Sustainable Seafood Dinners Presented by Audubon G.U.L.F.’s Chef Council

Renowned chefs from the Gulf region will share their passion for local, sustainable seafood at Audubon Nature Institute’s second annual Summer of Sustainability dinner series launching on Thursday, June 1, at 6:30 p.m. and continuing through August. Tickets are going fast! Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

“The first dinner on June 1 is all about oysters, working as both the kickoff to the Summer of Sustainability and the New Orleans Oyster Festival, taking place June 3-4 in Woldenberg Riverfront Park,” said John Fallon, G.U.L.F.’s Assistant Director. “Audubon and Oyster Fest are working closely this year to highlight the importance of having a healthy, sustainable Louisiana oyster industry.”

Hosted by Audubon’s sustainable seafood program, Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.), the dinner series raises awareness about seafood sustainability and highlights local chefs working to support Gulf of Mexico fisheries.

“These dinners are a fun, easy, and delicious way for the public to learn about and support sustainable seafood,” continued Fallon. “The amount of culinary talent we have behind this is just astounding, and a testament to how important the issue of seafood sustainability is for us here on the Gulf Coast.”

G.U.L.F.’s Chef Council and Restaurant Partners, comprised of some of New Orleans’ best chefs, will present all-inclusive, multi-course dinners in front of the breathtaking Gulf of Mexico habitat at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.

Spearheaded by Tenney Flynn, Chef/Co-Owner of New Orleans restaurant GW Fins, the Chef Council partners with Audubon to spotlight the importance of promoting local, sustainable seafood.

“Seeing the expanded number of talented chefs participating in this dinner series is exciting because it provides a much wider reach to educate consumers about the bounty of seafood available in our backyard, furthering the mission of the Audubon G.U.L.F. program,” said Flynn.

Participating Chefs and Restaurants (subject to change):
• Tenney Flynn-GW Fins
• Susan Spicer-Bayona
• Ryan Prewitt-Peche
• Brian Landry-Borgne
• Alan Ehrich-Audubon Tea Room
• Cory Bahr-Restaurant Cotton
• Alex Harrell-Angeline
• Jason Goodenough-Carrollton Market
• Dana Honn-Carmo
• Allison Richard-High Hat Café
• Alfred Singleton-Café Sbisa
• Austin Kirzner-Red Fish Grill
• Acme Oyster House
• Ruby Bloch – Cavan
• Chris Lynch – Commander’s Palace

Louisiana Blue Crab Fishery First to Receive G.U.L.F. Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification

Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) continues its mission to ensure the viability of Gulf of Mexico fisheries by certifying Louisiana blue crab under its new  certification program. The G.U.L.F. Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) certification is a regionalized model  measuring the responsible practices for the sustainable harvest of our vibrant Gulf of Mexico seafood.

The Louisiana blue crab fishery is the first to go through the process and receive the G.U.L.F. RFM certification. Global Trust, an independent assessment body specializing in the certification of fisheries, carried out the evaluation and awarded the certification.

Similar certification models have also been established in Alaska and Iceland.

dsc_8272“It’s exciting to see the Louisiana blue crab achieve GULF RFM certification,” said Susan Marks, Sustainability Director, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. “Participation by the Gulf States, alongside Iceland and Alaska, provides customers another credible and cost-effective choice in demonstrating responsible sourcing and 3rd party certification.”

The certification is based on internationallyaccepted principles laid out by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in their Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and Ecolabelling Guidelines for Fish and Fishery Products to ensure that seafood is responsibly harvested and sustainable. G.U.L.F.’s RFM certification was developed in accordance with those guidelines, as well as with principles set forth by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

“This is the culmination of a comprehensive process to create a certification unique to the species and fisheries management systems specific to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, ” said Laura Picariello, Technical Programs Manager for G.U.L.F. “Throughout the process, G.U.L.F. consulted with a Technical Advisory Committee comprised of researchers, resource managers, industry members, and other stakeholders from the Gulf of Mexico region. G.U.L.F. continues to work closely with fishermen and resource managers to facilitate communication and outreach to ensure the process is transparent and thorough.”

