Like so many fisheries around the world, the seafood stocks off the Southeastern coast of the U.S. have been decimated by overfishing. The situation is so critical that regional fisheries managers believe that many of the most commonly fished species, including grouper, sea bass and red snapper, are in danger of disappearing for good. Recreational and commercial fishing for those species have been closed since January 1.
What then of the men and women who earn their living fishing the South Atlantic seas?
One veteran fisherman of the region has a simple plan for saving his livelihood: Adapt. Embracing the idea that what's good for the environment is good for business, Mark Marhefka of Abundant Seafood envisions a sustainable future for the region's fishing industry.
As reported in last week's New York Times Magazine, Marhefka is working with local chefs to develop new demand for different, more sustainable species of fish. In the process, he's helping force the evolution of local seafood cuisine. He's also changing the way fish are caught and sold. Marhefka takes orders while still at sea, which he catches by pole then delivers to buyers himself.
This is the type of story we love at SHFT, when nature, culture, business and policy collide to affect sustainable change. That's the shift we're talking about!
Read the NYT story here.
Photo by David La Spina for The New York Times