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

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, 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 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)


Guest Blogger Jeff Marshall, G.U.L.F. Intern

trawler Watching the weathered green trawling nets slowly rise out of the muddy Louisiana waters, a certain aroma of fresh shrimp slowly envelops the air as the swollen net swings over my head and into the boat. As the haul is dumped atop the holding container, we immediately drop the nets back in the water and start sorting through our catch. I begin to feel right at home as I become temporarily spellbound by this unique aspect of Louisiana culture that relatively few people seem to experience. This is my recollection of my first trip shrimping with my grandfather when I was about nine years old, and it remains an exceptionally vivid memory that I will not soon forget and forever cherish. Though I have not actually been shrimping with my grandfather in a few years, I continue to help him peel and package shrimp for family and friends; for it’s through these seemingly trivial moments such as peeling shrimp with my family that I truly realize how vital our fisheries have become to the local society, economy, and culture.

In addition to the memories of growing up in a fisherman’s family, I have been molded into a person with a deep appreciation for our coastal fisheries. Having recently graduated from LSU and studying a considerable amount of marine biology, I was looking to get involved with coastal fisheries in any capacity; and the perfect opportunity soon became available with the Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.). Perhaps the main reason I had become attracted to G.U.L.F. is that we share ideals. My main interest has been to promote seafood sustainability while preserving the socioeconomic uniqueness of the Gulf Coast region, and this has proven to coincide with the underlying mission of G.U.L.F. From conducting field research to making countless phone calls to practically living on the road all in a combined effort to better preserve the Gulf coast and its individuality, the wonderful people of G.U.L.F. have remained extremely proactive in their ongoing and seemingly endless efforts to achieve more sustainable fisheries.

During my time at G.U.L.F., I was able to get a fantastic and in-depth understanding of the issues that remain involved in coastal fishery sustainability and cultural preservation. It’s through the implementation of Marine Advancement Plans (MAPs) throughout the Gulf Coast that has ultimately allowed G.U.L.F. to establish an appropriate plan to monitor communications and the upkeep of the fishery to ensure its continued sustainability. It’s through MAPs, field interactions, and a tireless devotion to coastal fisheries that we are truly able to make a difference in the Gulf Coast community. With the same tireless devotion I have been fortunate enough to promote G.U.L.F. at outreach events, notify the public of the importance of coastal fishery sustainability, meet new people and organizations that are continuing to make considerable strides in coastal sustainability, and assist in the daily operations of the supportive staff of G.U.L.F.

Though my internship may technically be over, my involvement with G.U.L.F., the conservation of coastal fisheries, and the preservation of local culture has seemingly just begun. Simple moments such as shrimping and peeling shrimp with my family make me realize the impacts that certain cultural traditions have on individuals and communities; and it’s ultimately our responsibility to make sure that these traditions are preserved, continued, and able to last for the foreseeable future. I believe that it’s through the continual help of organizations like G.U.L.F. that sizeable advances are constantly being made in the conservation of the Gulf Coast fisheries for the enjoyment of future generations. Lastly, my time here with the great people of G.U.L.F. has only strengthened my desire to become more involved in safeguarding the incomparable Gulf coast community and its vast commodities and customs.

Jeff Marshall

Thanks to everyone who made this internship possible especially Ashford Rosenberg, Laura Picariello, Julianna Mullen, and John Fallon. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here; it wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of you all.

Jeff at LRA

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