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The irony of celebrating World Oceans Day (it was yesterday, June 8) on Day 50-whatever of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is surely not lost on anyone. Still, Ken Peterson, the Communications Director at the outstanding Monterey Bay Aquarium, sees the silver lining. He thinks this is absolutely the best time to support fishermen in beleaguered fishing communities by buying seafood from the Gulf Coast that’s on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program.
© Quentin Bacon
Here’s more about what the Aquarium has to say about the spill: “Our Seafood Watch team is monitoring the situation closely, though we haven't yet changed our recommendations about fish and shellfish from the Southeast/Gulf region. The secretary of commerce has declared a fishing disaster and the National Marine Fisheries Service has closed more than 54,000 square miles of Gulf waters to commercial fishing. (The good news is that about two-thirds of the Gulf remains open.)
“The spill will affect many popular commercial species, and the people who depend on them for a living: wild shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; snapper caught in the same waters; wild Eastern oysters; grouper; U.S. farmed oysters; and U.S. farmed shrimp.
“If the oil spill changes the abundance or safety of these species, we’ll reflect that in updated seafood reports and Seafood Watch recommendations. Until there is a change, we still believe people can support beleaguered fishing communities by continuing to select Best Choices and Good Alternatives when folks buy seafood from the Gulf.”
For recipes that feature sustainable seafood from the Gulf Coast, check out Tory McPhail's Creole Shrimp and Garlic (pictured) and John Besh's Oyster Tartlets.