Louisiana Removes 5600 Derelict Traps From Water

Every year, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries closes state waters to blue crab fishing for a period of time. This year the closure was for 30 days, and during that time over 5,600 derelict crab traps were removed. G.U.L.F. had the opportunity to attend the volunteer day on March 4th with LDWF and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation where over 1,500 traps were removed in Delacroix in one day. We always enjoy the chance to get out in the field and be active in coastal conservation and sustainable fisheries.

More information on the crab trap rodeo.


G.U.L.F. Appears on the Cuisine Report on WGSO 990am

On June 22, 2016, John Fallon and Ashford Rosenberg appeared as guests on the Cuisine Report, a local radio show on WGSO 990AM in New Orleans whose mission is to promote new restaurants and support established restaurants, to feature local food brands, and to educate and be educated about topics trends and news about our local and regional rich Gulf south’s food industry.

G.U.L.F. enjoyed chatting with show host, Cynthia Clark, about our projects, the importance of the seafood industry to New Orleans, and our upcoming Summer of Sustainability Dinner Series. The full interview is below.

G.U.L.F. Initiates Eight MAPs Across the Gulf of Mexico

For the last two years, Audubon Nature Institute’s sustainable seafood program, Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.), has been working with the seafood industry and management agencies in all five Gulf States on Marine Advancement Plans (MAPs). This work, commissioned by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, aims to provide a road map that will advance Gulf state fisheries toward greater sustainability.

At the conclusion of 2015, G.U.L.F. has benchmarked eight fisheries against the Food and Agriculture Organization Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, an internationally recognized standard of sustainability. Benchmarking reports were completed by utilizing information from management agencies, academic institutions, and direct industry input. The results of each benchmarking report show that Gulf fisheries are currently meeting high standards of responsible management at state and federal levels and provide recommendations for each fishery on areas that could further improve sustainability of these valuable resources. The next step for G.U.L.F. is to work collaboratively with management agencies and industry members to implement recommendations provided by these reports. Some fisheries have already begun this process, resulting in Action Plans publicly available on G.U.L.F.’s website, www.AudubonGULF.org.

“We are very proud of our seafood along the Gulf Coast, ” said John Hewitt IV, Director of G.U.L.F. “It is an integral part of the economy and culture of this region, and the management agencies here do an excellent job regulating species such as crab, shrimp, and oyster, so that populations stay as healthy as possible for the enjoyment of all.”

Industry engagement is important to G.U.L.F., which is why we have traveled extensively to meet with members at multiple levels of the supply chain.  “Ultimately, we wanted fishermen and processors actively engaged in our projects, ” continued Hewitt. “It’s their industry, and we are here to act as a guide to translate what fishermen are doing on the water into the language that restaurants and retailers are looking for regarding sustainable seafood sourcing.”

G.U.L.F. is dedicated to advancing the fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico toward greater sustainability, and will continue to collaborate with industry and regional managers. Through education and outreach, Marine Advancement Plan development, and third-party assessment and certification of our fisheries, G.U.L.F. highlights what makes the region’s seafood special and encourages our fisheries to go above and beyond to meet the highest standards for responsible fisheries management.


Join us for an exclusive evening with members of our Chef Council!

Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) is excited to announce an exclusive culinary experience in an unforgettable setting. Please join some of New Orleans’ best chefs as they present an all-inclusive six-course dinner set in front of Audubon Aquarium of the Americas’ breathtaking Gulf of Mexico exhibit. Proceeds from this event will benefit the ongoing work of G.U.L.F., Audubon’s sustainable seafood program.

G.U.L.F. Chef Council’s own award-winning chefs from some of New Orleans’ finest restaurants will showcase the bounty and diversity of Gulf seafood. Final menu selections will be determined by the freshest catch of the day. Tickets to this exclusive evening are very limited. Join us as we highlight the incredible resource that is Gulf of Mexico seafood with Great Chefs for G.U.L.F.,  Thursday, September 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Audubon Aquarium.

