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"Let’s support domestic and local fisheries. Seek out seafood sources who can tell you where your fish comes from. Eat lower on the food chain and try underutilized species. And above all, celebrate and honor what the ocean provides." 

Alan Lovewell of Real Good Fish in a column for "The Bittman Project," celebrity Chef Mark Bittman's media platform, in response to the hubbub about "Seaspiracy."

 
Tales
The Slow Fish momentum continues. Next month, Slow Fish International will host its biennial gathering. Traditionally held over a two-week period in Italy's port city of Genoa, this year's event, titled "Slow Fish 2021: The Water Cycles",  will be largely virtual. As we discovered with the Slow Fish North America event in March, the online forum opens access to the programming to a broader audience who might not have been able to attend in person. See below for more information. One Fish Foundation continues to host conversations about the personal decisions around responsible seafood choices. My latest Edible Maine column explores the complications of ecolabels and why we should take more initiative to learn more about the seafood we eat. Our colleagues are also continuing to spread the message. Shout out to Mark Titus, director of "The Wild" and "The Breach", and staunch Bristol Bay, AK advocate for producing "Save What You Love" , an excellent podcast series highlighting folks doing good work to protect wild spaces ... within and outside themselves.

 
One Fish Foundation News
May 2021

Ecolabels aren't the answer
The question of how to define sustainability is constant in any food system. The answer always comes back to one simple truth: our internal sustainability compass points in the direction of our own values. The set of values we shape or align with depends on how much we want to know about the seafood we eat. Do we want to take the time to learn what is local and seasonally available? Do we want to know the realities of industrial scale factory trawlers and finfish and shrimp farms and their ecological impacts? Do we care about equity, inclusion, and justice in supply chains? These questions are best addressed on a personal level, even if finding the answers means doing some reading. That said, I often get asked about which ecolabels I recommend, generally from folks who don't have the time or energy to do their own investigation. I get the convenience. But my answer always comes back with a note of caution. Surrendering our decision to a third party means we surrender our values alignment to an organization that likely cares more about profit (which therefore isn't an objective stance) than about our values. Check out my column in Edible Maine on the subject. It pays to take some ownership of our seafood decisions.

 

Bristol Bay sockeye salmon in spawning brilliance. Photo: Still from "The Wild" film.

Public input yields a win in battle to protect Bristol Bay
Massive public input and pressure pushed the Alaska legislature yesterday to reject Gov. Mike Dunleavy's appointment of Abe Williams to a full-term seat on the state Board of Fisheries. Williams is director for regional affairs for Pebble Limited Partnership. So when Dunleavy appointed him to the board on a temporary basis last year, the move was tantamount to having the fox mind the hen house. That is, Williams pro-Pebble stance could have affected decisions regarding how the mine could be permitted to operate at the headwaters of pristine wild salmon habitat in Bristol Bay. Separately, the US Army Corps of Engineers has said it will take about a year to decide on Pebble's appeal of the Corps' permit denial last November. The Corps rejected the Dunleavy administration's appeal on behalf of the state. See below for specific calls to action to oppose what would be one of the world's largest open pit mines, threatening the world's largest intact wild salmon run. The public input that resulted in the Alaska legislature's rejection of Williams is a testament to what a concerted, consistent opposition campaign can do. It is the primary reason Pebble hasn't been built yet.

 

Slow Fish International to share global stories online in June
Didn't get enough of the cool stories and connections from the Slow Fish North America Virtual Gathering last March? Fear not! Slow Fish International has you covered with the "Slow Fish 2021: The Water Cycles" event.  From June 3 through June 30 (and in person in Genoa, Italy from July 1-July 4), Slow Fish will host a wide range of compelling discussions centered around four key themes: water cycles, biodiversity and our food habits, the sea and climate change, and a sea of plastic. Follow this link for more information about the topics, the people, and how to register.


 

Donate to One Fish Foundation Now
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.
A steel box encases pollution in Lake Ontario. Photo: Environment and Climate Change Canada
Aquatic Landfill in Lake Ontario ... for toxic sludge? 
Scientists estimate that for more than 150 years, a monster has been growing in Lake Ontario, taking the shape of a toxic blob of coal tar. Discovered in in  Hamilton Harbor in 1988, the sludge has created a dead zone, and the wildlife in the surrounding waters of the harbor “have developed tumors and reproductive deformities” while their habitat has also been destroyed. In 2016, federal, regional and state authorities worked with scientists to develop a plan to build a giant steel box around the blob, which some have noted is simply “creating an aquatic landfill for toxic material.” While some planners agree this approach poses some risk, they claim that because of many other factors, it is the most practical approach to containing the toxic sludge. That said, this approach could set a potentially dangerous precedent as other communities say this “approach is on the short list for cleaning up a contaminated site[s]” in places like Thunder Bay on Lake Superior. Planners expect the Hamilton Harbor project will wrap up next year.
 
Offshore wind making waves
Renewable energy is certainly a hot topic, especially as the U.S. forges ahead with 17 wind projects in progress, covering up to 1.7 million acres off the East Coast, much of which is in prime fishing grounds. In fact, much of those areas are essential fish habitat for almost all of the commercially viable species managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which has strong concerns over the impact such wind projects could have on commercial fisheries. Fishermen continue to speak out on the possible negative impact of countless anchors, ropes, and no passage zones on their livelihoods. Renewable energy is certainly an essential path forward to minimize our collective ecological impact. But these decisions must be collaborative and transparent, considering all of the ramifications. Hopefully, the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management and other authorities will fully incorporate fishermen feedback into the approval process. Otherwise, the wind farms will become another example of a Blue Economy investment in ocean privatization that limits public access to a public resource. In other words, huge sections of the ocean will essentially get roped off, largely for the benefit of wind farm investors at the expense of commercial fishermen participating in a responsibly managed fishery. 
 
