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"If such a determination is finalized, it would protect waters over the long term that are essential to commercial, subsistence, and recreational fisheries and other activities that support Alaska Natives and communities in the state.."

The Environmental Protection Agency, in a statement discussing its decision last month to reinitiate the process of making a Clean Water Act  determination that would protect Bristol Bay, Alaska from the proposed Pebble Mine.

Welcome to National Seafood Month! Apparently, October is also the month to celebrate apples, sun-dried tomatoes, country ham, chili, pizza, cookies, and Virginia wine. National Seafood Month began as a promotion by the National Fisheries Institute in 1958 to boost domestic sales. Congress officially designated October as National Seafood Month in 1990. October is a busy time of year for many fish harvesters across the country. Regardless of Congressional designations, expensive ad campaigns, and jam-packed food calendar celebrations created just for the halibut (see what I did there?), October is generally a good month to find fresh, local, responsibly harvested seafood. It's best to ask questions and learn where it's coming from, and if possible, who caught it. That's the message we'll be bringing to Portland Public Schools this year thanks to a grant from Onion Foundation. We'll take a look at climate change through the prism of seafood. In this newsletter, you'll also hear about counter-movements protesting the United Nations Food Systems Summit in New York last month; the EPA taking steps to shut down Pebble Mine (finally!); more massive net pen farmed salmon die-offs (shocked, we are!); the mysterious culprit behind the Northern shrimp stock collapse in the Gulf of Maine; an oil spill off the Calif. coast; Bristol Bay's fat bear contest; and a spooky octopus. Enjoy!
One Fish Foundation News
October 2021

One Fish Foundation secures grant to reach more Portland Public Schools
In partnership with Portland Public Schools, One Fish Foundation won a grant from Onion Foundation to bring the sustainable seafood and climate change conversations to more middle and high school students in the district. Covid 19's persistence continues to hamper in-person classroom visits, so we're going to continue connecting with students via Zoom, Google Hangouts, and other virtual platforms. This will enable us to bring different voices from fish harvesters, fishmongers, chefs, and other seafood industry advocates from across the country into each classroom. We'll look at issues like climate effects on the Gulf of Maine via the prism of seafood. Our mission is to get students to think about their impact on seafood ... whether they eat it or not.

Corporate hijacking of global food systems

Civil society groups, academics, and local food system advocates from around the world boycotted the United Nations Food System Summit in New York last month while also conducting counter-movements to raise awareness of the importance of creating fair and just food systems. Though the majority of the world's food is produced by small-scale farmers, corporate giants like Monsanto, Cargill, Tyson, Nestle, etc.  wield the most influence over policy, as was the case when the UNFSS invited many of these corporations to participate in the summit. One Fish Foundation partnered with National Family Farm Coalition, North American Marine Alliance, Slow Food North America and other organizations to curate a virtual and live event that brought many compelling stories about how corporate takeover of food systems hampers our ability to truly deal with hunger, climate change, and other issues. These stories from around the world shed light on grassroots movements that effectively improve localized food systems. As Denisa Livingston, International Indigenous Councilor of the Global North for Slow Food International said regarding the need to support legislation to protect Native American seeds from corporate takeover, "For us, it's an issue of life and death."

Here are links to recordings of the event:

Louisiana still digging out from storm destruction

Fishing boats continue to litter the banks of rivers, canals, and bayous south of New Orleans as folks struggle to ensure they have some type of roof over their heads. Picture the path of destruction of an 8 foot storm surge that formed on shallow lakes on the inside of the levee system. And still, folks are banding together to help neighbors out as best as possible. Louisiana Congressman Garrett Graves has asked Congress to provide funding to support commercial and recreational fishermen.  Power was slow to get restored in some areas, while some remote locations may not see it restored until late December. For comparison, Hurricane Ida damaged at least 30,000 utility poles. Katrina, the next highest, took out 17,000. Lance Nacio of Anna Marie Shrimp was thankful power was restored to the two bridges that allowed his boats to go out shrimping earlier than the projected Sept. 29 deadline. He has fed first responders and line crews from across the country several times, even as he has to deal with things like damage to one of his boats from submerged debris. Again, this is a brutal reminder of why we need to build climate change resiliency into fisheries policy. See action items below for more info.