Participating Chefs:

Tenney Flynn, GW Fins

Susan Spicer, Bayona

Alan Ehrich, Audubon Nature Institute

Kristen Essig, Meauxbar

Chris Lynch, Atchafalaya

Jeremy Wolgamott, High Hat Cafe 


Space is very limited. Reserve your seats now!

GW Fins plate

G.U.L.F. Welcomes New Restaurant Partners

GULF Partner Logo In October 2014, Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) launched its restaurant partnership program by forming a Chef Council. This summer, we have expanded the program, adding 11 new restaurants.

Dickie Brennan, owner and managing partner of Dickie Brennan and Co said, “I’m a proud New Orleanian and growing up in the family I did, a main point of pride is our city’s food. Our cuisine wouldn’t be the same without our delicious local seafood. Out of our waters come some of the best tasting shrimp, oysters, crab and fish. It’s important to us to support the local men and women who use sustainable fishing practices. They’re helping to ensure that we have some of the world’s best seafood for generations to come!”

Tenney Flynn, Chair of the G.U.L.F. Chef Council and co-owner of GW Fins said, “When we launched the G.U.L.F. Chef’s Council a year ago, our hope was to continually expand our restaurant membership, adding many of the finer restaurants in New Orleans. We are excited to see that so many restaurants are such big supporters of responsibly using local seafood and welcome all of these new restaurants to the program.”

Whether you’re visiting Louisiana or you are a local, we encourage you to eat at one of our restaurant partners. By doing so, you are supporting our wildlife and our way of life.

New Restaurant partners

Full Press Release

Texas State Aquarium and G.U.L.F. Join Forces to Promote Texas Shrimp


On April 28, the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi hosted its third Seafood Wars event. While sustainable seafood dinners are not new for Texas State Aquarium, this new format creates a competitive atmosphere, where chefs are challenged to appease a crowd of 100 seafood lovers. Guests vote after sampling the chef’s dishes and a Seafood Wars winner is crowned, or toqued.

“Seafood Wars is a high profile and fun event that has expanded the audience for sustainable seafood messages in our community, ” said Leslie Peart, Director of Conservation and Education at the Texas State Aquarium. “This event attracts everyone from college students and young professionals, to recreational fishermen and diehard seafood fans.  We even provide background information and continuing education credits for teachers.  Seafood Wars has also attracted a fair amount of media attention and is regularly featured in promotional TV spots that allow us to broadcast sustainability messages more widely.”

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This past event focused on Texas shrimp, and Ashford Rosenberg, Outreach Coordinator for Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries, was the guest speaker. “Shrimp is the largest fishery in the state of Texas, ” said Rosenberg.  “85% of total seafood landings in Texas are shrimp, predominantly brown shrimp, so the economic contribution is huge. It was great to have to opportunity to visit Texas State Aquarium and talk to their guests about this amazing resource.”

About half of the brown shrimp landed in the Gulf of Mexico are harvested in Texas waters. Ashford discussed with the guests the impact of the shrimp fishery on the Texas economy, as well as the sustainability of the shrimp fishery. The guests even got quizzed on their Texas shrimp knowledge! Give it a try, see how you do!

Ashford at seafood wars

Ashford Rosenberg presenting at Seafood Wars. Photo credit: Richard Glover, Texas State Aquarium


The competitors for the evening were Chefs Nick Mackrizz of the Costa Sur Wok & Ceviche Bar and David Hix of Kody’s Restaurant & Bar. Competition was fierce, as each contestant created delectable dishes that showed off the amazing flavor of Texas brown shrimp. However, at the end of the evening, there could only be one winner, and that went to Costa Sur Wok & Ceviche Bar.


Costa del sur

Guests line up to try Chef Hix’s dish Photo credit: Richard Glover, Texas State Aquarium


Preparation from Costa Sur Photo credit: Richard Glover, Texas State Aquarium




Brothers and co-owners of Costa Sur celebrate their victory. Photo credit: Richard Glover, Texas State Aquarium

We sincerely enjoyed being a part of this event with Texas State Aquarium. G.U.L.F. was excited to join forces with Texas State to educate guests about the amazing resource in their back yard. We look forward to continuing to work with like-minded institutions across the Gulf, dedicated to promoting and conserving the commercial fisheries of this region.

