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“The fact that the Biden administration has prioritized asking local people … what they think should happen to these lands is not only historic, but it's just the right thing. The agency will see without a shred of a doubt that these lands should stay as they are, that this is really, literally, the bread basket for so many communities, that these lands are critical to so many different species of fish, of wildlife, across the state.”

Rachel James, head of advocacy group SalmonState’s public lands and waters program in an article from High Country News about the Biden administration's decision to halt the re-opening of 28 million acres of Bureau of Land Management land to resources mining.

Local Seafood Summit keynote panel brain trust: Left to right: Togue Brawn of Downeast Dayboat, Jason Jarvis, commercial fisherman, Ephraim Froelich of AKWA-DC LLC, and Andy Olson, Native Fishing Association (NFA)- Aboriginal Financial Institution. Photo courtesy of Nelly Hand of Drifter's Fish

How fitting that the Local Catch Network's fourth Local Seafood Summit kicked off National Seafood Month. Collaboration, networking, collective brainstorming, inspiration, heartfelt emotion, and delicious seafood from near and far were the hallmarks of the summit. These gatherings strengthen and expand the vibrant community centered on a shared set of values. There will be many action items aimed at supporting community-focused seafood systems that we'll share in next month's newsletter. We've got a lot packed into this newsletter, including a brief recap of the Slow Fish Rising Tide movement (shared at the summit) to bring seafood with values discussions to more communities; 5 tips for teaching kids about sustainable seafood;  alarms sounded by scientists about the precipitous drop in Bering Sea crab populations and the possible impacts of proposed wind farms off the Southern New England coast. Also, the Justice Department is opening an investigation into seafood industry privatization and consolidation, while the administration weighs the environmental and socioeconomic costs of opening 28 million acres of Alaska to mining; You'll also read about efforts to reduce salmon bycatch in Alaska fisheries as well updates on the right whale/lobster issue and a proposed "healthy" label that would raise more questions than it answers. Plus Fascinating Bear (???!) of the Month and a heart-warming smoked salmon and halibut bisque recipe.
One Fish Foundation News
October 2022
Buck Jones of the Columbia River Intertribal Fisheries Commission lays down some truth about First Foods during the Slow Fish Rising Tide session at the Local Seafood Summit.
Slow Fish Rising Tide brings seafood with values to communities
Colles was one of several folks from different partner organizations that planned the Local Seafood Summit in Alaska earlier this month. The process started over a year ago, and culminated in what was described by many as "The best seafood conference I've ever attended!" Mission accomplished. Now it's time to roll up our sleeves and activate some of the plans laid at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, AK. One of these is the Slow Fish North America Rising Tide program that aims to work with local Slow Food communities across the continent to host local events centered seafood with values. The goal is to bring more of these types of conversations to more communities and grow the network of those who share the values focused on seafood that is good, clean and fair. We are planning several of these events across the U.S. during the next year. Stay tuned!

