Thursday, July 10, 2014

Update:  Sea Port and the Seafood Nutrition Partnership continue to work together to increase the U.S. per capita consumption of seafood

Sea Port attended a Seafood Nutrition Partnership  meeting called by their Executive Director, Linda Cornish, which took place recently in Seattle, Washington.  Sea Port was part of a diverse group of seafood companies, fishing companies, universities, federal fishery managers, and powerful philanthropic foundations who shared the common  goal to convince American consumers to eat a diverse variety of seafood at least two times a week.

At the meeting, the best available science on the health benefits of eating seafood at a minimum of twice a week  was reviewed.  The science showed that at such a consumption level, the health of newborns, children, young adults, and senior citizens would be greatly enhanced.

Currently our per capita consumption of seafood is approximately 14.4 pounds, which is roughy half the recommended consumption level.  If we followed the advice of our USDA and FDA to eat seafood twice a week, we could quickly increase that level to over 20#/year!  Such a modification in our diets would produce profound positive health benefits for our nation.

Meeting highlights:

·         Sea Port suggested that an Ad campaign be initiated that would coin a phrase such as  “20 by 20”, “Seafood 20/20”, or “20 by 2020” that would be used as the rallying cry to advance the U.S. per capita consumption of seafood to 20 pounds by the year 2020

·         Others mentioned that the fearfulness and lack of knowledge about how to cook seafood needs to be addressed with heightened educational efforts

·         It was also mentioned that 75% of seafood is consumed at the restaurant/foodservice level and that we need to work even harder with this food sector to drive increased consumption

·         Others mentioned that increasing sustainable seafood consumption actually increases the health of our environment and that this should be emphasized  as part of the campaign

The passion about the health benefits of seafood ran thick throughout the meeting.  This passion was especially evident with two of the more high profile attendees, former NBA star Detlef Schrempf and Captain Keith Colburn from the “Deadliest Catch”.

Please leave any suggestions you may have on how we can all better work together to increase our seafood consumption.   We would love to hear from you.

Sincerely, Dave Glaubke

Monday, June 23, 2014

This June has been remarkable for the number of news events that have positively supported Sea Port’s optimistic and enthusiastic commitment to our Go Blue! seafood initiatives for environmental sustainability, personal health, and social justice.  As Sea Port celebrates its annual June CFEST Seafood Celebration, we want to highlight some of this month’s positive news developments. Most importantly, Sea Port wants to emphasize that we believe that our worldwide seafood industry is the most responsible and proactive of all the world’s economic sectors in driving the needed environmental and social justice improvements associated with the utilization of our productive and awe inspiring aquatic resources.
·         U.S. State Dept. downgrading Thailand to Tier 3:  Ultimately positive to drive social equity and eliminate the slave trade which is the second most common and lucrative global crime behind illegal arms trading

·         EPA Proposes guidelines to cut carbon pollution from existing  coal-fired power plants:  ultimately positive to mitigate ocean warming and acidification

·         FDA & EPA new proposed guidelines for seafood consumption for those pregnant and for young children:  Overwhelmingly positive

·         White House announced initiatives to combat IUU fishing, seafood fraud, and global overfishing:  Ultimately positive for advancing the long term sustainability of seafood production & marketing

·         White House and other nations announcing the formation of additional Marine Protected Areas:  Ultimately positive for enhancing adjacent fisheries and protecting biodiversity

·         National Strategic Plan for Aquaculture announcement:  Ultimately positive because aquaculture is the world’s fastest growing animal protein production system (outdoing beef production!)

·         The State Department’s “Our Ocean”, the Capitol Hill Ocean Week, World Oceans Day, and NOAA’s June  National Ocean Month all have worked to inform the politicians at home and abroad about the importance of our worldwide fisheries and aquatic environments and the solvable threats they face

Sea Port believes our seafood industry was born of struggle, courage, and most importantly of a positive and enthusiastic “can-do” attitude and because of this, we in the seafood industry will be the primary drivers of ocean health and human wellbeing in terms of social equity, prosperity, and personal health.  Please leave any comments or email me directly at     Sincerely, Dave Glaubke, Director of Sustainability Initiatives

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

World Oceans Day:  The perfect time to rekindle the conservationist spirit of Theodore Roosevelt to help expand worldwide marine protected areas

Currently approximately 13% of landmasses on our Earth are protected from all or limited human influence by way of national parks, reserves, preserves, wilderness areas, and refuges. It is now time that our world oceans are accorded the same level of protection.  To be at a commensurate level the amount of protected ocean areas would need to more than quadruple.

"Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us." - Theodore Roosevelt

During Roosevelt’s presidency, he protected approximately 230,000,000 acres of public land and encouraged other nations around the world to do the same with their own natural wonderland areas.

World Oceans Day is the perfect time for all nations to embrace the enduring conservationist spirit of Theodore Roosevelt and work together to help bring our wondrous oceans up to the same level of protection that the world gives to its lands.

