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"We argue that it is on all of us, as a society, to contribute to the solution to this problem. It is unfair for the lobster industry to bear a disproportional share of the burden and blame when there is compelling evidence to suggest the problem and, thus, solutions, involve more than lobster fishing."

University of Maine Professors Rick Wahle and Bob Steneck in a Portland Press Herald opinion column about how we should think holistically about addressing the complex problem of right whale deaths. Rick and Bob have been at the forefront of lobster and climate research in the Gulf of Maine, and they argue that simply closing off lobster grounds will not mitigate whale deaths, but lobstermen will suffer greatly. See news item below for more info.

North Atlantic right whale and calf
Whenever we discuss sustainable seafood with students, we always talk about the delicate balance among different species within a given ecosystem. We also discuss just how unfortunately good we humans are at throwing that balance out of whack. European green crabs are the penultimate example of how human interference introduced a devastatingly invasive species to American shores because they hitched a ride in the ballast of early 19th century ships sailing from Italy, Spain and other countries. Other more recent examples include the complex relationship between right whales, lobsters, and lobstermen on the East Coast, or the relationship of killer whales, chinook, and salmon fishermen in the Pacific Northwest. Formerly pet shop lionfish (aka, zebra turkeyfish) are native to South Pacific and Indian Oceans, but have recently been taking over coral reefs and shallow habitat in the Southeastern U.S. because of human introduction. Like green crabs, they have no natural predators but eat a lot of prey that would otherwise feed native species. Let's not forget about the potential ecological impact of the planned massive facility aiming to raise 66 million pounds of farmed salmon in 30 closed pens off the Maine coast. Also in this issue, we share some Bristol Bay news including good progress in federal efforts to protect the bay, record sockeye runs this summer, and a study about how bay residents are losing access to local fisheries. We also look at: research on using artificial intelligence to better predict coastal climate change impacts and a community-based fishmonger's leap of faith to open a retail store. The shrimp creole recipe is definitely worth trying, if you've got responsibly harvested domestic shrimp. Enjoy!
One Fish Foundation News
November 2021

Of lobsters, whales and people
The state of Maine, its lobster industry, and conservationists near and far are party to an epic crisis of conscience fueled by egos and a climate reckoning with respect to the right whale and lobster gear controversy. A U.S. District Court judge recently determined that federal authorities erred when they closed off 950 square miles of prime lobstering ground off the Maine coast from Oct. to January in an effort to prevent threatened right whales from getting entangled in traditional rope and buoy gear. Specifically, the judge determined the science used to issue the ban wasn't sufficient enough to support the claim that banning traditional Maine lobster gear would make a difference to the right whale population. Maine's lobster industry appealed NOAA's decision claiming it unfairly targeted lobstermen because only one whale entanglement has been attributed to Maine lobster gear ... in 2004. And that whale survived. Data suggest 34 right whales have died since 2017, the majority of which are either from ship strikes or Canadian snow crab gear entanglements. This issue will escalate and drag on. Here is a great opinion piece from Bob Steneck and Rick Wahle, two University of Maine professors at the forefront of lobster and climate research, explaining that simply closing off lobster grounds and severely restricting lobster gear is a blunt instrument for addressing a complex issue. Better science and a more collaborative, thoughtful approach are a much more effective approach. We will be discussing this issue in classrooms as one example of the sometimes complex relationship we have with the Gulf of Maine and seafood as a resource.

Op-Ed in Fortune calls out industrial acquaculture
Slow Fish North America stalwarts Chef Dana Honn of Carmo and Cafe Cour and Recirculating Farms Executive Director Marianne Cufone, both of New Orleans, recently penned a powerful opinion in Fortune online highlighting the devastating ecological and socio-economic dangers of allowing industrial-scale aquaculture operations to start farming seafood in federal waters. That's exactly what the recently re-introduced federal AQUAA Act would do by setting aside money and resources and establishing a clear regulatory path to effectively rubber stamp such large operations. However, as we've repeatedly seen in this newsletter and in the Op-Ed from Dana and Marianne, the litany of devastating environmental and economic fallout from these operations is significant: disease, sea lice, algal blooms, escapes, antibiotic and pesticide use, harm to wild species, damage to domestic, community-based fishermen, etc. The commentary is a testament to the powerful coalition of groups in and around the Slow Fish North America community, including Don't Cage Our Ocean Coalition, North American Marine Alliance, Friends of the Earth, and One Fish Foundation, among others, that have come together to oppose this legislation and industrial aquaculture in general. In fact, members of this group helped shape the Keep Finfish Free Act, which would ban commercial finfish farms in federal waters. If you feel motivated, contact your representatives!


Locally sourced bluefin tuna briefly on display for the New England Fishmongers' opening day in Kittery, ME. And no. No one bought the whole thing. The fish was cut into steaks and it sold out quickly.
New England Fishmongers open retail store amid market shifts
Our friends at New England Fishmongers celebrated the grand opening of their fish market in Kittery, ME on October 21. Running a fishing  business, much less opening a retail storefront, isn't easy these days. It's a leap of faith that your customers are loyal enough to help buoy your business heading into the winter. Now imagine doing that after your fishing boat had been dry docked for over five months during a complete overhaul. But New England Fishmongers partnered with local fishermen and paid them a fair price to sell their products at local farmer's markets and popups to new and old customers throughout the summer. Now Finlander II is out fishing and bringing fresh caught local seafood to the new store. And New England Fishmongers are continuing to offer a variety of responsibly harvested seafood from friends, including wild caught La. shrimp from Anna Marie Shrimp and wild Pacific salmon from Yakobi Fisheries. Lance Nacio of Anna Marie Shrimp flew up from Louisiana for the opening day events. It’s connections such as these made throughout our networks that embody and exemplify our vision for a just, regional food system. 