5 tips for teaching kids about sustainable seafood
What are the top five tips you'd give parents for teaching children about sustainable seafood? That was a question posed to me by my editor at Edible Maine. I hadn't really thought of the discussion in those terms. I usually scale the conversation to different age groups and focus on key themes such as knowing where your seafood is from and why that matters. However, we live at a time when lists are prominent in our daily lives, whether on a personal or community level. So here is my list for the top 5 tips for imparting some seafood awareness on children, regardless of age. The list was published in the Fall issue of Edible Maine. My daughter Esty has been my test pilot for many of these conversations over the years.
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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 community's 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 recovering from the impact of Typhoon Merbok. Help spread the word or donate to support their ongoing efforts to rebuild 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.
Regulators say wind turbines would harm cod spawning grounds
Based on recent research, the New England Fisheries Management Council has declared some areas currently leased for offshore wind projects as prime cod spawning grounds. The area of concern spans about 3,000 square miles and covers all nine of the proposed offshore wind farms in federal waters off southern New England. However, only the Bureau of Energy Management (BOEM) has the authority to regulate offshore wind project leasing. The big question is whether the council's determination might force BOEM to revise guidelines for permitting such projects to protect essential fish habitat. Let's hope so.
US considers whether to open about 28 million acres across Alaska
 The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, enacted in the 1970's, disallowed mining claims and mineral leases on any land in Alaska managed by the Bureau of Land Management.. Some of this land is home to several indigenous communities. The ANCSA declaration was meant to give the Department of Interior time to decide how to handle long-term management of this land. However, BLM is now considering whether to re-open 28 million acres to oil, gas, and mineral extraction following a last-minute ruling by the Trump administration. Opening these lands to resource extraction would undoubtedly damage the already fragile ecological systems, and the people that rely on them for subsistence harvesting, hunting, and fishing. The BLM has taken some public comments on the initial process, and will take more when it presents its draft ruling later this year. We'll keep you posted.
Justice department to look into catch shares
The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating possible antitrust violations regarding allegations that private equity groups are behind an industry consolidation in New England fisheries that has widespread negative impacts on small- and medium-scale community-based fishing operations. The investigation began shortly after an exposé in the New Bedford Light highlighting how multi-billion dollar corporations like Dutch-based Bregal Partners have accumulated outsized power, influence and ownership of the New England groundfishery based in New Bedford, Mass. as a result of the catch share system of fisheries management. These types of massive private equity investment firms serve to further consolidate access to the fishery while also squeezing out small- and medium-scale fishing families and operations. This is bad for coastal communities, multi-generational fishing families, and the health of fish stocks throughout U.S. waters. Change will come slowly, but it is heartening to see these types of stories and federal responses to a problem we've long cited publicly. Efforts to address some of this privatization and consolidation are focusing on legislative action. We'll post updates when they are available.
Precipitous drop in Alaska snow crab populations force closures
The Bering Sea snow crab population went from abundant to sparse in less than five years and scientists, regulators, and fishermen are alarmed. Worse still, there's no clear indication as to what caused such a precipitous drop in such a short time. In 2019, the stock survey suggested there was an ample population that could possibly bear a harvest increase. Due to Covid, there was no assessment, but in 2021, the survey showed a near stock collapse, causing the Northwest Pacific Fisheries Management Council to cut the harvest by 90%. The assessment for 2022 was even worse. Some in the industry say the costs will be devastating, from $500 million to $1 billion, and will force many small- and medium-sized family businesses to close. Hopefully, a federal fisheries disaster declaration can move quickly enough to support these families when their boats are docked through what would be the heart of the season and prevent an industry collapse. Equally important is the need for thorough, focused research to determine what happened to the crab populations. Was it warming oceans? Was it ocean acidification hampering shell development? Could Bering Sea crabs go the way of Northern Shrimp in the Northwest Atlantic? Let's hope not.
New FDA label guide would raise more questions
Slapping a "healthy" label onto food is a seemingly simple solution to an immensely complex issue of telling consumers what "healthy" even means. But the USDA is proposing to do just that, by labeling foods as "healthy" that align with  current nutrition science, the updated Nutrition Facts label, and the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The National Fisheries Institute says this could encourage more Americans to eat the two federally-recommended servings of fish a week. However, the devil will be in the details. If the healthy label gets slapped on imported farmed shrimp or salmon, consumers will not likely know all of the ecological and socioeconomic harm attached to those products. Again, we continue to stress the importance of knowing the story behind the seafood and not surrendering these decisions to a third party. Doing so means you surrender your values to someone else, and that generally doesn't end well. 
NOAA says 36 right whales are either injured or ill
As part of its ongoing research of the overall status of right whales, federal scientists say they've identified 36 whales that are either ill or showing signs of non-fatal wounds that may be from ship strikes or fishing gear entanglement. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists are concerned given that 34 whales have died since 2o17 out of a population that researchers say now numbers fewer than 350. NOAA has been trying to assess the overall stock health in hopes of limiting the rash of whale deaths in recent years. This announcement comes as a federal court just granted the Maine Lobster Association's motion to expedite it's appeal of recent rule changes from NOAA that places most of the burden of mortality mitigation on lobstermen. Again, no one wants to consciously kill right whales. But the combination of injuries (that may include ship strikes) and the fact that some of these whales just aren't healthy suggests that climate change and other broader issues may be affecting overall right whale population health. That would suggest that fisheries managers need to find more effective solutions than the blunt instruments being proposed or considered.
Task force mulls measures to reduce salmon bycatch in Alaska
A task force hopes to mitigate the impact industrial fleet bycatch has had on wild salmon runs in areas like the Yukon and Kuskokwim watersheds over the last few years. Indigenous groups in western Alaska have been at the forefront of efforts to address the issue, as their salmon fisheries have been been declared disasters due to plummeting fish stocks. A report with recommended solutions is due to be released at the end of November.
Fascinating Fat Bear of the Year
Built like a large airplane, 747 fended off all "chonky" contenders to regain the crown he won in 2020. Photo: L. Law.
Brown Bear (Ursus arctos, aka. Honky Chonk Beardonkadonk⁣⁣)

