There’s something fishy going on in Oregon — in a good way! And if all goes as planned, fifth grade students in the state’s Seaside School District will better understand and appreciate Oregon’s sustainable seafood and fisheries.
Recently, the Oregon Albacore Commission announced they had secured a Farm to School Grant from the Oregon Department of Education. But in this case, the grant is actually supporting a boat-to-school culinary program for the district to educate students about the sustainable seafood and fisheries, many of which are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Along with educating students about the health benefits of locally sourced wild seafood, the unique program will teach about five different seafood types. Starting in October, there will be speakers from the Oregon Albacore Commission, Oregon Trawl Commission, Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, Oregon Salmon Commission, as well as fishermen from each fishery.
Organizers say the program will feature specially created workbooks, posters and nutritional guides for classes. They are also providing recipe cards and groceries to encourage students to prepare seafood meals at home with families. In the spring, students will have the chance to visit a local salmon hatchery.
From Oregon to New England
To understand the challenges facing small and medium-sized fishing families, read Brent Tolley’s story. He comes from a fourth-generation commercial fishing family out of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and works as a community organizer for the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA). He told us:
We were not farmers, but fishermen. But the kinds of impulses that have pushed for agricultural consolidation are being mimicked on the ocean. There is a focus on putting industrialized models on fishing.
Brent talks about how fishermen are adopting effective farming techniques, such as Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), as well as educational outreach to build community support. We find their work inspiring.
The FDA’s Seafood site with information on everything from safety tips for selecting seafood to government regulations.
Here’s more on how U.S. federal agencies are working to implement the Presidential Task Force’s recommendations to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and seafood fraud entering the U.S. marketplace.