Donate to One Fish Foundation Now
Opportunities for Action
Here are concrete action items and opportunities to make your voice heard or to learn more about crucial issues.
Sign-on letters to fix food system issues

Support Hurricane Ida relief and recovery projects
  • Chef Dana Honn is raising money to support Lance Nacio’s efforts to help his community and feed first responders and line workers.
    • Venmo: @Lance-Nacio
    • PalPal:
    • Zelle: Lance Nacio
  • Coastal Communities Consulting, Inc. is a nonprofit organization supporting coastal businesses and fishermen in La. It is doing good work to provide info on everything from prescriptions to food and water as well as coordinating donations.
  • Gulf South Rapid Response Community Controlled Fund provides disaster relief directly to frontline communities in the Gulf South impacted by climate disasters. Local leaders have committed to a transparent and accountable process for the money – which will allow communities to practice self-governance and self-determination.
Support permanent protections for Bristol Bay
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.
Cool video from Natural Resources Maine
  • See what tearing down 4 obstructive dams on the Kennebec River in Maine would mean to Indigenous communities and the broader recreational fishing and boating industry in this video
Help #BlockCorporateSalmon
Sustainable Seafood News
Here's what you need to be hearing about, thinking about, and why.
Aerial view of a work camp in the area of the proposed Pebble Mine in Iliamna, Alaska, seen on Tuesday, August 27, 2013. Photo: Bill Roth, Alaska Daily News
EPA takes steps to shut down Pebble Mine
The Environmental Protection Agency announced last month that it would begin the process to reinstate Clean Water Act protections that would effectively shut the door on the Pebble Mine. The EPA and the Justice Department have asked a district court to vacate the 2019 ruling that allowed the Trump Administration to withdraw the 2014 Clean Water Act determination set under the Obama Administration. If the court agrees, the Clean Water protections will go back in place and stop the Pebble Mine project from proceeding. This has been a long time coming. We've written several blogs about the issue, the potential impact on the salmon, the land- and seascape, and the people who depend on the resource. We've conducted a series of podcast interviews with people directly involved with the fight to protect Bristol Bay. So this is BIG news. To be sure, there's still work to do. Aside from the pending court ruling, Congress must act to provide permanent protections to ensure no mining project ever threatens the entire Bristol Bay watershed ... rivers, streams, estuaries, etc. ... again.
Massive farmed salmon die-off ... again!
Industrial aquaculture giant Mowi lost 450,000 fish in yet another net pen die off. The mass mortality happened at a site off Newfoundland, and the company is citing low dissolved oxygen levels. In a statement, Mowi blamed the decreased oxygen levels on increased plankton blooms caused by high summer temperatures. We know all too well, however, that increased plankton blooms are often the result of too many nutrients being added to the local ecosystem, nutrients like those found in fish feed and fish waste. Net pens introducing excess nutrients to increasingly warming waters are an ecological recipe for disaster, and is further proven every time a die-off is reported. And let us not forget that net pen escapes can facilitate the spread of disease to wild species, and are a threat to food sovereignty and fishing rights. 
Longfin squid likely culprit in Maine Northern Shrimp collapse
New research and analysis suggests that longfin squid, predominantly a mid-Atlantic species, may have played a key role in the dramatic loss of Northern Shrimp in the Gulf of Maine in 2012. Fisheries biologist Anne Richards recently reported that closer analysis of the trawl surveys done in 2012 to try and determine the shrimp collapse's cause revealed that as the population declined, the number of longfin squid exploded. Her theory is that because 2012 was an exceptionally warm year and because spring arrived early, the shrimp were still in the Gulf of Maine when the squid arrived ... hungry. More research is necessary, but it seems entirely plausible that the highly voracious squid may have feasted the shrimp right off of our plates, and the resulting dynamic -- warmer waters and more squid -- may keep the shrimp stocks low. So while the warming Gulf of Maine was originally thought to be the primary root cause of the shrimp's demise, the squid may have actually "pulled the trigger."
Oil spill off California coast
Dead fish and birds have washed ashore near Huntington Beach, Calif. after a subsea pipe failed Oct. 2, leaking 126,000 gallons of oil that eventually left a 13-mile slick offshore. Cleanup and full damage assessment will take a while, but the ecological damage could last longer. Again, we need to rethink the ecological impacts of our dependence on fossil fuels.

