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

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!

G.U.L.F. Invites You to the Summer of Sustainability


Building on the great success of last year’s event, Great Chefs for G.U.L.F.,  Audubon Nature Institute’s sustainable seafood program Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) is celebrating the bounty of the Gulf of Mexico all summer.

The Summer of Sustainability is a dinner series hosted at Audubon attractions, featuring the chefs of the G.U.L.F. Chef Council and Restaurant Partnership Program.

G.U.L.F. would like to formally invite you to join us for dinner, and enjoy the culinary adventure that awaits you at Audubon Nature Institute.


Participating Chefs and Restaurants (subject to change):
Cory Bahr, Restaurant Cotton
Jana Billiot, Restaurant R’evolution
Corbin Brand, Audubon Clubhouse Café
Alan Ehrich, Audubon Nature Institute
Bourbon House
Kristen Essig, Coquette
Tenney Flynn, GW Fins
Alex Harrell, Angeline
Ryan Hughes, Purloo
Brian Landry, Borgne
Chris Lynch, Atchafalaya
Ryan Prewitt, Peche
Peter Sclafani, Ruffino’s
Susan Spicer, Bayona
Jeremy Wolgamott, High Hat Café


Audubon Clubhouse Café

July 9, 2016
Event Details

Audubon Aquarium of the Amercas

August 4, 2016
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Audubon Zoo Swamp Exhibit

September 15, 2016
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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.”

Underutilized Fish Gaining Momentum in New Orleans

bycatch 2015Bycatch, often referred to as “trash fish, ” is becoming a hot culinary trend nationwide. When fishermen go out, they target certain species. Sometimes, other species are caught, and these are usually thrown back because they are not seen as valuable. In other words, the fishermen can’t get as much money for them. Chefs are starting to demand these bycatch species at their restaurants to offer something different for customers. Often, these underutilized species are just as delicious as their more known counterparts, but they don’t have the name recognition. One example is blue runner. This is an open water fish commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico that many people have never heard of, but blue runner have a similar taste as tuna.

Blue runner is one of the species that was highlighted at the Bycatch Happy Hour at Carmo on June 4. This event, which was a collaboration with Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) and the New Orleans Eat Local Challenge, encouraged guests to try something a little outside of their comfort zone.

“I think it’s part of the focus on getting what’s local and adding diversity to your diet, of tapping into more of what’s really out there, ” said John Fallon, Assistant Director of Outreach and Engagement for G.U.L.F. “The trouble with serving this kind of seafood is the consistency. You don’t always know what you’re going to get because, by its nature, it isn’t a targeted catch. But when there’s more of a market for different types of fish, more fishermen will take care of what they catch and people can get better access to it.”

For more information about Carmo’s Bycatch Happy Hour, and the Trash Fish movement in New Orleans, visit the New Orleans Advocate.

MS Seafood Cook-Off features top chefs from around the state

The sixth annual Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off will be held Friday, June 5, from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Slavonian Lodge in Biloxi.

The competition showcases 10 of Mississippi’s most talented chefs, and they will be competing for the title of “king” or “queen” of Mississippi seafood. Each chef will present his or her signature dish featuring fresh, sustainable Mississippi Gulf Seafood to a select group of judges.

The winning chef will represent Mississippi in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off on Aug. 8 in New Orleans.

“The annual cook-off is one of the best events we have to showcase the top-quality chefs we have in Mississippi and fresh Gulf seafood, ” said Jamie Miller, executive director of MDMR. “It also allows us to raise money for a vital community organization, CLIMB CDC.”

Chefs from various states compete in the national cook-off and must create their dishes using domestic seafood native to their state. Mississippi and Louisiana are tied for the most wins in this competition.

In 2013, chef David Crews of Cleveland, Miss., won the national title.

Chef Derek Emerson of Jackson will emcee the Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off. Emerson owns several restaurants, including Walkers Drive-In, Local 463 and Caet Wine Bar. He also is a James Beard Award semi-finalist for best Chef of the South.

The following chefs will be competing in the June 5 cook-off:

  • Ty Thames/Restaurant Tyler – Starkville
  • Matthew Kajdan/Parlor Market – Jackson
  • Justin Ferguson/Purple Parrot Café – Hattiesburg
  • Eric Spencer/Island View Casino – Gulfport
  • Ryan Bell/Hal & Mal’s – Jackson
  • Danie Rodriguez/LUNCH and City Life Café – Biloxi
  • Clayton Barney/Cotton Blues – Hattiesburg
  • Chef Anthony Rametta/Cora’s – Biloxi
  • Camron Razavi/Magnolia House by Kelly English – Biloxi
  • Corbin Evans/Oxford Canteen – Oxford


Although only the judges will taste the chefs’ preparations, event attendees will be served fresh seafood dishes prepared by culinary students of Café Climb in Gulfport. Café Climb is part of CLIMB Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit group that focuses on practical workforce training, livable wage employment opportunities, small-business job creation and sustainable housing solutions. The group’s mission is to promote strong communities by giving individuals access to opportunities that inspire self-reliance.

Tickets to the Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off are $15 for one and $28 for two, and all proceeds go to CLIMB CDC. Tickets are available online at

Audubon sustainable seafood program becomes national FishChoice Affiliate

fishchoice logoWe have officially become a Sustainable Seafood Affiliate with FishChoice, a business-to-business website that connects parties with a common interest in supplying and providing sustainable seafood. FishChoice’s restaurant finder is an interactive tool that features G.U.L.F’s ten restaurant partners,  as well as other restaurants around the country committed to serving responsibly sourced seafood to their guests. We are excited to provide information regarding inshore fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico to like-minded businesses interested in supporting the sustainability of this region. 


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