In the naturalist spirit of Teddy Roosevelt, enjoy and celebrate World Oceans Day!

Sincerely, David Glaubke

Director of Sustainability Initiatives, Sea Port Products Corp.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sea Port is helping lead the way to the next Green Revolution

The land based Green Revolution that was championed by Norman Borlaug in the 1960s is credited with saving over a billion people from starvation by developing robust high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice that when augmented with the application of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and modern growing practices enabled the production in the developing countries of Asia to more than double!

I can still remember as a kid in the ‘60s when my parents would say, “Eat all that food on your plate, people in China are starving!” For those of you who also grew up in that era, you most likely heard similar parental chiding and you may have even responded with the same smart-alecky retort I used.  However, now that I am older and hopefully more mature, I am simply astounded how significant the Green Revolution was in the course of modern history.  The terrible scourge of starvation was dramatically reduced.  In addition to this, the resulting increased state of food security enabled the world population to grow quickly from 3 billion in 1960 to the present day 7 billion.

This land based Green Revolution however is far from over and is poised to get some major boosts from a variety new agritech achievements such as super rice varieties.  While this is certainly comforting news as our population expands toward 10 billion by the year 2050, an emerging new type of Green Revolution may become even more significant for humanity going forward:
Seaweed and microalgae aquaculture !
 A host of possible benefits from this new type of Green Revolution based on algae:
·         small area of ocean needed to feed the entire planet
·         reduction of ocean acidification
·         reduced need for feed inputs to grow the seaweed and algae
·         carbon and nitrogen sink attributes
·         providing a protein and omega 3 feed source for finfish and crustacean aquaculture and land livestock
·         providing oils for the creation of biofuels and bioplastics
·         expanding the development of important pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals

Sea Port is constantly anticipating and strategizing in order to both drive and adapt to changes in our dynamic seafood industry.  One way we are driving positive change is by promoting our Seasoned Seaweed Salad.  Please get on board with us and do your part to help make this new Green Revolution become a reality quicker by simply adding seaweed to your seafood choices.

I believe that the arrival of this new Green Revolution will be so profound that a smart-alecky retort like the one I made in my childhood in the ‘60s (“Well, just send it to them then”) will simply never occur in the future because the scourge of starvation will have been totally eliminated due to the multiple benefits stemming from seaweed and microalgae aquaculture.

I would love to hear your comments..............................Sincerely, Dave Glaubke

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Man-made climate change: The ultimate threat to sustainable fisheries

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) comprised of Nobel Prize-winning scientists recently reported that ocean warming and acidification due to climate change have the potential to devastate the current productive capacities of our oceans.  Never before has the U.N. put out such a strongly worded warning concerning such risks.

Climate change caused by CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels is the ultimate threat to the long-term sustainability of our fisheries. In light of this IPCC report, it is finally time for the worldwide seafood industry, governments, NGOs and all fossil fuel energy companies to unequivocally acknowledge that this threat is real. All the current efforts to manage fisheries for sustainability will be for naught and seem very narrow-minded if we cannot uniformly acknowledge this fact.

By universally acknowledging the reality of man-made climate change the world will be taking that requisite initial step toward cooperatively solving its associated problems.

Please leave your comments on this often times politically charge issue.  Sincerely, Dave 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Beef prices at 28-year high:  An opportunity for increasing U.S. seafood consumption?
Recently the USDA announced that beef prices (adjusted for inflation) are at the highest levels since 1987.  This is a wonderful opportunity for the U.S. per capita consumption of seafood to advance.  U.S. seafood consumption has declined each year since 2006 and now may be the perfect opportunity to reverse this trend!   

Actions we can all initiate and support to take advantage of this opportunity:

·         Champion competitively priced seafood products

·         Champion consistent quality and consumer friendly value added products

·         Strongly promote the essential nutritional aspects that are unique to seafood

·         Push seafood as the most environmentally sustainable animal protein in the world

With historically high beef prices and near record price levels for pork and chicken, the seafood industry has a great opportunity to gain more recognition as the healthiest and most environmentally sustainable animal protein on the planet.  There may be no better time than now to promote the U.S. consumption of seafood!

Please share your ideas how we can all work together to advance the U.S. per capita consumption of seafood.     

Sincerely, Dave Glaubke

Director of Sustainability Issues

Monday, April 7, 2014

A New Era of Ubiquitous High-Tech Sensors Will Transform Sustainable Seafood Practices and Policies

We already have an enormous number of sensors in our homes, cars, cities, rural areas, oceans, and even high overhead in satellites that measure a myriad of factors such as temperature, pressure, light, sound, chemical composition, movement, radiation, and even gravity!  However, we are now entering a new era where sensors will have much more advanced capabilities, be smaller and cheaper, and be deployed everywhere.  This brave new world will be forever filled with billions and billions of sensors that will monitor and collect vast amounts of data about every aspect of our lives from our personal health to changes in our natural environment. 

