GRN hosts local chefs

Along with our friends at Café Carmo, the Gulf Restoration Network and the Gulf Fish Forever campaign hosted the monthly meeting of the New Orleans Chapter of the American Culinary Federation on June 2. Chefs from all over New Orleans and the region were there to hear (and taste) a presentation on sustainable seafood and issues facing Gulf fisheries. Cafe Carmo Chef/owner Dana Honn talked about his efforts to find and serve local seafood that is usually thrown away as bycatch. Carmo was selected in May as the first certified sustainable seafood restaurant in the state of Louisiana by the prestigious Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. Dana is passionate about ethical and sustainable business. As he put it, he would rather be one of many than the first. His message to the chefs was that he will share what he has done with anyone.And Carmo served a Sashimi from Japan’s tropical islands using bottle fish that is usually bycatch and a Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew), red grouper, amberjack, cobia and shrimp. Red Grouper is a fisheries management success story, one of 27 species that have recovered from being near collapse since the 1976 Magnuson Stevens Fisheries Management Act.Before eating, I gave a presentation on Gulf Fish Forever and some of the issues we anticipate for Gulf fisheries. The chefs who are fishermen signed the Fisherman’s Conservation Pledge. Some of the issues I covered are found in these three National Geographic Blogposts, “The ABCs of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management” : Part I — A Better Way to Protect Our Ocean Ecosystems Part II — Forage Fish: The Oceans’ Little Heroes Part III – Reducing and Minimizing BycatchA great example of how species can recover with good fisheries management is the Gulf red snapper. Here is a recent Galveston County Daily News piece about the red snapper’s recovery, and check out this press release from 2007 to hear more about GRN’s work on the issue. And if you are a fisherman, please take a moment to show your committment to sustaining our marine environment by signing the Fisherman’s Conservation Pledge.Harry Lowenburg is GRN’s Fisheries Restoration Organizer.

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