As FishWise begins to wrap up our year in preparation for the holidays, we are all looking ahead, planning for the work to come in 2013. But it’s also a great time to look back and reflect on the incredible progress we made during 2012!
Some key achievements we made here at FishWise over the past year include:
- Helping Safeway to maintain their position as number 1 in seafood sustainability on the Greenpeace Retailer Scorecard
- Working with Safeway to develop North America’s first retail owned-brand Responsibly Caught canned tuna, sourced from free-school purse seine skipjack fisheries
- Gaining major retailer support for the protection of key sockeye salmon habitat in Alaska from potentially devastating mining activity
- Signing a new major retail partner, Hy-Vee of Des Moines, Iowa
- Signing a new distributor partner, Sea Delight , based out of Miami, Florida
- Signing a new independent retail partner, Kings Food Markets of Parsippany, New Jersey
- Helping Santa Monica Seafood renew funding for 5 marine conservation and restoration projects as well as fund 5 new projects through their Responsible Sourcing Vendor Partner Program
- Distributing two white papers summarizing traceability efforts in the seafood industry
- Hiring three new employees to help further our goals: Ashley Greenley, Ethan Lucas and Scott Kennedy
- To top it off, our Executive Director, Tobias Aguirre is expecting his first child on New Year’s Eve!
It’s been a great year for FishWise and we expect it’ll only get better in 2013.
Happy holidays to all,
The FishWise Team
Happy Thanksgiving from the FishWise Team!
This week, thousands will gather with their families and friends to celebrate what was once a local harvest: the Thanksgiving meal. For most Americans, however, the local aspect of the meal will be lost amongst the turkey and colorful side dishes. Fortunately, those looking to supplement their traditional feasts with some local flavors can turn to the Pacific Ocean for some Dungeness crab.
Last week signaled the opening for the commercial Dungeness crab season on the California central coast. With the Department of Fish and Game reporting strong numbers for crab populations, the season looks to be very promising for fishermen and crab enthusiasts alike. Rated green by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch, Dungeness crabs are also a sustainable addition for the Thanksgiving meal!
For information on preparing and cooking Dungeness crab, check out these tips from Sunset magazine! Enjoy!
Environmental groups, wildlife enthusiasts, tribal leaders, and ocean users are celebrating yesterday’s victory over the proposed Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) high energy seismic testing near Diablo Canyon, on California’s Central Coast. After an 8 hour hearing that featured commentary from the Surfrider Foundation and other activists, a unanimous decision was made by the California Coastal Commission to deny PG&E the necessary permits for the testing, based on the findings that the proposal would violate the Coastal Act.
Of primary concern to those in opposition was the potential damage to marine life, proximity to Marine Protected Areas (Point Buchon State Marine Reserve), and the propensity for a negative impact to local commercial fishing. The proposed study was to include the use of a ~250 decibel air cannon being towed by a large vessel. The soundwaves were to be emitted from the air cannons every 20 seconds for 42 consecutive days over a 90-mile range of the coast in order to learn how the faultlines in the area interact, which have important implications for the nuclear power plant situated at Diablo Canyon. Particularly sensitive to this study would be the local marine mammal population – including but not limited to southern sea otters, seals, sea lions, dolphins, porpoises, and whales. It was speculated that there could be disturbances to local fish populations as well, as they could be driven away by the loud blasts. PG&E released a statement that acknowledged a “temporary disturbance to fish and marine mammals in the survey areas”, but that in similar projects worldwide no long-term adverse impacts to marine life were noted.
Thanks to the Coastal Commission and the support of many activist groups and passionate ocean user groups, this potentially harmful project will not be moving forward. Ocean stewardship begins at the individual level and it takes a great deal of effort to combat proposed plans like this one. This is truly a win for Californians who work and recreate in their ocean. As stakeholders in these types of decisions, exercising our rights to challenge projects that don’t have positive implications for our wildlife is of the utmost importance.
This November, FishWise is excited to announce that we have been chosen by local greeting card extraordinaire, Beth Shady, as her company SeaweedArt’s non-profit partner of the month!
Beth Shady, a Santa Cruz nature artist, created her company SeaweedArt as a means to inspire others to appreciate the oceans as well as raise awareness and funds for the protection and preservation of coastal and marine habitats. She collects, processes, and presses seaweeds found along our rocky shores to create uniquely beautiful greeting cards and prints, then donates ten percent of the profits to ocean conservation charities every month.
We love SeaweedArt’s use of the beautiful, natural colors found along our shores and the greeting cards are a wonderful way to honor the wonder of the oceans. Check out her website to purchase the greeting cards, and see her new collection for the holidays! The perfect way to express your love for your friends and family as well as the oceans and this holiday season! Her cards are also available at some local Monterey Bay spots such Artisans, The Seymour Center, Haute Enchilada, Island Home and Garden, Seascape Flowers, the Farm Bakery, and the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Exploration Center gift shop.
“Seaweed Greetings” to all, and many thanks to SeaweedArt for supporting FishWise’s cause to promote the health and recovery of ocean ecosystems via responsible business practices!