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"Many of today’s health problems are a result of poor diet and lack of exercise, both of which can be alleviated through the practice of a sustenance lifestyle. The woods and waters of Maine provided a means of survival for the Wabanaki tribes for a long time. ... Incorporating Indigenous perspectives into long-term planning can help ensure these gifts of creation are available for future generations to enjoy."

John Banks, Penobscot Nation Director of Natural Resources in a Q&A with Edible Maine.

 
Tales
One sign of spring in Maine is the return of the alewives, a type of herring that spawns in the millions throughout the state's many river systems. It is a sign of renewal and what can happen when we take care of (read: restore) pristine estuarine and marine habitats. Indigenous communities have depended on healthy river systems -- and the wildlife within those habitats -- for millennia. We explored the importance of preserving those connections and ensuring healthy habitats during a conversation with John Banks, director of Natural Resources for Penobscot Nation. Those connections to natural resources will come up throughout the month-long international Slow Fish 2021: The Water Cycles event happening now. In this newsletter, we also look at the frightening implications of GMO seafood such as salmon and what some are calling "Labster." A new study proves that net pen salmon spread disease to wild populations of salmon and other fish. New research also suggests links between the health of phytoplankton blooms and climate change. Finally, a new cool pen lets researchers know if a a seafood sample has been mislabeled. Click this link to meditate on the movements of alewives, belatedly celebrate World Oceans Day (June 8), then enjoy this month's newsletter!

 
One Fish Foundation News
June 2021

Finding harmony with Nature
If we take care of the natural resources we depend on, they'll take care of us. I didn't understand the real implications of this statement until I started listening to Indigenous folks from across North America whose ancestors have been doing this for centuries. In the past couple of years, I've learned so much about connections to natural resources and the importance of protecting those connections from a diverse set of Indigenous people like Melanie Brown, Yupik commercial and subsistence fisherwoman from Alaska (see her fish head soup recipe below!), and Buck Jones, Cayuse Salmon Marketing Specialist with Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. I was fortunate to speak with John Banks, director of the Penobscot Nation Department of Natural Resources for the latest Edible Maine column. In this Q&A, he speaks directly about the efforts to preserve these connections and cultural traditions that have bound his community to the land and the Penobscot River since time immemorial. There are lessons for us all. Here's the link.
 

Slow Fish 2021: The Water Cycles is live. Check it out!
There's plenty of great content available during "Slow Fish 2021: The Water Cycles" event.  For example, on June 11 at 9 a.m. EDT, Slow Fish North America Oversight Team Member Jacquelyn Ross will discuss how changing seas have affected some of the traditional foods from her childhood, and some of the simple things we can all do as stewards to help protect our oceans. Follow this link for more information about the topics, the people, and how to register.

 

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Opportunities for Action
Here are concrete action items and opportunities to make your voice heard or learn more about crucial issues.
Support permanent protections for Bristol Bay
Sustainable Seafood News
Here's what you need to be hearing about, thinking about, and why.
Photo: NOAA
Lobster! Fresh from...Wisconsin? 
As if the seafood scene couldn't get any weirder, we present petrie-dish lobster. A “cellular agriculture startup” based in Wisconsin plans to create lab-grown lobster; “Labster", if you will. While the product is still a few years away from hitting the shelves, Maine lobster industry leaders say they aren’t worried about the product replacing real lobster anytime soon. They do recognize however, that “market awareness and proper labeling will be imperative” to protect Maine’s lobster from the lab-grown alternatives. The startup company says their product “will be indistinguishable” from wild-caught lobster, which makes a stronger case for proper labeling. Plant-based and lab-grown alternatives are a growing market, touted by supporters as answers to CAFOs, overfishing, other environmental concerns, and the need to feed future populations. We don't yet know all of the collateral impacts of such products, but, we'll stick with the real thing and support local lobsterfolk, thanks.
 
Don't forget Frankenfish!
AquaBounty began its first harvest of GMO salmon, aka, Frankenfish, in late May. So far, only one company has announced plans to sell the fish (watch out, PA!). We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: GMO salmon is bad news. Block Corporate Salmon and Uprooted and Rising have done amazing work to spread the truth about Frankenfish and the far-reaching, long-lasting impacts it will have. We need to protect wild salmon and preserve Indigenous food sovereignty. Our friend Jon Russell at NAMA put it beautifully: “Genetically engineered salmon is a huge threat to any vision of a healthy food system.” To get involved and #BlockCorporateSalmon, check out the Opportunities for Action section above! 
 