GULFFisheries certified under the umbrella of G.U.L.F. will gain credibility in a marketplace with ever increasing demands for sustainability verification. In recent years, large retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Kroger, Winn-Dixie and Publix have developed strict sourcing policies that require sustainability assurances before purchasing seafood. This certification demonstrates that Louisiana blue crab is responsibly harvested for sustainable use, thereby safeguarding both the seafood itself and the industry that relies on it.

“This significant milestone for Audubon’s sustainable seafood program expands our already considerable presence in the landscape of conservation,” says Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman.  “We cannot underestimate the importance of a healthy Gulf of Mexico to our state’s economy. A vibrant, well-managed marine ecosystem will provide for healthy fisheries that will enable us to continue to be near the top in national seafood production.’’

Thanks to a long history of excellence provided by Louisiana’s fishing industry and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, our coastline supplies a significant portion of the nation’s seafood.  Over a quarter of all blue crab harvested in the United States comes from Louisiana waters, making it the country’s largest blue crab fishery.

Certifying Gulf fisheries to the highest level will ensure that products coming from regional waters will be abundant and well-managed and that consumers can continue to feel confident about eating Gulf seafood. This certification for the Louisiana blue crab fishery not only verifies the proper management of this valuable resource, but also enhances the marketability of Louisiana’s delicious blue crabs. Sustainability of our region’s fisheries is essential to the livelihoods of fishermen, processors, restaurateurs and many others who depend on the seafood industry.

“What this ultimately means is that consumers can feel good about purchasing Louisiana blue crabs,” said Picariello. “Just check the label to make sure the blue crabs you are purchasing came from Louisiana waters, or ask your grocer or server where the product comes from.”


Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions and FishChoice Launch New FIP Website

The number of fishery improvement projects (FIPs) globally has grown dramatically,yet there has been no central clearinghouse for detailed FIP progress tracking. However, that has now changed this week with the launch of is a one-stop shop for information on the progress of global fishery improvement projects. It makes tracking progress more efficient, consistent, and reliable for businesses that support FIPs. The website is a place for FIPs to showcase their progress to potential buyers and for businesses to find FIPs that meet their sustainable seafood commitments.

The site, a collaboration between the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions and FishChoice (of which G.U.L.F. is an affiliate), gives users all the information they need to make decisions about whether FIPs meet their sourcing policy. Users can search for FIPs or browse a full list of all the FIPs on the site. For each FIP, users will start with a progress snapshot and can easily access workplan details and supporting documentation if they need more information.

The information on this new site is verified regularly by staff. When a FIP requests to be included on the site, staff conduct an initial review of information to confirm that the FIP meets the Conservation Alliance’s guidelines, which serve as the foundation for the site. In addition, staff review each FIP’s progress reports annually to ensure the information is accurate. Currently, G.U.L.F.’s Louisiana Shrimp FIP is listed on the site.

Interested in learning more? Join a webinar to learn more about the site features and how you can create an account. The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 3 from 2-3pm ET/11am-12pm PT, and you can RSVP by emailing Liz Kieffer (

Learn more about the site at, and contact Kristin Sherwood ( with any questions.

Tuna-Fete at Carrollton Market October 25


There’s nothing fishy about Carrollton Market’s tribute to National Seafood Month….but the menu certainly is! In partnership with Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.), on October 25th at 7:00 p.m., Carrollton Market will host Tuna Fête, a six-course dinner dedicated to locally sourced seafood, specifically tuna.

“We do our best to source ingredients from the community, ” says Jason Goodenough, chef/owner of Carrollton Market. “We are fortunate to have amazing local fishermen and farmers who provide a wide variety of top quality fish and seafood.” Restricting the menu to feature only tuna was a creative challenge, he adds.

Each course will highlight a different preparation of tuna. Guests will enjoy Chef Goodenough’s versions of Tuna Nicoise, Tuna Carpaccio, and of course, seared Yellowfin Tuna. Even the roasted veal loin will be accompanied by a tuna mayonnaise.

“National Seafood Month is all about celebrating local, sustainable seafood, and there is no better way to do that than by dining at one of our restaurant partners, ” says John Fallon, Assistant Director of the G.U.L.F. program. “This dinner is a great example of the commitment Carrollton Market has made to the Gulf seafood industry and sustainability.”