"Wait til Otis sees us. He loves us!" ... "Otis, my man!"  Boone, from "Animal House"
There can be only one ... fattest bear
In what has become a closely followed, even international event, Fat Bear Week came to an end yesterday. The battle came down to perennial heavyweight Otis, who's pudgy mug dominates the Fat Bear Hall of Champions, and Walker, whose mega-girth would intimidate most tractor-trailers. In the end, Otis, the wise old man, garnered the popular vote. Just how popular is this beauty pageant? Folks from around the world cast more than 640,000 votes for the 2020 competition. And girth isn't just in the eyes of the beholder. It's a matter of survival as these bears will not eat or drink for several months during winter hibernation, drawing on their fat reserves to survive brutal Alaska winters. The bears' collective largesse is also a sign of the health of the wild sockeye and other salmon stocks that provide the bulk (yes, I did that) of their diet. Otis, Walker, 747 (last year's champ at over 1,400 pounds) and the other wide loads all depend on the clean, clear waters of Bristol Bay. If anything, just check out the live cam at Brooks Falls. You'll will get lost in watching the bears chow down on sockeye!

Fascinating Fish of the Month
Casper the friendly ghost?! Not quite, it's the ghost octopus! Photo: NOAA
Ghost octopus

Size: 12 cm
Habitat: 4,000 meters below the surface
Good at: Casper impersonations
Bad at: Being spooky

It’s Spooky Season -- so this month we’re featuring the Ghost Octopus! Originally discovered in 2016, not much is known about the ghost octopus. The ghost octopus does not have chromatophores, pigment cells that give cephalopods their color, resulting in its eerie ghostlike appearance. These octopuses, lay their eggs on sponges that grow only on manganese nodules on the seabed at a depth of 4,000 meters. Without the manganese nodules, the sponges would not be stable enough to support the eggs. Moreover, deep-sea mining of manganese could make this species extremely vulnerable. 
Sustainable Seafood Recipes
It’s getting chilly out, so we’re warming up with Fisherman’s Pie, from our friends at Cape Ann Fresh Catch. Don’t forget to check out the Local Catch Network to find out where you can locally or directly source your seafood for this delicious recipe! 
Fisherman's Pie
Cape Ann Fresh Catch

  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 28 fluid ounces milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces skinless haddock
  • 8 ounces skinless wild salmon
  • 8 ounces skinless smoked fish
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, more to taste
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard
  • 8 ounces cooked wild shrimp, peeled and deveined


Place potatoes in a large pot; add 1 bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Cover potatoes with water; bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pot. Mash potatoes with 8 ounces milk and 1/4 cup butter until smooth. 

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Spread olive oil into the bottom of a 12-inch square baking dish. 

Combine remaining 20 ounces milk and 1 bay leaf in a large, deep saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook haddock, salmon, and smoked fish, working in patches if needed, until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5 minutes. Remove fish from  milk and separate into chunks on a work surface. Arrange fish and shrimp in the bottom of the baking dish, reserving milk. 

Pour the milk used to cook the fish into a measuring cup, adding more if needed to equal 2 1/2 cups. 

Heat remaining butter in the same large saucepan over low heat; slowly mix flour into melted butter until smooth. Add the  2 1/2 cups milk, leek, parsley, scallions, and mustard; simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour milk mixture over fish and shrimp and top with the mashed potatoes, spreading evenly. 

Bake in the preheated oven until bubbling around the corners and lightly browned, 30 to 45 minutes. 

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Donate to One Fish Foundation Now
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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