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"Adding our voice brings in ancestral stewardship knowledge unique to the area; we are the local experts. Integrating and engaging the traditional knowledge of Indigenous people in partnership with scientists is the necessary path forward in conservation. We consider the preservation of tribal spiritual, natural, and cultural resources to be our heritage and responsibility."

– Violet Sage Walker, chairperson of the Northern Chumash Tribal Council on the development of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, in a column for Oceanagraphic Magazine. (See news item below for more background).

 Seafood sustainability during an EcoGastronomy course at UNH.  Photo: Professor Dan Winans
 
Tales

 We are in the thick of the busy season with multiple classroom visits (booking into next year), fleshing out strategic projects for 2023-2024 and building multiple campaigns around local, sustainable seafood systems. I am inspired by teachers activating students' imagination and curiosity with novel approaches to curricula. For example, I discussed the intersection of climate, policy, and seafood systems last month with undergraduates taking a course on EcoGastronomy. The day before, I spoke with high school students learning about (and conducting ) DNA analysis through the lens of seafood fraud. Later in the month, I spoke with marine biology students specifically focused on climate impacts on iconic Gulf of Maine species like cod, lobster, oysters, and Atlantic salmon. That teachers with such diverse curricula want to integrate One Fish Foundation content in their classrooms validates our mission. (See news notes below). Separately, we are collaborating with Don't Cage Our Oceans on a variety of fronts to uplift aquaculture with values and highlight the perils of industrial finfish aquaculture. We'll be participating in a webinar about the issue on Nov. 15 (link to register is below). Speaking of that, NOAA's recently released strategy for expanding domestic aquaculture offers few safeguards to minimize the industrial scale threats that Don't Cage Our Oceans highlights. In other news, a new Congressional report claims Pebble Mine executives tried to dupe Congress by testifying they had no plans to expand the mine once operational while they told investors otherwise; US Coast Guard faces challenges enforcing fishing regulations on high seas; and narwhals are adapting to climate change, giving scientists hope that other species will do the same to avoid extinction. Also, meet the ghostly Deepsea Skate, and check out a simple, but flavorful Crispy Salt and Pepper Scallop recipe. Enjoy!
One Fish Foundation News
November 2022
Classroom inspiration...
Genomics, seafood fraud, and a deeper understanding of values
How cool is it that high school students are diving into DNA research by testing seafood samples from area restaurants and stores? Even better that I had the opportunity to talk to them about how to apply that research toward a broader understanding of how seafood fraud affects supply chains, fishermen, fishmongers, restaurants, and their customers. This has become a growing trend where the practical application of PCR testing (yes, the same testing used for Covid) to determine genomic differentiation of various fish species interweaves with a closer look at market dynamics and what might motivate some folks to substitute one lower values species, like farmed salmon, for a higher value species like wild Pacific King salmon. I have taught four such classes on both coasts, and I'm glad to see more classes engaging in the conversation. I was inspired by the thought-provoking questions and dialogue I had with the Honors Biology class at Woodberry Forest School, in VA., last month. I look forward to hearing the results of the students' investigations.
EcoGastronomy and sustainable seafood
I often get a quizzical look when I tell folks that I was a guest speaker at an EcoGastronomy course at the University of New Hampshire. That look changes to an "Aha!" smile when I tell them it is a course that emphasizes the interdisciplinary, international, and experiential knowledge that connects sustainable agriculture, hospitality management, and nutrition, essentially getting students to think holistically about food systems. This was the second time I spoke to Professor Dan Winans' class in the past three years, and again, students readily dove into the complex policy and socio-economic factors that shape local, regional, domestic, and international seafood systems. I am heartened that such innovative, immersive content is available, and honored to have the chance to speak with these students.
 
Aquaculture with values webinar today (Nov. 15)
One Fish Foundation is working with Don't Cage Our Oceans, a nonprofit shining the spotlight on the hazards of industrial aquaculture, particularly offshore net pen finfish (read salmon, alamaco jack, and other species) farming. I will participate in a roundtable discussion today about the aquaculture seascape on the East Coast, the pitfalls that industrial finfish farming presents, and what aquaculture with values looks like. This will be a chance to meet some of the folks working to advance the message, and ways to engage in the conversation. To register, follow this link. We hope to see you there!
 