While this new era of ubiquitous sensors will have both negative and positive ramifications, it will certainly be overwhelmingly positive for the advancement of sustainable seafood production.  The old adage that you cannot improve something if you cannot measure it, certainly holds true for all aspects of our seafood sustainability goals and aspirations.  This highly advanced sensor-filled world will transform current sustainable seafood practices and policies as we struggle to confront the rapidly occurring man-made changes of global warming, ocean acidification, and aquatic eutrophication that so severely impact both wild fisheries and aquaculture.  

In this new era, these sensors will produce huge quantities of data as they monitor not only fishery and aquaculture biomasses, but also their surrounding environmental parameters.   These specifically targeted sensor data will have unprecedented utility because spatial, temporal, compositional, and behavioral measurements will have a never before seen degree of accuracy and relevancy.   This flow of data will be in real-time, as this sensor-filled world will be connected instantaneously by the “internet of things” (IoT).  Just as amazing as this, there will be the computer power and data methods available to analyze this vast number of measurements to discover never before seen correlations between fisheries, their environment, and the demand parameters placed upon fisheries and aquaculture for our sustenance.  Armed with these new enhanced real-time data, fishery and aquaculture practices and policies will become much more responsive and predictive in nature. 

Technologically advanced real-time optical, sonic, and GPS sensors will monitor all the lifecycle stages of fishery biomasses and farmed seafood.  In addition, real-time monitoring of fishing vessels’ catch compositions, quantities, locations, discards, and habitat and endangered species impacts will become the norm and will greatly reduce the need for onboard observers.  Sensor use in aquaculture will become affordable and instrumental in advancing best practices to maximize input efficiencies, animal health, and to reduce effluents and other negative environmental impacts.

These new era sensors will become smaller and more robust.  They will routinely be hitching rides on the bodies of wild and farmed fish, ocean currents, fishing gear, pond surfaces, and on many yet unimagined substrates.  Miniature lens-less cameras, sonic, and other sensors will be better able to map the oceans’ plankton abundance in real-time.  This will provide insights into how man-made changes in the biogeochemical and geophysical parameters of Earth affect this foundational link in the marine food chain.  These insights will help transform sustainable seafood practices and policies to embrace a much more holistic perspective.  This will help bring to light the absolute need to confront the growing problems of global warming, ocean acidification, and aquatic eutrophication in order to protect the future of both wild fisheries and aquaculture.
This new era of ubiquitous sensors will help broaden our current concept of individual ecosystem approaches to fisheries and aquaculture management to an even more enhanced holistic perspective based on the entire biosphere approach.  Nothing helps explains this broader concept better than to simply observe how the two biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nitrogen have been thrown off-kilter by our massive production of CO2, by the burning of fossil fuels, and by our massive production of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.  These two human activities are unfortunately increasing global warming, ocean acidification and aquatic eutrophication.  However, the burning of fossil fuels and the production of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers have been absolutely monumental in the course of human history because they have made it possible for over 7 billion of us to be alive today (2 billion of us in 1930).  These two transformative technological accomplishments have also allowed us to enjoy never before seen high levels of wellbeing.  In this coming sensor-filled world, high-tech sensors will be monitoring all the critical points along the carbon and nitrogen recycling pathways.  By doing so, they will detect changes in a vast variety of variables such as ocean pH and eutrophication levels in real-time. These highly advanced and cost effective sensors will further help usher in this more holistic concept of the biosphere approach to sustainable and responsible seafood production.

Massive amounts of sensor data will also be collected in real-time from the geophysical processes of weather, ocean circulation, volcanos, seismology, rising sea levels (due to global warming), and from multiple points along the global hydrologic cycle.    These additional data will further help drive acceptance of the holistic concept that Earth’s biogeochemical and geophysical processes, that humans can indeed throw off-kilter, are the ultimate determinants of the future of sustainable seafood production.

This coming new era of high-tech ubiquitous sensors will help foster the creation of tools and policies that will aggressively work to correct, mitigate, and prevent the negative man-made consequences of global warming, ocean acidification, and aquatic dead zones that so severely impact our wild fisheries and aquaculture. The negative impacts of CO2 emissions and eutrophication are recent phenomena created by humanity’s technological ingenuity.  This very same technological inventiveness will also provide the solutions to these problems and sensors will play a defining role as we boldly confront the negative consequences of our own success as the world’s most dominant species.

One last prediction concerning personal wearable sensors:  In this coming new era, advanced personal health sensors will tell us when our omega 3 and selenium levels are low and then immediately locate and direct us to the nearest restaurant for some sustainable seafood!  This will be yet another overwhelmingly positive ramification in this soon to arrive brave new world of ubiquitous sensors.