ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today at the Clinton Global Initiative's (CGI) Seventh Annual Meeting, Darden Restaurants formally announced the company's three-year commitment to rebuilding troubled fisheries through Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs). Initial FIP work will be in and around the Gulf of Mexico with partners Publix Super Markets and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP). (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20050203/FLTH026LOGO) Darden's recognition stems from CGI's Commitments to Action, where members are encouraged to propose concrete plans to address global challenges as a means of translating practical goals into meaningful results. According to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), nearly a third of global fish stocks are over-exploited, depleted, or recovering while 50 percent of stocks are fully exploited. Darden's submission, "Catalyzing Industry to Rebuild World Fisheries," was selected as an exemplary approach to addressing challenges in the environment and energy cluster, and includes commitments to combat illegal fishing, enhance productivity and reduce negative ecological impact. "As one of the largest buyers of seafood in the world, Darden is an industry leader in supporting healthy ecosystems for future generations. Through this commitment, Darden is taking action to create change within the seafood supply chain by building alliances with governments, conservation advocates, and communities to develop and implement fishery improvement. We hope others will look at what Darden has achieved and committed to, and as a result, take action," said Jim Cannon, CEO, SFP. As part of its Commitment to Action, Darden will lead the creation of an alliance of companies, nongovernmental organizations and other groups, including SFP and Publix Super Markets, to support targeted fishery improvement projects. Darden and its partners' commitments address the fishery crisis and its potential to undermine global food supply.