Casco Bay. Photo by Rinck Content Studio on Unsplash
Phytoplankton, climate change and ocean health
Phytoplankton are the foundation of marine ecosystems and food webs. Not only are they an incredibly important source of nutrition for many marine animals, but they also play an integral role in maintaining healthy waters. Some researchers estimate they produce 50% of the oxygen in the air we breathe. In Casco Bay, the phytoplankton bloom begins in spring each year as the microorganisms consume nutrients and thrive with more sunlight. But the bloom only lasts as long as the available food nutrients, and slows down as zooplankton begin munching on the phytoplankton. This year's data suggests that the spring bloom got an early start. Scientists worry that “spring blooms may be sensitive to climate change,” which could have global impacts. For Casco Bay’s ecosystem, “a significant change to the timing of the phytoplankton bloom could have implications for every level” of the marine food web. For more on the science happening in Casco Bay, check out Friends of Casco Bay

 
MasSpec Pen was originally developed to diagnose tumors. Credit: Anna Krieger, Abby Gatmaitan and U.T. Austin
Fighting fraud with a pen stroke
We’ve had many conversations in our networks about the impacts of mislabeled seafood. Now, a high-tech pen originally intended to detect tumors in humans has the potential to help fight seafood fraud. University of Texas Graduate Student Abby Gatmaitan showed that the MacSpec Pen was able to correctly identify what species 5 samples of raw meat or fish came from in “less than 15 seconds.” The pen looks like an over-sized ballpoint pen, but Gatmaitan and her colleagues hope it may eventually be able to identify where a fish came from and it if was wild-caught or farm-raised, such as farmed Atlantic salmon swapped for wild sockeye. 
 
New Study: Farmed salmon spread disease to wild fish
Chinook Salmon in British Columbia are facing yet another hurdle in survival: disease transmitted from farmed Atlantic salmon. A study published in late May found that Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) is being transmitted from farmed fish to wild Chinook populations. Wild Chinook “are more likely to be infected with PRV the closer they are to salmon farms, which suggests farms transfer the virus to wild salmon.” The Department of Fish and Wildlife says more work is needed to show what these findings mean: “This proves transmission. It doesn’t prove disease.” We need more research to prove or disprove direct disease transmission. However, these findings provide yet another reason to transition away from open net pen aquaculture to protect wild fish. 
 
New Alaska Native Corporation to block key road for Pebble Mine
In yet another literal roadblock to the proposed Pebble Mine, Pedro Bay Corp., an Alaska Native Corporation, has set up a plan to essentially ensure Pebble's owners will not have the critical desired route to transport ore from the massive open pit mine. The Pedro Bay community voted to allow environmental group The Conservation Fund to lease 44,000 acres near Bristol Bay, including land where the proposed Pebble access road would be located. While this type of allyship may not normally occur, the Pebble project presents a massive environmental, cultural, and economic challenge for the Bristol Bay region, the state of Alaska, the 15,000 plus folks supported by the healthy salmon resource, and those of us throughout the US and beyond who eat Bristol Bay salmon. For those who have been fighting Pebble for years, these kinds of additional roadblocks are welcome.
 
Sustainable Seafood Recipes
Get ready to cook along with Melanie Brown! In this Slow Food Live, Melanie prepares her family's fish head soup recipe. Melanie reminds us of the importance of using the whole fish.
Melanie Brown's Fish Head Soup

Ingredients
1 Salmon head
1 Tail end of salmon
1/2 small onion - cut into rings or half rings
Celery - cut crosswise into crescents about1/4" wide
Sea Salt
Onion Powder
1 Bouillon cube or 1 tsp of bouillon paste
2 Tablespoons of soy sauce or tamari
1/4 Cup rice

Preparation
Watch this Slow Food Live cook-along video to see how Melanie prepares her family recipe. For more of the story, read Salmon Soup for the Soul: The Story of Melanie Brown. 

 
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We are a small non-profit with big impact. Every dollar goes toward classroom and community education, engagement, and participation as we change our eating habits and the domestic seafood supply chain, one conversation at a time. Your donation helps us grow the community of those who care about where their seafood comes from, the people who harvest it, and protecting the resource we all depend on. One Fish Foundation is a 501(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible.

 
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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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