Based in California, she is also a Research Scholar at Food Science and Technology at UC Davis, working on building the first comprehensive Internet of Food to enable food care through food systems semantics. She is a selected member of Barilla Center Food Nutrition Foundation, a Research Affiliate at Institute For The Future, Board Member at Maker Faire and selected member of the Global Shapers, a young global network of innovators promoted by the World Economic Forum.

She is passionate about social entrepreneurship and impact investing, and aims to leave her mark on society.

View more articles by Chiara Cecchini


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