Yet another Frankenfish? GMO soy-turned-fish alternatives, coming to a plate near you. 
The Truth Behind Plant-Based Alternatives: what's in your burger? 
A recent documentary highlighted some serious problems with the industrial fishing industry, and then missed the mark by advising consumers to switch to plant-based substitutes. But, there’s an awful irony that we can’t ignore. As agri-giants like Cargill and Monsanto continue to invest in plant-based proteins, the GMO soy and corn monocultures used to make such substitutes continue to wreak havoc on our food systems. Along with this, the creation of these alternatives, like Frankenfish (GMO-salmon), is unsettling. The Center for Food Safety broke down the problems with a certain burger, including their use of pesticide-laden GMO soy, the processing, the removal of nutrients, and several other concerns. Fish alternatives will be made in analogous ways, and have the same concerns. We’ll pass on the GMO “burgers” and “fish,” thanks. 
 
Fisheries Management Council set to limit stakeholder input
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) made a series of rule changes at the close of their April meeting, severely limiting public comments and input. The new rules aim to prohibit public comments with personal attacks, false accusations, or profanity.  The council would also have the power to  eliminate comments they find “off topic." These new rules could ultimately, and ironically, limit the voices of the people commenting on the policies that most affect them, robbing them of the democratic process of voicing their concerns before a public, federal-rule making body.
 
Ocean and beach pollution are threats to the health of our fisheries. Photo: Dustan Woodhouse on Unsplash
Chemicals and plastics: an increasing threat to healthy fish
Overfishing from industrial fishing boats and illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing are known problems in the fishing world with direct threats to aquatic food chains. Another threat looms, however: chemicals and plastics. A new report, Aquatic Pollutants in Oceans Fisheries, pulls together data and “catalogs the ‘serious impacts’” of persistent pollutants, excessive nutrients, and their impacts on “immunity, fertility, development, and survival of aquatic animals.” According to the report, 80% of chemical pollution in the ocean is from land runoff, terrestrial chemical use is expected to increase, and the effects of these chemicals will be exacerbated by climate change. PCBs, dioxins, “historical industrial pollutants released by dredging,” pesticides, and pharmaceutical residues are found throughout fresh and saltwater ecosystems. Microplastics are intensifying the effects of chemicals on the surrounding environment, and are more often being found in fish throughout the world. This topic is an important focus of our classroom and community discussions.


 
Conservation is an important step in moving forward; places like Schoodic Peninsula in Acadia National Park are meant to be saved. Photo: Keith Luke on Unsplash
Biden Administration's 30x30 conservation plan to include input from fishermen
A preliminary report by the National Climate Task Force, "Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful" lays out the foundation for a national conservation initiative that aims to conserve "at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030." Dubbed "30X30", the report looks to expand the definition of “‘conservation’ to include working lands and waters that may be used sustainably.” Importantly, the plan will incorporate voices from a broad array of local perspectives, including small businesses, indigenous communities and fish harvesters. A new coalition called Businesses for Conservation and Climate Action will work to ensure these voices are represented throughout the planning process. Colleague Linda Behnken, executive director of Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Assn., expressed optimism in this Los Angeles Times article quote: "
This report shows that the Biden administration has listened to us. Now we must chart a course towards national conservation policies that recognize sustainable small businesses as compatible with healthy lands and oceans."

 
Sustainable Seafood Recipes
This recipe from Marty Gallipeau and New England Fishmongers brings together the amazing flavors of Alaska spot shrimp and Gulf Of Maine Scallops, bringing the connection of local and direct sourcing right to your bowl. A printable PDF and video of Marty preparing this dish are available here. 
Marty's Scallop and Shrimp Ramen Bowl 

Ingredients
1/2 lb. dry sea scallops
1/2 lb. Alaska spot shrimp
1 qt. fish bone broth
2 eggs
Fresh Lo Mein noodles
1/2 cup enoki mushrooms
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 soy sauce
1 small knob fresh ginger
2 tbsp. white miso paste
2 tsp. fish sauce or Dashi (bonito flake and kombu)
Chopped scallions
Corn (fresh or frozen) 
Sushi nori sheets
Chili oil 
Togarashi (Japanese red chili spice blend) 

Preparation
1. Add fish bone broth to a pot and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer while you prepare the toppings. 
2. In a small saucepan, add mirin and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer and add enoki mushrooms. Let simmer for ten minutes or until mushrooms are cooked through.
3. In a small pot, heat water to boil the eggs. Once boiling, add eggs and cook for six and a half minutes. Once eggs are soft-boiled, remove and set aside. Next, add Lo Mein noodles to the boiling water and allow noodles to cook for about four minutes. Drain and set aside.
4. Pat sea scallops dry and peel shrimp and season with salt. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter. Once hot, sear scallops and shrimp for one minute per side. Set aside.
5. In two serving bowls, grate fresh ginger (about one teaspoon per bowl). Add one tablespoon of miso paste and one teaspoon of fish sauce or dashi to each bowl. Ladle broth into each bowl and whisk well. Add noodles, corn, mushrooms, shrimp, scallops, scallion, sliced soft boiled eggs, nori, drizzle of chili oil and dash of togarashi.  

 
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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.

And as always, we'd love to hear from you! Please contact us!

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