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Opportunities for Action
Here are concrete action items and opportunities to make your voice heard or to learn more about crucial 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.
Bristol Bay News

Record sockeye return this year
  • The record has been officially registered. More than 66 million sockeye salmon swam into the bay this year. This is an astonishing number, but on track with the steady increase over the last few years, including up from 63 million in 2020. This is the hallmark of pristine habitat that allows the fish to breed successfully year after year.
EPA moves closer to stopping Pebble
  • In other news, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has moved another step forward in protecting the bay from Pebble Mine following a U.S. District Court ruling last week that vacated a previous effort from the Trump administration to remove Clean Water Act protections. Now the EPA can set about finalizing those Clean Water Protections that would prevent the Pebble Mine from operating in Bristol Bay. Hopefully this happens prior to the next election cycle. The next, and hopefully final step would be Congressional action to establish permanent protections against any mining or other activity that would harm the watershed. That's how we keep those big, productive sockeye returns coming.
Report: Bristol Bay residents losing access to local fisheries
  • In what has become an unfortunate but common occurrence, local residents are being squeezed out of the commercial salmon harvest by outside organizations, according to a recent report. Local permits owned by Bristol Bay communities have dropped by 50% in the 46 years since the limited access fishery began. The biggest reason for the transfer of access is due to the price of entry. The average Bristol Bay driftnet permit cost as much as $180,000 in 2021, which is a staggering sum for folks in rural coastal communities. This is a microcosm  of a macro issue affecting fishermen everywhere. When access to fisheries is treated like a stock commodity, the access will shift to those with the deepest pockets, and not to the local communities who most depend on the l0cal fisheries for their lives and livelihoods. We need creative thinking on how to troubleshoot these issues, such as treating our waterways as shared resources with fair and equal access to those resources.
American Aquafarms plans to acquire the Main Fair Trade Lobster plant in Gouldsboro and to invest between $50 million and $100 million to redevelop the site for salmon processing, but the sale is contingent upon getting state approval to grow salmon at 30 pens in Frenchman Bay. Photo: Maine Fair Trade Lobster
Maine town pushes back on massive salmon farming proposal
The town of Gouldsboro is set to vote on Nov. 15 on whether to impose a 180-day moratorium on aquaculture development. The move comes as American Aquafarms tries to begin transforming the former Main Fair Trade Lobster facility into a processing plant for farmed salmon housed in 15 150-foot closed net pens set in Frenchman Bay near Acadia National Park. Opponents say such a large operation would degrade water quality, potentially spread disease, and interfere with local fishermen's gear. Scale is another concern, given that American Aquafarms projects to produce 66 million pounds of fish per year. Town officials say the purpose of the moratorium, if approved by voters, would be to ensure the project would not place an out-sized burden on town infrastructure and resources. See the Fortune commentary by Dana Honn and Marianne Cufone explaining the perils of industrial aquaculture operations like the one proposed in Gouldsboro.
Scientists to use AI to address climate impacts on Gulf of Maine
A team of scientists at Bigelow Laboratory are using artificial intelligence (AI) to more accurately predict how climate change will affect Maine's coastal communities and the environment in general. The Tandy Center for Ocean Forecasting uses AI to better predict toxic algal blooms, right whale migration, ocean activity, and more. Nick Record, a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory is in charge of the program, and wants to develop “the forecasts that people need” and worked with harvesters this summer to do that when developing the program to predict toxic algal blooms. As a result, all closures were predicted correctly. Pairing these predictions with sampling and testing allows industries to better adapt to changing conditions. 
Fascinating Fish of the Month
A turkey not meant for eating -- the zebra turkey is fully equipped with venomous spines! Photo: NOAA
Zebra Turkeyfish

Size: Up to 10 inches
Habitat: Indian and Pacific Oceans
Good at: Turkey impersonations
Bad at: Giving hugs

It's harvest season, and we're celebrating with turkeyfish! Also known as the Zebra lionfish, this fish is equipped with 13 quill-like dorsal spines, giving it an intimidating, yet turkey-like appearance. The zebra turkeyfish is native to the Pacific and Indian oceans, but has recently made an appearance in the Atlantic Ocean. Their appearance is likely due to the dumping of these fish as pets. With a lack of predators, zebra turkeyfish are invasive in the Atlantic Ocean, and are being watched closely to better understand their role in this ecosystem. 
Sustainable Seafood Recipes
This New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp  comes to us from New England Fishmongers and Anna Marie Shrimp, a great way to celebrate the collaboration of fish harvesters across North America that come together to bring us all local, directly sourced, and responsibly harvested seafood. 
New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp
Anna Marie Shrimp & New England Fishmongers

1 pound Anna Marie Shrimp
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon creole seasoning
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2.5 tablespoons good beer
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 medium onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1. Melt a stick of butter in a skillet. Sauté the garlic, onions, celery, parsley, rosemary, and Creole seasoning for about 2-3 minutes. 
2. Add the beer, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice
3. Drown the shrimp in the seasoned butter in a baking dish. Make sure the shrimp are fully submerged. If they are not, melt more butter and add to the sauce. Bake in a 350 degree oven until the shrimp turn pink, about 15 minutes. 
5. Serve in a bowl with plenty of French bread to dip in the sauce. 

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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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