View Full Version : Anglers and Allies Launch Fish Protection Campaign

Dan Bacher
10-11-2007, 08:35 AM
West Marine just forwarded me this press release about the Blue Ocean Institute's "Ocean-Friendly" Seafood Guide:


Unique Collaboration of Sea Enthusiasts Pledge to Distribute Five Million Copies of Blue Ocean Institute's "Ocean-Friendly" Seafood Guide

WATSONVILLE, Calif. - A unique collaboration of fishing, boating, marine manufacturers, and ocean conservancy groups are joining forces with retailers and restaurants to launch a campaign to help protect the world's declining fish populations.

The participating partners are launching an ambitious campaign to help millions of people make seafood selections that are good for the ocean. They've pledged to distribute five million wallet-sized copies of Blue Ocean's Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood to help consumers make informed choices about the seafood they buy and consume- and help reverse the drop in fish populations.

The coalition includes representatives from fishing groups including: American Sportfishing Association, International Game Fish Association, American Albacore Fishing Association, Coastside Fishing Club, United Anglers of Southern California and Coastal Conservation Association. Other partners in the distribution campaign include Blue Ocean Institute, Oceana, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, West Marine, Chefs Collaborative and the Green Restaurant Association.

The Blue Ocean Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood contains color-coded "sustainability" rankings for popular seafood species in part based on the species' abundance and the way they are caught or farmed. Many fish populations are victims of overfishing, declining to roughly 10 percent of what they once were. Yet, consumer demand for fish continues to grow and is expected to increase almost 40 percent over the next decade, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. In a recent ground-breaking study, scientists revealed that by the year 2048, the world will run out of seafood if declines in marine species continue at current rates.

Fish in the Blue Ocean guide that are ranked "green," including U.S. farmed Tilapia and Alaska Salmon are considered abundant or are caught or raised in an environmentally responsible manner. Fish with red rankings, such as Atlantic Bluefin Tuna and imported shrimp, are overfished or caught in ways that harm the environment. The guide also contains information on mercury and PCB health risks.

The groups are kicking off the massive distribution campaign by sending guides to their combined 1 million-plus members. Each guide also contains a link to an online questionnaire to assess how and why people make certain seafood choices. Every 50th person to fill out the questionnaire, available at www.blueocean.org/feedback starting September 18, will receive a free gift.

"Getting good seafood information out like this will help millions of seafood lovers see how they can enjoy seafood and help the ocean-at the same time," said Blue Ocean President and Co-Founder Dr. Carl Safina. "Our partnership with West Marine - which is financing this tremendous effort - and the committed organizations who are spreading the word among their members can really help improve fisheries, increase the abundance of fish, and improve our ability to enjoy our oceans."

"West Marine is excited to lead the Seafood Guide distribution effort to make more people aware that their informed choices will help insure sustainable populations of fish for consumers and anglers," said Randy Repass, founder and chairman of West Marine, which has 380 stores located in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.

Blue Ocean's Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood was the first such guide published in the United States. Fish are analyzed and ranked by assessing life history, abundance in the wild, habitat concerns, and fishery management practices. The result is a comprehensive, peer-reviewed, user-friendly guide that translates marine conservation information into appealing, inspiring and understandable language.

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Founded in 2003 by MacArthur Fellow Dr. Carl Safina (www.carlsafina.org) and Mercédès Lee, Blue Ocean Institute (www.blueocean.org) works to inspire a closer relationship with the sea through science, art, and literature. Blue Ocean programs help people from all walks of life recognize the importance of our shared ocean and point the way toward meaningful and effective actions for the ocean - whether buying sustainable seafood, rigging fishing gear to avoid killing certain marine animals, or understanding how climate change affects people and wildlife. The Sea Ethic program promotes the importance of life beneath the oceans through writings and lectures by Safina and staff. Safina is author of more than 100 articles and three books, including the award-winning Song for the Blue Ocean and Eye of the Albatross, and Voyage of the Turtle. Blue Ocean was a pioneer in the sustainable seafood movement. Through its From Sea to Table program, Blue Ocean has distributed more than 2.3 million guides around the world and is developing a comprehensive sustainable seafood curriculum (Schooling Chefs) for culinary educators and chefs. Blue Ocean's other programs include: Safe Seas, which helps reduce fishing-related unintended deaths of marine creatures; and Sea Stories, an online literary journal.

West Marine, Inc. is the country's favorite specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories, has 380 stores in 38 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. The company's successful catalog and Internet channels offer customers approximately 50,000 products - far more than any competitor - and the convenience of being able to exchange catalog and Internet purchases at its retail stores. The company's Port Supply division is one of the country's largest wholesale distributors of marine equipment serving boat manufacturers, marine services, commercial vessel operators and government agencies. For more information on West Marine's products and store locations, or to start shopping, visit westmarine.com or call 1-800-BOATING (1-800-262-8464).

