Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Calling All Food Service Pros Who Care About Thier Access To Gulf Seafood

I am writing this post to ask for your support and participation in an outreach and public education campaign to protect access to local, sustainable Gulf fish for restaurants, consumers and seafood businesses.I have spent time in the Gulf and know how much seafood means to both recreational and commercial fisherman. Some of my favorite seafood dishes highlight Gulf Seafood and I for one would love to continue to have access to these amazing species, but I need your help to do so.

 While the vast majority of fishermen believe in sharing the Gulf’s resources with everyone, a few powerful interest groups are angling for changes to regulations that would result in popular Gulf seafood disappearing from the plates of millions of Americans. They want to pass new fishing regulations and Congressional bills that reserve more and more red snapper and other reef fish for recreational fishing. In fact, we’ve seen this happen before; in the 1980’s commercial fishermen (and chefs) were shut out of the Gulf red drum and speckled trout fisheries. If popular Gulf of Mexico seafood is increasingly set aside for recreational anglers, then supplies of fresh, wild and sustainably managed fish will be harder to come by. That means chefs, restaurant owners and consumers will have to rely more heavily on farmed and imported fish at a time when the popularity of local seafood is at an all-time high. We believe that all Americans – sportsmen as well as restaurants and seafood lovers – deserve to enjoy the Gulf's bounty. And they shouldn't have to catch it themselves to do so.

 What can you do? • Join the coalition! • Be a spokesperson for the campaign • Help recruit others to join the coalition • Highlight Gulf red snapper (or grouper) on your menu • Testify to members of the Gulf’s Fishery Management Council • Call or write your Governor or Member of Congress • Host an event to raise awareness on the issue • Co-author an Op-Ed or submit a Letter to the Editor

For additional information and to become a member of the Share the Gulf coalition, please visit www.gulfseafoodheritage.com or contact Liz Bodet at 504-583-5550 egoliwas@bellsouth.net.

I want to thank Tim Fitzgerald who is the Sustainable Seafood Director for Environmental Defense Fund & Chef Stephen Stryjewski, Share the Gulf Coalition Chef Chair Chef/Owner Cochon and PĂȘche Seafood Grill for sending me this same note that I can now share with you.

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