G.U.L.F. Standard Public Comment Period Set to Close

There are ten days left in the public comment period for the G.U.L.F. Standard. We welcome any feedback you have. To submit a comment, email it to gulf@auduboninstitute.org. Once we have received all comments, our Technical Advisory Committee will reconvene to address them. The public comment period will close on February 13th, 2015.

News Roundup 1/30/15

1. Louisiana shrimp landings up for 2014 as local season closes (more

2. Seafood Wars at Texas State Aquarium (more)

3. Audubon Nature Institute releases cold stunned sea turtles (more)

4. Oystermen battle over the future of Texas oyster reefs (more)



Site Visit for Assessments of Louisiana Blue Crab and Oyster

Global Trust and a team of assessors will be conducting on-site assessments of the Louisiana blue crab and oyster fisheries. The data gathered by the assessors will be used to benchmark them against the Audubon G.U.L.F. Standard, and ultimately a certification decision regarding their sustainability will be made later in the year.

Site visits will be conducted in New Orleans and Baton Rouge February 3-5, 2015. Visit our Fisheries in Progress page if you would like more information on the assessment process. Should you desire to speak to the assessment team, please contact us and we will set up a time for you to meet with them.

Louisiana Blue Crab and Oyster Enter Assessment

DSC_8272-cropped2015 marks the start of the assessment process for both Louisiana blue crab and oyster. The applications of the fisheries and timelines for the assessment are available on our website; check back frequently for updates and additional materials.

After an RFP process, we have chosen to use the assessment services of Global Trust, Inc. They will work alongside a team of assessors independently selected for their familiarity and expertise with Louisiana’s fisheries, and their neutral stance.

Blue Crab Assessment Team

Oyster Assessment Team

As a reminder, we are accepting comments on the G.U.L.F. Standard through February 13, 2015 and we would love to hear from you.

Download the standard

Submit your comment

News Roundup 1/23/2015

1.  Despite high prices and lower supply, oyster bars and specials proliferate around New Orleans. (more)  

2.  Meauxbar Chef Kristin Essig in Elle Magazine. (more)

3.  G.U.L.F. seeks public comment on certification standard. (more)

News Roundup 1/9/2015

1.  Louisiana considers “Catch and Cook” Program. (more)

2.  Expanding U.S. aquaculture to the open ocean. (more)

3.  Off-bottom oyster farming launched in Grand Isle waters. (more)

4.  Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan to deliver keynote at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in New Orleans. (more)

Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries in 2014: A Year in Review

2014 was an incredible year for G.U.L.F.! We made huge strides, and look forward to continuing to unite the Gulf seafood industry in 2015. Here are some of our biggest accomplishments from the past year:

1. Start of Marine Advancement Plans

The start of 2014 marked the launch of our Marine Advancement Plan (MAP) project. MAPs are a tool to communicate the sustainability of Gulf fisheries to retailers, restaurants, or other businesses who want to know detailed information about the sustainability and management of Gulf State fisheries. In addition, MAPs will also identify areas within state management where advancements can be made to be consistent with an international standard of sustainability, Food and Agriculture Organization Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries Management. We are currently working on six MAPs.




Texas Blue Crab

Texas Shrimp

Mississippi Blue Crab

Alabama Blue Crab

Florida Stone Crab

Florida Blue Crab





2. Launch of AudubonGULF.org

screen shot web home page

In March, we debuted our new website. Designed as a tool to educate businesses and consumers about sustainability and Gulf fisheries, AudubonGULF.org houses details about our work, species information, and the latest news and events pertaining to Gulf seafood. Check in regularly for updates on our projects.

3. Outreach and Industry EngagementAudubon G.U.L.F. Outreach 05

G.U.L.F. is a regional program dedicated to the sustainability of state fisheries across the Gulf Coast. It is our goal to do outreach and education, as well as industry engagement, across all five Gulf States. We were incredibly busy in 2014 to achieve this goal, and have been successful. At festivals and outreach events, we encourage consumers to support local, domestic Gulf seafood for its unique taste, high quality, and rigorous management that ensures its sustainability.  We have traveled outside our region across the country to spread this message. During our travels we interview members of the industry, from harvesters to retailers, to hear their experiences with Gulf fisheries, how we can enhance the industry, and how they can get involved with our work.

