Tuesday,13 March,2012 13:03:20
Oh dear, jetlag has arrived as I wake at 3:30 a.m. and toss and turn and realize the brain is functioning so had better get going and make the best of it.
Today is my involvement in the panel to discuss how we are going to increase seafood consumption in U.S. (read developed world…as U.S. issues are no different to many others) so I need to ensure I have all my issues written down.
Off on the shuttle bus to the convention (great work by Diversified for the organization which as far as I can see is running extremely well) and on the bus watch a video about Cleanfish operations which is very impressive. Marketing seafood never stops to ourselves – wonder why we are not transposing that concept to the public?
I get the chance to walk the floor before the hall is open to the trade. Very interesting to see lots of new products, lots of salmon, lots of tilapia, lots of shrimp and the words ‘sustainable’, ‘certified’, ‘natural’ all blend in. Only critical thing I could say about the show was the difficulty in following the numbering system when you were out in the hall, but maybe that was me.
How refreshing to see a government organisation in charge of the countries fisheries resources come out from the closet and talk about their work – good work NOAA! NOAA's Acting Assistant Administrator, Sam Rauch, gave his insights into NOAA's historic milestone in
U.S. fisheries with the implementation of science-based annual catch limits on all U.S. federally managed fisheries. Take note governments around the world – it is a key performance indicator of your role on behalf of your country to report on how you are managing your resources. The lack of this information over the years has led to the rise of incorrect information or specifically chosen data to be relayed so hopefully this is a trend that will continue.
Our panel session, after a glitch at the start, goes well. A full audience is engaged and some good questions are asked. I will give a fuller synopsis of this in a future blog but suffice to say that Linda O’Dierno and Chris Lazicki, my fellow panelists, and I are in violent agreement with what we can do.
The cause for increased seafood sales is bolstered by two reports earlier in the day. The first was highlighting that USDA predicts that the U.S. public will eat 12.2 percent less red meat/poultry this year than they did in 2007. The move to seafood and plants is on.
The second, which is probably the most compelling, is new research by Harvard University experts’ offers more evidence that eating red meat increases the risk of heart disease and cancer; it also counsels that substituting fish and poultry may lower early death risk. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death. Researchers gleaned their data from a study of 37,698 men who were followed for 22 years and 83,644 women who were tracked for 28 years.
I secured an invitation to the joint Alaska-Iceland responsible fisheries lunch and have the chance to meet the governor of Alaska, Sean Parnell. He understands the importance of the fishing industry to his state and is clearly proud of their achievements.
John Sackton, someone who will not often be quoted on these web pages, makes some excellent observations during the luncheon where we enjoyed fabulous wild Alaskan salmon and gorgeous Icelandic cod. John delved into the history and gave an explanation of where it was suggested the industry was at the ‘edge’ of extinction to today’s more truthful scenario which is all about a greater understanding of fisheries management and how we can control the outcomes through continuous improvement in responsible fishing management.
John pointed out strongly that governments fund the science, governments are responsible for the management of the resource on behalf of their community, governments create the opportunity for stakeholder input to management plans but at the end of the day governments make the rules of management and enforce them.
“Alaskan salmon has a 133 year history of fisheries management and the figures clearly indicate how well the model has evolved and has proven results,” John commented. “There is strong consensus on the FAO guidelines and governments moving to adopt responsible fishing as their goal. The opportunity for benchmarking through GSSI concept is good but it must be done in a neutral and independent manner and cost controls and efficiency improvements on certification through choice of standards are essential.”
A planned meeting with CBS Foods and Shawn Davis was next on the list. Making their debut at this year’s show. The Original Shrimp Burger from CBS Foods is a healthy, shrimp-based burger alternative and the first shrimp burger available on the market to date. This burger is low fat, low calorie and high in selenium and an assortment of other key ingredients with high nutritional value and can be enjoyed just as traditional burgers (its condiment friendly and easy to eat at any backyard BBQ or summer celebration).
Shawn was featured on the hit ABC show Shark Tank – where he was turned down by investors on national television. Shortly after the episode aired, he received several calls from outside investors about his company and was able to turn the brand around, going from USD 30,000 prior to Shark Tank to a projected worth of USD 9 million by the end of 2012. He recently appeared in a follow-up episode on Shark Tank, highlighting the brand’s tremendous success against the odds.
Shawn’s success is drawn from his expertise as a chef and a desire to ensure that his young daughter was not missing out on the family burger nights. Coming home from school one day having being fed some propaganda on meats his daughter was avoiding the regular protein the family was enjoying. Shawn experimented until he came up with a winning shrimp burger and it’s been all action from there.
CBS only uses Louisiana wild caught shrimp so is a great advertisment for what you can do with value adding to a highly valued commodity.
I followed up on the NOAA new Fishwatch web service and was pleased to have some discussions on how we can share information globally to increase the knowledge and education.
The day has moved along. The time moves so quickly. It is now time to move away from the event and to the invited parties. Along the way I meet up with fellow Aussies Doug Miller (Markwell Foods) and Greg Stamboulidis (Stambos) – they are from my hometown in Melbourne but we have to travel all the way to Boston to meet – it is a strange world.
Parties are the time to network, grab a snack, network, grab drink, network, catch up with old friends, network – it is fun, enjoyable and tiring all at the same time. The generosity of our hosts is much appreciated but soon it is off for the ‘one for the road’ and if you can escape without being rude then there is a chance you won’t get caught for the real late night come early morning arrangement. I get back to the hotel at 2:30 a.m. – it has been a long day….