Only forty guests will be seated for Tuna Fete. The cost is $150/person with beverage pairings and $100/person without pairings. A portion of proceeds will be donated to Audubon Nature Institute’s G.U.L.F. program.

To reserve a seat, call Carrollton Market at (504) 252-9928.


About Carrollton Market

Carrollton Market is a modern Louisiana bistro in New Orleans founded in March 2014 by chef and owner Jason Goodenough. Founded with the vision of creating the best restaurant in New Orleans, the restaurant draws from local farmers and fisherman to ensure the highest quality food. Carrollton Market is open for dinner Tuesday – Saturday from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. and for brunch Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. To learn more, visit

Follow Carrollton Market on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Audubon Nature Institute Awarded NFWF Gulf Coast Conservation Grant

G.U.L.F. Program Will Reduce Impacts to Sea Turtles Through Shrimp Industry Engagement


generic sticker layoutAudubon Nature Institute has received nearly $52, 000 to work with the skimmer shrimp fishery of the Northern Gulf on sea turtle conservation. Awarded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the grant will fund work to reduce sea turtle capture by skimmer trawls though shrimp industry engagement. Audubon received one of 18 NFWF Gulf Conservation Grants awarded to programs working to enhance coastal habitats, bolster fish and wildlife populations and strengthen resilience along the Gulf of Mexico.

The NWFW Gulf Conservation Grants Program (GCCGP) will support Audubon’s sustainable seafood program, Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) to increase sea turtle protectio by expanding the ‘Tow the Time’ education campaign for shrimp fishermen. The Tow the Time Campaign focuses on educating fishermen about current tow time limits (55 minutes from April 1 to October 30 and 75 minutes from November 1 to March 31). The GCCGP builds on existing alliances and looks to build new partnerships, with major funding provided by the Shell Marine Habitat Program, Southern Company’s Power of Flight Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and other sources.

“This is another great example of Audubon’s commitment to local conservation and working to protect endangered species, ” said Ron Forman, President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute. “The focus of this grant compliments the excellent work currently being performed by Audubon’s Coastal Wildlife Network, which to date has rescued and rehabilitated more than 200 endangered sea turtles from our local waters.”

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, concerns arose over drastically declining sea turtle populations in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. One of the reasons identified for sea turtle decline was mortality associated with shrimp trawls. To address these interactions, NOAA implemented new regulations for the shrimp fishery. Changes in the industry included turtle excluder devices (TEDs), which are installed in nets to allow endangered sea turtles to escape while shrimpers are fishing, and tow time restrictions for smaller, inshore nets such as skimmers to reduce the potential for interactions. Since then, sea turtle mortality has significantly decreased and sea turtle populations are showing signs of recovery. Continued concerns over the five species of sea turtles in the Gulf necessitate increased awareness of these regulations to optimize the benefits of these regulations.

DSC_7494“G.U.L.F. has been working with the skimmer trawl shrimp fishery in the northern Gulf of Mexico for the last several years, ” said Ashford Rosenberg, G.U.LF. Outreach Manager. “Funds from NFWF’s Gulf Coast Conservation Program will go toward expanding our work with fishermen by providing them with “Tow the Time” decals, which serve as visual reminders of current regulations for skimmer trawls that help limit interactions with sea turtles. This grant will also allow us to expand our work with the industry, ensuring we can inform them about current regulations and potential future regulations.”

The grants will also support industry workshops that will educate fishermen on current and upcoming proposed regulations, the logistics and benefits of turtle excluder devices (TEDs), and the importance of carrying observers on their vessels.

“Gulf restoration work is reaching new levels of conservation success, benefiting both wildlife and local communities, ” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “We are excited to build on these achievements with this latest round of Gulf grants.”

View full press release. 

Summer of Sustainability on WWL

On Thursday, June 30, 2016, G.U.L.F. appeared on the local New Orleans station WWL with the chair of the G.U.L.F. Chef Council, Tenney Flynn. Check out the clip below to see Chef Tenney cook up some amazing seafood to whet your appetite for the Summer of Sustainability!