Habitat: Alaska wilderness, Katmai National Park, specifically Brooks Falls.
Size: Ginormous! You try to weigh him and put a tape measure on him. He might get fatter in the process.
Good at: Gorging on salmon; pushups (pretty easy when your belly and chest are already touching the ground!); and intimidating the hell out of pretty much anything or anyone else around.
Bad At: Dieting

We interrupt the regularly scheduled Fascinating Fish of the Month program to bring you the newly crowned, or rather, crowned again, Fat Bear Week winner, 747. Every year, the crew at Katmai National Park and Preserve host the now globally popular Fat Bear Week, a beauty contest ... of sorts, that allows enthusiasts (in the tens of thousands from around the world) to weigh in (yes, we did!) and choose the fattest bear in the region. Voters see photos of the bears sporting svelte (that's a stretch) physiques after emerging from their winter slumber in the spring. They compare those photos to the tractor trailer wide loads these ursine eating machines become in early fall and vote during the playoff, March Madness bracket style contest for one week in Oct. The comments on the website are priceless. And this year, there was even a voting scandal. The entire event, monitored by news outlets around the world (including South Africa), raises awareness of brown bears, salmon, natural balance, and the importance of preserving wild places. This is 747's second win after taking the crown in 2020. Check out the live webcam for Brooks Falls.
Sustainable Seafood Recipes
Smoked Salmon and Halibut Bisque 
From Grace Parisi, Culinary Director at Sitka Salmon Shares.

Fall is a wonderful time of year for chowders and bisques. And this recipe produces a hardy, heart-warming pot of deliciousness to take the chill off any late fall day. East Coasters can substitute lobster shells for the crab shells when making the stock.


For the stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Shells from 2 Dungeness crab clusters (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup brandy or sherry
  • 1 sprig each fresh tarragon and thyme
For the bisque
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 pound smoked salmon
  • 1 halibut fillet (about 12 oz)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Tarragon leaves for garnish


Make the Stock
Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the crab shells and cook, stirring and pressing until lightly browned, 5–7 minutes. Stir in the onion, tomato paste, bay leaf, and peppercorns, and cook until onion is barely softened, 2–3 minutes. Add brandy and cook until evaporated. Add 6 c water (see note*) and the tarragon and thyme, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, 40–50 minutes. Strain the stock, pressing hard on the solids. Rinse out pot.

Make the Bisque
Return the stock to the pot and if necessary, simmer until reduced to 3 c. In a small cup, combine cream and cornstarch until smooth. Stir into broth and simmer just until thickened. Break smoked salmon into large flakes and cut halibut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add 3/4 of the salmon to the pot, reserving the rest for garnish. Add the halibut and cook just until done, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Garnish with the remaining smoked salmon and tarragon and serve.

*Note: Add any reserved crab steaming liquid. You can freeze the stock for up to 1 month.

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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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