On this first day of a federal shutdown, I have the ironic privilege of heralding a new federal program that promotes the American fishing industry — Seafood 101. The first time I heard about this idea from NOAA's Rebecca Reuter two years ago, I was intrigued and inspired by her enthusiasm.
This seafood education effort kicked off last month in the Pacific Northwest at Seattle's Fishermen's Fall Festival with public outreach across media platforms and live events, culminating in an Oct. 6 supplement to the Seattle Times. (National Fisherman subscribers in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest will receive the supplement with their December issue, thanks to a partnership with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.) The offerings of Pacific Northwest Seafood 101 include recipes, cooking tips and demonstrations, information on local species and fishing seasons, as well as profiles of local fishermen in an effort to inform the public about local seafood.
Reuter, a Seattle-based communications specialist for the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, is excited to "help showcase how government, business and community leaders are working together to achieve a sustainable, safe and strong fishing industry.”
In the last two years, fishing industry stakeholders (businesses and associations) from all over Alaska and the Pacific Northwest have thrown their weight behind starting the program in that corner of the country.
Reuter hopes (as I do) to expand the program to other regions of the country, which would make it a remarkable marketing tool for the entire American fishing industry.
“Seafood 101 is also a tremendous way to spotlight the economic value of the maritime and fishing industries and the diversity of career opportunities," Reuter says.
I could not agree more. I am proud to represent National Fisherman's sponsorship of a program that helps NOAA promote the country's success in fishery management and promote healthy, local and sustainable seafood. For more information, please visit our Seafood 101 spotlight page.