Audubon G.U.L.F. Partners with Mississippi Commercial Fishermen Union to Promote Sustainable Fisheries

MSCFU logo             GULF

Audubon Nature Institute’s sustainable seafood program, Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) is pleased to announce a partnership with  Mississippi Commercial Fishermen Union (MSCFU)  to increase awareness of sustainable fishing practices that will ultimately result in­ a more robust fishery and foster community knowledge of sustainably managed Gulf seafood. MSCFU has joined as a participant in the Mississippi Shrimp Marine Advancement Plan with Audubon G.U.L.F. “MSCFU is a representative of the Commercial Shrimp Industry of Mississippi, and we look forward to working with G.U.L.F. and other special Interest Groups to ensure them the dedication our Commercial Fisherman have towards the Industry, ” said Frank Parker, a founding member of MSCFU and the Shrimp King at this year’s Blessing of the Fleet in Biloxi.

mscfu2This partnership will promote sustainable commercial fisheries throughout Mississippi and along the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Audubon Nature Institute, a not-for-profit organization based out of New Orleans, LA, is emerging as a leading trusted partner in the global sustainable fishing movement. Their projects include third-party certification, fishery improvement projects, and outreach and education to consumers, foodservice businesses, and fishermen.

Audubon G.U.L.F. provides a unique platform for all five Gulf States to participate in the advancement of seafood industry interests by engaging all stakeholders in the sustainability discussion. Audubon Nature Institute created Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) in 2012 after recognizing the need for a home-grown champion for Gulf seafood. “We are so excited to be working with Mississippi Commercial Fishermen’s Union, ” said Ashford Rosenberg, Outreach Manager at G.U.L.F. “Often, sustainability is talked about at the retail and restaurant level and the fishermen get left out of the conversation. G.U.L.F. is happy to be working with an organization led by fishermen who are dedicated to sustaining their livelihoods and the Gulf of Mexico on which they rely.”

Effective immediately; MSCFU agrees to participate in conjunction with Audubon G.U.L.F. on fishery sustainability projects for Mississippi territorial waters and the Gulf of Mexico fishery as a whole. Additionally, both MSCFU and Audubon G.U.L.F. have signed a Participant Letter of Agreement for a Mississippi Shrimp Marine Advancement Plan (MAP) to further advance sustainability practices among the shrimp industry in Mississippi. This plan serves to bridge the information gap between harvesters and consumers by bringing together all members of the shrimping industry including fishermen, dealers, processors, scientists, and fishery managers to help evolve the his
toric Mississippi commercial shrimp fishery.

By signing on as a participant in the Mississippi Shrimp MAP, MSCFU agrees to the actions recommended by G.U.L.F. after the completion of a sustainability benchmarking of the fishery. One action includes the formation of a Shrimp Task Force in Mississippi and MSCFU agrees to participate in its development and contribute to the overall process of verifying and improving the sustainability of the fishery.

generic sticker layoutAdditionally, under the Mississippi Shrimp MAP, commercial shrimpers and MSCFU members will be encouraged to use Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) and Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRD) on all shrimping nets. Shrimpers using skimmer trawls are also reminded of the current tow time limits (55 minutes April-October and 75 minutes November-March) and are encouraged to use “Tow the Time” window decals so all crew members on participating shrimping vessel will be aware of tow time restrictions.

“Mississippi shrimp is a sustainable fishery and should be recognized as such, ” said Rick Burris, Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resource (MDMR) Shrimp and Crab Bureau. “Mississippi fishermen do a good job of following the regulations set in place including TED requirements and applicable tow times.  The MDMR Office of Marine Fisheries recently featured G.U.L.F.’s “Tow the Time” campaign, federal TED regulations, and official TED Enforcement Boarding Form in the 2016 Mississippi Shrimp Newsletter, which was sent to all resident licensed commercial shrimp fishermen in the state. The MDMR’s Office of Marine Patrol also thoroughly enforces all related regulations and provides year round courtesy TED inspections to assure proper compliance.”