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Calls for Action
Here are concrete action items and opportunities to make your voice heard
or learn more about crucial issues.
Support Florida fishing family and community impacted by Hurricane Ian. 
  • Casey Streeter, fisherman and business owner from Pine Island, Florida is raising funds to revitalize his communities fishing industry which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ian. Give to his GoFundMe here. 
Send relief to Western Alaskan communities devastated by Typhoon Merbok;.
  • The Alaska Community Foundation created a fund to directly support communities in western Alaska recover from the impact of Typhoon Merbok. Help spread the word or donate to support their ongoing efforts to rebuilding housing and infrastructure, restore food systems, and more. 
Sign on letter calling for a stop to Canadian mining near salmon rivers
  • Salmon Beyond Borders' sign on letter to the Biden Administration calling for outreach to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau to ban toxic mining near critical, cross-boundary salmon watersheds such as the Taku, Stikine and Unuk rivers.
Send a letter to President Biden to protect Alaska's Yukon Kuskowkim River Delta
  • The proposed Donlin Gold mine in Alaska's Yukon Kuskowkim River Delta would allow for the dredge and fill of water bodies in the headwaters of the Kuskokwim River, in some cases permanently eliminating salmon streams. Sign the letter, or write your own, urging President Biden to revoke the mine's permit and provide a fair, balanced and rigorous process that is led by the people of the region. 
 Help #BlockCorporateSalmon
Sustainable Seafood News
Here's what you need to be hearing about, thinking about, and why.
Cooke's 2017 net pen failure released more than 260,000 farmed Atlantic Salmon in Puget Sound. Photo: David Bergvall/Washington State Department of Natural Resources)
Washington state effectively ends net pens
The state Department of Natural Resources recently sent a letter to Cooke Aquaculture saying it would not renew leases on Cooke's two steelhead (trout) operations in Puget Sound. “Today, we are returning our waters to wild fish and natural habitat. Today, we are freeing Puget Sound of enclosed cages,” Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said in a statement. Trouble started for Cooke in 2017 after a major net pen collapsed, releasing at least 260,000 farmed Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound. Scientists, commercial fishermen, and Indigenous communities feared the escapees would out-compete native wild chinook and other species. An investigation revealed several failures by Cooke to adequately de-foul (remove excess biomass like moss, mussels, etc) and secure the nets. The state banned salmon farming in state waters thereafter, so Cooke switched to steelhead. The state's recent ruling shuts the door on all net pen farming in state waters. This is a good outcome for native species, the overall marine ecology in state waters, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous coastal communities.
 
Pebble Mine execs tried to dupe Congress according to new report
A new Congressional report claims that Pebble Mine executives attempted to "trick regulators by pretending to pursue a smaller project with the intention of expanding” after the project was approved. The report from a U.S. House panel led by Democratic Reps. Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Grace Napolitano of California claims that in 2019 former Pebble CEO Tom Collier told a House Subcommittee that there were "no current plans" for expansion at the same time the Pebble Limited Partnership was pitching an expanded project to potential investors. One year later, Collier resigned after being caught on tape bragging about having federal and state elected officials in Pebble's pockets. The EPA is scheduled to issue a final ruling on whether to use Clean Water Act restrictions to effectively shut down the proposed mine. As if they or anyone else outside of Pebble don't already have enough evidence that the mine and its backers are wrong for Bristol Bay and wrong for Alaska.
 
NOAA calls for national aquaculture expansion
NOAA recently released its first official strategy for expanding aquaculture in the U.S. As expected, it offers few guard rails to ensure that industrial aquaculture will not wreak ecological, economic, and sociological havoc on coastal communities and beyond. We at One Fish Foundation have been collaborating with Don't Cage Our Oceans, a grassroots organization aimed at uplifting aquaculture with values while offering sensible legislative thinking to minimize the impacts of rampant industrial scale finfish aquaculture. Join me and other seafood industry stakeholders on an informative webinar on Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. EDT to learn more about the issue of industrial aquaculture, current legislation like the Advancing American Aquaculture Act (AQUAA), and hear about Don't Cage Our Ocean's mission. Here's the link to register.
 