4. Launch of Chef Council

chef council hi res

In October, G.U.L.F announced our formation of the G.U.L.F. Chef Council, a group of ten chefs dedicated to sourcing sustainable Gulf of Mexico seafood in their restaurants. Chaired by Chef Tenney Flynn of GW Fins, the Chef Council will partner with G.U.L.F. to act as a voice for promoting local, sustainable seafood.

5. G.U.L.F Certification Standard


Over the last two years, G.U.L.F. has been working on developing a standard that will certify Gulf of Mexico fisheries as sustainable. In December, we opened the first draft of the standard to public comment to ensure voices from the industry could be heard as we continue to move forward with this project. The first round of comments will be accepted until February 5th. Send an email to gulf@auduboninstitute.org to submit your comment.

News Roundup 12/29/14

1.  Restaurant partner Meauxbar included in Gambit’s favorite restaurants of 2014.  (more)

2.  Commercial fishing workshop upcoming in Houma, LA. (more)

3.  Nova Southeastern University professor angling for invasive lionfish. (more)

News Roundup 12/19/14

1.  Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing releases recommendations, open for public comment. (more)

2.  27 Cold-stunned sea turtles arrive at Audubon Nature Institute for treatment. (more)

3.  Louisiana opens waters closed Since oil spill in 2010. (more)

4.  Research shows minimal impact on sea turtles from shrimping industry. (more)


A Bird’s Eye View of the Louisiana Coast

In November, Outreach Coordinator Ashford Rosenberg, took to the sky to take a look at the Louisiana coastline. The opportunity is part of a grant that gives people the opportunity to see how the coast has changed over the last few hundred years. Land loss is a major concern in Louisiana, especially in the wake of several strong hurricanes that have hit the Gulf Coast in recent years. Land built by sediment deposited from the Mississippi River can act as a barrier and help protect against storm surge. However, anthropogenic processes over the last century have altered the flow of the Mississippi River and affected the structural integrity of Louisiana’s wetlands. Many projects have been proposed to address the issue in the hopes of preventing more wetland loss.


Less than 100 years ago, this area used to be farmland. Deltas are notoriously rich in nutrients that facilitate plant growth. However, with alterations to the Mississippi River channel, this area is no longer getting the sediment it needs, and building canals has facilitated the weakening of soil structure and the land washing away.

oil canal

Canals such as these were dug as part of oil operations, and they can be seen in large numbers across the Louisiana coast.

delta community

Communities dot the landscape. People here live largely in isolation, relying on boat transport to get from place to place. In some instances, these areas are fishing camps with temporary residents, but some are towns with permanent residents. The delta provides habitat for many commercially and recreationally important marine species, and the people in these areas rely on that resource for food and income.


Barrier islands play a large role in coastal ecosystems. They can act as a barrier to wave energy, decreasing the force of waves that reach the mainland. However, they are highly unstable, and move regularly as sediment builds them up and storms wash them away. Plant life plays a role in stabilizing these islands. A variety of planting projects exist, but have varying degrees of success. Other projects have been proposed to help build barrier islands back up again to provide continued coastal protection from wave energy.

It was an amazing opportunity to see coastal processes from a different point of view, and was also quite humbling to see how much a landscape can change in such a short amount of time. Protection of the delta and wetlands is essential to ensure that people in coastal Louisiana can continue to survive and thrive, and with innovation and collaboration, projects that aim to do so can be successful.

Download the Audubon Gulf Seafood Guide mobile app:
Click here for the app tutorial on YouTube.
Sponsored and coordinated by Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.
Authorized by the five Gulf state marine resource management agencies.
NOAA Award #NA10NMF4770481.