Mississippi shrimpers have been using sustainable fishing gear such as TEDs and BRDs for decades and many fishermen use such gear even though they are not always required to do so by law.


All Mississippi fishermen are encouraged to participate in the MAP regardless of membership in the MSCFU. These projects are completely voluntary and participants do not receive any direct compensation; although, the consensus is that sustainability certifications will eventually add value to the Gulf’s natural marine resource. For a full list of participants, visit

The Mississippi Commercial Fishermen Union seeks to lead in the sustainable seafood movement through community involvement, education, research, outreach, and by leveraging technologies to provide trusted digital traceability that will compliment certifiable sustainable fisheries to ensure consumers are getting the absolute best sustainably harvested wild Mississippi seafood. “As many of us are generations deep in this industry we realize that’s this not our grandfathers’ shrimp business anymore, ” continues Frank Parker. “We should be held to a higher standard of more efficient, sustainable, and responsible fishing measures. Our opinions, based off of years of real life experiences, should be held in higher regard than those out of a book.  We look forward to helping insure our industry moves forward with the future.” This is the first step in a long term MSCFU commitment to conserve, advance, and promote the Gulf Coast’s wonderful natural marine resources.

G.U.L.F. Travels Entire Coast

We at Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) pride ourselves on the hands-on approach we take to sustainability and Gulf Coast seafood. We actively travel the Gulf of Mexico, speaking with management and industry on how to best advance the sustainability of our fisheries.

ashford pointing to Mexico

Ashford says “Mexico is that way, ” in Brownsville, TX.


Last week we completed the arc of the Gulf, having officially driven the entire coast, from Brownsville, TX on the Mexican border, to Key West, FL, the southernmost point in the continental U.S. in the last year and a half. While that is about 1, 700 miles from Point A to Point B, we have done it in several stretches, traveling a cumulative 27, 000 miles.


Blue crab sculpture in Rockport, TX.


We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the seafood industry across the Coast, advancing the sustainability of our well managed fisheries.

laura and ashford key west

Ashford and Laura at Southernmost point in Key West, FL.

Louisiana agents now allowed to enforce TEDs in state waters

DSC_7867aToday,  Bill HR 668 passed into law, which repeals the 1987 law prohibiting state agents from enforcing turtle excluder devices (TEDs) on shrimp trawls in state waters. TEDs are installed in nets to allow endangered sea turtles to escape while shrimpers are fishing. Since 1987, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries and the United States Coast Guard, who have the authority to penalize boat owners if there is a TED violation, have been working in Louisiana waters, ensuring TEDs are installed properly. Moving forward, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) agents will contribute to efforts that ensure compliance with TED requirements in state waters. The change comes after the Shrimp Task Force submitted a letter supporting the repeal of the law earlier this spring. The law goes into effect August 1, 2015.

Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) has worked to advance seafood sustainability in the Gulf of Mexico since 2012. John Hewitt IV, G.U.L.F.’s Executive Director, said, “We are fortunate to live and work in this region and have been collaborating with industry and LDWF since the program’s inception. We fully support the repeal of this law and applaud what the Shrimp Task Force, fishermen, and regulators do on a daily basis to make sure our fisheries are well-managed. We are looking forward to continuing to work throughout our region, securing a vibrant future for Gulf of Mexico seafood.”

DIGITAL CAMERAShrimp is the largest seafood industry in the state of Louisiana, with a dockside value of $178 million in 2013. However, the inability of LDWF agents to enforce TEDs in state waters has damaged the reputation of the industry in some areas.

“It’s time we get rid of the stigma on the non-enforcement of TEDs, ” said Lance Nacio, owner of Anna Marie Shrimp. “Most shrimpers are already pulling TEDs and what you hear from some NGOs is a misrepresentation of our industry. Whatever a law might say or not say, we’re invested in having a good fishery.”

Kristen Baumer, President of Paul Piazza & Son, Inc. says, “As a major supplier of Louisiana shrimp to foodservice and retail consumers, we are very proud that Louisiana and our fishery has enhanced our commitment to sustainability. This allows the focus to be on educating the U.S. consumer that our wild caught Louisiana shrimp is safe, available, and delicious to eat.”

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)

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