US Coast Guard cutter squared off with Chinese fishing boats last summer
In a demonstration of how complex and sometimes risky policing fisheries on the high sighs can be, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter following up on concerns about illegal fishing faced several hundred Chinese fishing vessels chasing squid off the Galapagos Islands this summer. Several boats fled and one narrowly missed the cutter in its escape. This is another example of what happens when fishing fleets travel around the globe to fish when they have all but vacuumed up most or all of the seafood in their local waters. And it imposes undue stress and enforcement challenges to sovereign nations that don't have the funding to patrol the waters in their exclusive economic zones (from 3 to 200 miles off shore).
Photo: Reuters
In warming waters, narwhals adapt their migration
Due to their long life spans (up to 100 years!), narwhals seem to be able to adapt to a warming climate, according to a recent study. The unicorns of the sea are migratory, typically spending summer months on ice-free coastal waters, before moving to deeper northern waters in November. Researchers in Canada studied decades of satellite data to track their migratory patterns, and matched changes in their habits with changing water temperatures and ice formation. They found that narwhals have delayed their migration up to 10 days per decade to suit their biological needs (feeding, reproduction, etc.). This sparks hope that some species might be able to adapt to our changing climates before meeting extinction. 
 
Indigenous group may co-manage California marine sanctuary 
In 2015, the Northern Chumash Tribal Council nominated waters off the California coast to be designated as a federal marine sanctuary. The Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary should be in effect by 2023 after a four-year scoping process taking in public comments across different demographics and coastal California communities. This designation would make a stretch of central and northern California waters the first National Marine Sanctuary to be co-managed by Indigenous people. Marine Sanctuaries are hot button topics in fishing communities as they often mean increased federal restrictions on fishing, and in the eyes of some commercial fishermen, layers of added bureaucracy without tangible ecological benefits. One of the most oft-cited concerns is that these sanctuaries are often driven by big, well funded organizations in cooperation with NOAA, without allowing meaningful fishing community representation or input during the scoping process. That the Chumash community has been invited to co-manage the sanctuary is a sign that critical stakeholders will have some control over how the sanctuary is managed. While the tribe does not have experience navigating industrial pollution, a common problem for these 19,000 square miles of ocean, they do have over a millennia of experience taking care of the waters. 
Fascinating Fish of the Month
Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium
Deepsea Skates (Bathyraja spinosissima and Bathyraja trachura)

Habitat: North Pacific.
Size: 25cm (at birth), to 1.5 meters. 
Good at: Being a contender on Survivor. 
Bad At: Suntanning. 


A close relative to sharks, skates are found throughout the world's oceans, but a few species known as deep-sea skates can tell us a great deal about what it takes to live in extreme conditions. Bathyraja trachura, for instance, have a higher tolerance for living in low-oxygen environments than almost any other fish. And the species Bathyraja spinosissima have been observed using an innovative method of incubating their eggs by putting them in underwater hydrothermal vents. Living one to two thousand meters underwater means that they grow much slower than their relatives up closer to the sun, and a typical skate egg can take four years to incubate. This method of warming them up seems to be speeding up this incubation time, and resulting in "smiling raviolis" being born much quicker. 
Sustainable Seafood Recipes
Crispy Salt and Pepper Scallops
from chef Joshua Riazi, via Eating with the Ecosystem

Ingredients
  • 1 lb of Scallops
  • 1 cup of flour
  • A neutral oil such as sunflower oil, canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • Scallions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • Fresh cilantro chopped
  • Jalapeño sliced
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Sugar 
Directions
1. Heat oil in pan.
2. Flour scallops in bowl then and pan fry.
3. Remove scallops from oil and place on plate with paper towels to remove excess oil, then drain the pan.
5. Add scallops back to pan and toss with sautéed scallion and garlic, fresh cilantro and jalapeño.
6. Then dust liberally with a mix of equal parts salt, pepper, and sugar.
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Thanks for joining us as we continue the discussion about why we all need to know where, when, how and by whom our seafood was harvested. We hope to build a community of knowledgeable consumers who individually and collectively are making a difference with each seafood choice they make, and conversation they have.

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