Proposed Louisiana bill would allow state enforcement of TEDs

Since 1987, enforcement agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have been prohibited from enforcing federal turtle-excluder device laws. Over the last several months, the shrimp industry of Louisiana has been working to change this. The bill repealing the enforcement law still has to go through the Louisiana legislature, but it was introduced on April 3. The New Orleans Times-Picayune has been consistently reporting on the progress of this law. Stay tuned here or to nola.com for updated information.

Track progress of bill in legislature

Proposed bill would allow agents to enforce turtle-excluder device regulations

Louisiana Shrimp Task Force votes to repeal turtle-excluder device enforcement prohibition

G.U.L.F. Helps Boats Comply with Business’ Sustainability Policy

2015-02-13 10.02.54On February 13, G.U.L.F. traveled to Port St. Joe, Florida to organize a meeting between Gary Graham and Lindsey Parker of Sea Grant and the managers and captains at Wood’s Fisheries. One of two major shrimp processors in the Port St. Joe area, Wood’s Fisheries is committed to the sustainability of the Gulf shrimp industry. Their product has been featured in Wegmans and at various sustainable seafood events across the country. To help their boats stay up-to-date and in compliance with the latest TED regulations, they wanted experts to board and inspect two boats in the fleet. Gary and Lindsey conduct voluntary TED inspections across the Gulf of Mexico. They go over the gear on each boat in great detail, and alert the owners of potential problems. This can save the captains and the owners of the vessels precious time and money while out fishing.


Sea turtle escaping a TED. Photo credit Dan Foster/NOAA

Starting in the 1970’s, concerns over sea turtle mortality from interactions with shrimp vessels heightened. It was thought that these interactions were responsible for declines in many sea turtle populations across the world. Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) were developed to allow sea turtles to escape fishing nets, while fishermen could still retain their shrimp catches and make a living. Extensive research and gear testing have led to TEDs that are 97% effective at excluding turtles. (http://www.state.gov/e/oes/ocns/fish/bycatch/turtles/). Since all species of sea turtles are classified as endangered, TED violations can carry hefty fines and even result in the confiscation of shrimp catch.

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Installing TEDs into shrimp nets is very involved, and there are several measurements that fishermen must adhere to for a TED to be legal. In most cases, non-compliance is unintentional. Gary and Lindsey’s project aims to alert fishermen to problems with their TEDs before they are on the water. That way they have a chance to fix problems and avoid punishment from state and federal enforcement agencies.

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Lindsey Parker measuring the opening of a TED.

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Gary Graham documenting the TED measurements.

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Lindsey helping the captain of the vessel to ensure the bar spacing in the TED are even and legal.


Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries acts as a facilitator between industry and management. In cases like this, the processor wanted the boats he bought from to be inspected by a neutral third-party and educate the crew on the current TED regulations. We were able to connect the boat captain and processor with Gary and Lindsey, who have been doing TED research and education with industry for decades. It was a great success and we look forward to continuing to unite the Gulf seafood industry toward greater sustainability.

News Roundup 2/6/15

screen shot alabama seafood

1. Audubon G.U.L.F. promoting sustainability for Alabama blue crab (more)

2. Wegmans invites Northeast shoppers to get wild with Gulf shrimp (more)

2. Early tickets go on sale for seafood blog conference. (more)

3. Mississippi governor creates oyster council to help boost industry. (more)

Get to Know G.U.L.F. in 2015!

We at Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) are very proud of our work across the Gulf of Mexico. To better exhibit our projects, our organization, and the need for and presence of sustainable Gulf fisheries, we produced a series of videos. Visit our new YouTube channel or click the links below.

Get to Know Audubon Nature Institute

G.U.L.F.-Making Good Fisheries Great

Why Sustainability Matters

Sustaining Our Way of Life

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.