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Bob Jones Talks to Chefs about US Seafood Sustainability

Bob Jones, past-president of Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc., was asked to speak to chefs from the Tennessee area for the Tennessee Aquarium Serve & Protect, long-term sustainable seafood initiative.  The initiative is collaboration with celebrity chef Alton Brown, host of the Food Network’s “Good Eats”.

As stated by the Tennessee Aquarium, “Let’s be honest, conversations about sustainable seafood can be confusing. As a simple solution to eating more sustainably, we support seafood caught or raised in the United States. Buying American not only supports U.S. jobs, but we also believe our own regulations are an important way to ensure sustainable fishing practices in wild caught or farm raised fish. And since public demand is the driving force for restaurants and grocery stores that provide products, this is an easy way for YOU, the customer, to get involved.”

 Mr. Jones spoke about the federal government sustainable regulations that the seafood community adheres to.   When you buy seafood from the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Ocean you can be confident that the fishermen are following federal and state harvesting laws. U.S. fishery management includes 10 national standards that ensure fish stocks are maintained, overfishing is eliminated.  In addition, processors adhere to Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) requirements to make sure the domestic seafood you eat is handled properly.

For the Tennessee kick-off event Alton Brown stated, “I will be working with all of the chefs and wait staffs, because a lot of the selling of sustainable seafood is in the education and narrative," Brown said. "Then we're going to turn it over to these chefs to put their creativity on display and show the real culinary possibilities of these fish," he said.

 Inside the Aquarium, the locally-focused sustainable seafood effort will spotlight five new sustainable species over the next year in educational displays. American Lobster, oyster, yellow tail snapper, catfish and rainbow trout have been selected as the inaugural species to launch the new initiative. Brown has developed recipes specifically for this program using the five featured species in an effort to encourage the consumption of each.

"Hopefully this will bring people to the point where they're not only involved with understanding the fish, their habitats and what is sustainable, but then we'll start putting food on the plate that hasn't been there before," Brown said.

Photo Courtesy of BamberPhotogaphy.com