Passionfish Contact: Patti Parisi,
Director of Marketing and Communications
(510) 593-5188

With fins, flippers, flukes, and flagella a-flapping, Passionfish promotes consumerism with a conscience

Oakland, CA - MAY 23, 2005

With the spring has come a flurry of far-reaching activity for Passionfish. Our projects span San Francisco to Scotland, San Diego to Sacramento, and all share the same goal of solving the crises in our marine fisheries.

Passionfish is exploring a promising partnership with a start-up seafood brand and brokerage in San Francisco named CleanFish. CleanFish is a year-old firm supplying seafood nationally from sustainable wild fisheries and artisan producers worldwide. To boost the venture we co-convened a strategy session among a collection of clever professionals. As a capstone to this April 1st workshop, Passionfish and CleanFish kicked off our first annual celebration of the light-hearted French tradition named Poisson d'Avril (or "April Fish"). The potential partnership between Passionfish and CleanFish would blend our entrepreneurial energies to make a profit and a difference.

Dinner for Poisson d'Avril was quite an affair. It featured the finest artisan-raised salmon on the planet from Loch Duart in Scotland. The salmon was prepared superbly by French-trained chef Polly Legendre, owner of La Gourmande catering. And, as tradition with Poisson d'Avril, the meal was topped off with magnificent handcrafted dark chocolate fish from Parker- Lusseau pastries.

Joining us that evening in featuring Loch Duart salmon was Poggio's restaurant in Sausalito. And what better way to welcome a Scottish firm to its new markets in the United States than with bagpipes! Playing for us was Scott Cameron, a remarkable high school musician ranked among the top student pipers in the world.

Loch Duart has since generously offered to donate to Passionfish proceeds from the company's participation in the Loch Fyne May Market. This annual event in northwest Scotland attracts thousands of area residents and tourists-- great publicity as we work across the Atlantic to demonstrate that responsible aquaculture is possible and profitable.

Another tremendous opportunity arose recently at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) in La Jolla, California. On the suggestion of Passionfish advisor Professor Lisa Schaffer, we were invited by SIO and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Southwest Fisheries Science Center to participate in their conference entitled "The Future of Marine Biodiversity: the known, unknown, and unknowable" (KUU).

Passionfish Executive Director Carl Rebstock joined notables like Passionfish advisor Mickey Glantz, Ph.D., of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado (See Mickey's popular editorials, Fragile Ecologies), as well as participating on the Education and Outreach committee beside Richard Ellis, David Helvarg, Carl Safina, Ph.D., and others.

To encourage a discussion about the future of aquaculture, Carl worked with University of California San Diego (UCSD) Catering, CleanFish, and Passionfish advisor Michael Fung, of Better Halfshell seafood, to fly in a species of jack from Hawaii to the main dinner event held at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. This fish is being sustainably raised in novel, off-shore submersible pens by Kona Blue Water Farms.

Prepared according to a recipe provided by Chef Bernard Guillas of the Marine Room at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, not one bite was left uneaten at the end of the evening. "Carl Rebstock and Passionfish brought to this conference a contagious vitality and vision for obtaining sustainable seafood in the future. Their contributions, along with those of CleanFish, helped expand the Conference to include progressive markets," remarked David Field, Ph.D., an oceanographer and National Research Council Postdoctoral Associate who helped organize the four-day conference.

Not surprisingly, attending the KUU conference led to several important liaisons, including assistance Carl is offering to Lea Houlette, a UCSD undergraduate, in establishing a campus chapter of the California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC). Headquartered in Sacramento, California, the CSSC represents an ideal mechanism for bringing a balanced exploration of sustainable fisheries issues to a statewide university audience.

April also brought an invitation to participate in the "Partners for Sustainable Seafood Systems" workshop in Oregon jointly hosted by the Pacific Marine Conservation Council (PMCC), Ecotrust, and the Community Seafood Initiative (CSI) as well as a request from the film company Wiland-Bell Productions. Both are efforts to recognize and promote the efforts of individuals and organizations doing extraordinary work in the area of sustainability.

Wiland-Bell was looking for recommendations for people to include in their film entitled "Edens Lost and Found". After consulting with Passionfish advisor Brad Warren and CleanFish, we suggested four individuals with rich stories to tell: Steve Fitz, the last Scottish seiner in the country who artfully fishes sanddabs out of Half Moon Bay in California; Ray Forsman, who traps prawns in Puget Sound in Washington State; Pete Knutson, Ph.D., who gillnets salmon from Alaska to Puget Sound; and Passionfish advisor Wally Pereyra, Ph.D., who was instrumental in developing the recently MSC-certified pollock fishery in the late 70's, our nation's largest and "cleanest."

Profiles of people like these are being incorporated into Passionfish's distinctive seafood cookbook. We would welcome your contributions. Our book will offer a fresh and spirited look at enjoying sustainable seafood!

Thank you for your continued interest in our work!

About us:  Passionfish is an innovative non-profit that promotes sustainable fisheries and aquaculture through public education and stakeholder collaboration. Founded in 2000, Passionfish programs include exhibitions, community education "Get the Dish on Fish" dinners, live public forums, and consumer and children's education. Match your passion with cash--please support Passionfish.