AAFA is non-profit corporation formed to represent American "troll and/or pole and line" commercial fishing vessels engaged in the harvest of tuna. The board of directors believes that by promoting the environmental benefits of the "troll and/or pole and line" fisheries and promoting the health benefits of tuna consumption that the economic viability of "troll and/or pole and line" fisheries can be sustained.

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry's trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. ASA gives the industry a unified voice, speaking out on behalf of sportfishing and boating industries, state and federal natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups and outdoor journalists when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguard and promote the enduring social, economic, and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also represents the interests of America's more than 40 million anglers, from children to life long anglers, who annually generate $41 billion in retail sales with a $116 billion impact on the nation's economy.

Chefs Collaborative is a nationwide organization headquartered in Boston. Its mission is to educate the culinary community about sustainability issues, specifically giving chefs tools for better purchasing decisions involving local farmers, food artisans and families. Founding member and famous Chicago chef Rich Bayless created the collaborative with the vision that chefs can influence the food buying habits of the greater population by themselves purchasing local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients.

Coastal Conservation Association is dedicated to the conservation of marine resources. With more than 95,000 members in 17 state chapters along the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic and Pacific coasts, CCA is one of the nation's largest marine conservation organizations.

The Coastside Fishing Club is an all volunteer California non-profit organization with over 13,000 members dedicated to enhancing the recreational fishing experience for Californians. We seek out creative and reasonable solutions that enhance fishing opportunities and sustain our fisheries for current and future generations of fishermen.

The Green Restaurant Association (GRA), a national non-profit organization, provides services in research, consulting, education, marketing and community organizing. The GRA utilizes a collaborative strategy that involves restaurants, manufacturers, vendors, grassroots organizations, government, media, and restaurant customers. The GRA's model provides a convenient way for all sectors of the restaurant industry, which represents 10% of the U.S. economy, to become more environmentally sustainable.

IGFA is a not for profit organization committed to the conservation of gamefish and the promotion of responsible, ethical, angling practices through science, education, rule making and record keeping.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the nation's largest recreational marine industry association, representing more than 1,700 boat builders, engine manufacturers, and marine accessory manufacturers. NMMA runs boat shows in major cities across North America, including Miami, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Toronto and elsewhere, reaching over a million consumers each year. NMMA members collectively produce more than 80 percent of all recreational marine products made in the United States. With more than 13 million registered recreational boats and almost 73 million boaters nationwide, the recreational boating industry had retail sales of nearly $40 billion in 2006 alone. The recreational marine industry supports more than 343,000 marine-related jobs nationwide.

Oceana campaigns to protect and restore the world's oceans. Our teams of marine scientists, economists, lawyers and advocates win specific and concrete policy changes to reduce pollution and to prevent the irreversible collapse of fish populations, marine mammals and other sea life. Global in scope and dedicated to conservation, Oceana has campaigners based in North America (Washington, DC; Juneau, AK; Portland, OR; Monterey, CA; Santa Monica,, CA), Europe (Madrid, Spain; Brussels, Belgium) and South America (Santiago, Chile). More than 300,000 members and e-activists in over 150 countries have already joined Oceana.

UASC is a not-for-profit organization made up of volunteers dedicated to the preservation of the marine environment. We represent sport fishermen from all parts of California who would like to pass on the sport they love to future generations. United Anglers recognizes the need for commercial fisheries but opposes the indiscriminate depletion of the resource for short term profit

Laurie Fried
West Marine
Director of Public Relations & Grants
Phone: 831-761-6944
Fax: 831-768-5944
E-mail: laurief@westmarine.com

10-13-2007, 02:03 PM
I have checked out the "Seafood Watch" program developed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but what with all the other hundred-million-gazillion admonishments and restrictions on trying to enjoy life as well as a good meal, I decided to steer my own course, somewhere in between the ever-tightening puppet strings and freedom.

I make "environmentally sensitive" choices for the most part (within reason), but at the same time, I am not going to feel the least bit guilty if I sit down to a rare (and still legal) meal of something that hasn't been put on the "allowed" list.

It's nice to have the lists to follow, though, and to read about how the harvests are done, because that gives consumers a chance to make an informed choice. As long as it's a guide and not another law, I'm fine with it.

10-13-2007, 06:59 PM
An honorable endeavor I'm sure and I wish them success. *I have serious doubts however, that Russia, Japan, China and a host of other nations will even take the time to yawn over what the U.S.A. thinks will be good for the world. *The reasons are immaterial to this discussion but the majority of other world nations hate our guts so why would they*even consider going along. *I hope I'm wrong but it seems to me that groups of this type are totally naive in there thinking that what may go well here at home will for some reason catch on worldwide.

Best of luck folks but don't be surprised if the whole thing is a big flop.

The thoughts of a realist, not a pessimist.