Coast 236 honored by James Beard Foundation as Smart Catch Leader

Yellowfin Tuna Crudo with citrus, shallot, fried caper, extra virgin olive oil and micro cilantro. Courtesy Coast 236

A Saugatuck restaurant has been recognized for its commitment to sustainable seafood sourcing.

Saugatuck’s Coast 236 said Thursday, Dec. 2, it was recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a Smart Catch Leader.

Smart Catch is an educational program created “by chefs, for chefs” with the purpose of increasing the sustainability of the seafood offered on menus. It provides chefs with training and support so they can serve seafood produced in sustainable ways. A Smart Catch Leader designation signals a restaurant is working to protect the world’s oceans.

“Since the beginning of my culinary career, I’ve been passionate about responsible food sourcing and creating sustainable cuisine,” said Rick Bower, Coast 236 executive chef. “The sustainable fish purchasing program at Coast 236 provides our guests with an enhanced dining experience and contributes to the Saugatuck community in a responsible way. We are honored that the James Beard Foundation has recognized us as a Smart Catch Leader as a result of these efforts to promote sustainability through our menu and philosophy.”

To be recognized as a Smart Catch Leader, a restaurant’s menu must meet or exceed 80% sustainability and include no more than two Red List items that total 8% volume or less. Red items are seafood that is overfished or caught or farmed in ways that harm other marine life.

With more than 90% of the world’s fisheries fully fished or overfished, preserving marine life to ensure stable fishing stocks and promoting sustainably farmed options is more important than ever, the Beard Foundation said.

More information about the Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch program is online, and more about the restaurant is at

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