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Editor's Note: A threat to Gulf's sustainability
By Fiona Robinson, Associate Publisher, Editor
June 01, 2010
There's no more appropriate way to celebrate this month's World Oceans Day (June 8) than offering readers a special issue on wild, sustainable seafood. The majority of the features have a sustainability element, starting with the Top Story by Associate Editor James Wright, The Information Age. While our coverage of sustainability in the monthly Going Green column tackles issues such as sustainability certification and community-supported fisheries, this Top Story focuses on three small businesses and how each approaches sustainable seafood differently. Wright approaches the community aspect - one inherent in sustainability plans but not often discussed.
The sustainability of the Southeast's wild seafood stocks is definitely being challenged in the Gulf as the oil spill disaster from the drill rig Deepwater Horizon continues to unfold. At press time, scientists were tracking the oil's movement and were fearful that it had reached the Gulf
of Mexico Loop Current. If this is true, the oil jeopardizes the Florida Keys and then could move up the East Coast. This may not be just a Gulf Coast problem.
Those who aren't witnessing the oil spill firsthand are left feeling helpless. But there are a few things you can do; start by not getting caught up in the misinformation. A lot has been seen and heard in the past month: stories of potential price-gouging, reports of oil in harvest areas that weren't even affected, even fears that the oil spill was going to affect the farmed tilapia supply (really! And for those who don't know, tilapia isn't farmed in the ocean). Instead, focus on continuing to source seafood from Gulf seafood processors, who need all the support they can get right now.
Folks in New Orleans braved torrential rain for the Gulf Aid concert a few weeks ago, which benefited Gulf fishermen and wetland restoration efforts. Donations to the nonprofit organization can be made at www.gulfaid.org . The sustainability of the entire region's seafood industry is on the line, so please do what you can now to help.
SFB engaged its Twitter audience to find a cover image for this special issue. Thanks to all of our followers for their submissions, including the cover image by Mark Halvorsen of the F/V Hans Halvor out of Oregon, submitted by the Western Fishboat Owners Assocation. The interior image on p. 20 of the printed issue was by Randy Freese (click here to view image http://www.seafoodbusiness.com/articledetail.aspx?id=4294996419 ) on the F/V Alsea out of Newport, Ore.
Follow us at www.twitter.com/SeaFoodBusiness for more behind-the-scenes outtakes or for additional commentary on the seafood industry. Keep a look for a similar image contest for our special issue on Sustainable FARMED Seafood in the fall!