Title: News Release

Passionfish Contact: Patti Parisi,
Director of Marketing & Communications
(510) 593-5188
Other Contact: Mario Aguilera,
Assistant Director of Communications, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
(858) 534-3626


Oakland, CA - September 03, 2003

Our oceans' bounty isn't what it used to be. What it will be is determined by what we buy and sell today. Sustainable seafood isn't just a slogan - it's a balance between commerce and conservation, between landlubbers and sea lovers. Discover where you fit. Passionfish will convene a spirited and evocative forum on the contentious issues of marine fisheries and seafood consumption in San Diego on Thursday, September 25, 2003. Come learn, laugh, and leave inspired.

The Passionfish forum will engage a broad spectrum of experts from across the country representing seafood and restaurant businesses, conservation, philanthropy, media, government, aquaculture, fishing, and academia. These diverse stakeholders share the one goal of fisheries sustainability although their views often diverge on the means of achieving it.

The urgency of multiple sectors working cooperatively cannot be understated. All agree that a crisis exists in our ocean and that action must be taken now. Who should act and what should be done, however, depends on whom you ask. It's a global issue with goliath dimensions. Between the titans exists Passionfish. We get the experts talking to one another and to affected communities. In San Diego we're in search of common ground for collaborative problem solving.

The two-and-a-half hour moderated forum will explore three distinct approaches to tackling fisheries and seafood sustainability: environmental stewardship, fishing industry leadership, and market-based resource management. While an afternoon is inadequate to solve the problems, this simplified framework offers transformative insights into the issues, the beliefs of others, and one's own convictions. Our forum peels back superficial disagreement. What are revealed are bedrock core values. With a solid understanding of what we each treasure there is hope for saving what we all love. San Diego is a community that is geographically, economically, philosophically, and internationally poised to seize this leadership role.

Moderating the panel will be author Bradford Matsen. Matsen is an authority on fisheries issues, a past editor of National Fisherman, and a renowned author and photographer. "Everything we know about the ocean tells us that our relationship with it is fragile and in some cases toxic," Matsen says. "The pressure of almost six billion humans on the sea and its creatures is a phenomenon that has never been experienced before, and it calls for the utmost in creativity and awareness to kindle hope for a benevolent future. In its San Diego forum on sustainability, Passionfish is bringing together a group of people who are simply not willing to ignore the call for collaborative action. I can't wait to spend the afternoon with them."

"In San Diego, this trend-setting collaboration will draw together restaurateurs, wholesalers, tourism officials, elected officials, and advertising firms in an ambitious campaign we've named "Sustainable San Diego," says Passionfish Executive Director and Co-founder Carl Rebstock. "Our aim is for America's Finest City to be the first of a string of pearls that threads its way up the West Coast of North America. The courses of action this community's businesses choose to undertake will be based on sound information, will leverage the market responsibly, and will provide an international model for public-private partnership."

"Most people feel removed from this debate although it affects an important and beloved food source," says Patti Parisi, Passionfish Co-founder. "And those that are involved are often engaged in heated battles about tactics. In short, businesses are passionate about profit, and environmentalists are passionate about conservation. We believe that, with the right approach, these passions can be reconciled and directed into a powerful force for change."

And, says Passionfish Co-founder Andrew Ryland Spurgin, "We founded Passionfish because no one else was doing this. People who agreed with each other were talking among themselves. Meanwhile, it was business as usual for everyone else who were either unaware, on a soapbox, or alienated. Respecting various stakeholders and bringing them together in an educational dialogue is the answer. Providing awareness and building relationships is the first step."

The Passionfish panel discussion is part of the Oceans 2003 Marine Technology and Ocean Conference in San Diego. The five-day conference is being billed as the largest "Oceans" conference ever.

The Passionfish forum will be held Thursday, September 25, 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in the Terrace Pavilion at the Town and Country Resort & Conference Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, in Mission Valley. Admission is free and open to the public. Look for signs directing you to the forum. This can't-miss event will be like nothing you've ever experienced. The forum is co-sponsored by Scripps Institution of Oceanography and coincides with its Centennial.

John Filose, Vice President, Ocean Garden Products, Inc.
Bernard Guillas, Executive Chef at The Marine Room
Jeremy Jackson, Ph.D., Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
A. Samuel King, President & CEO, King's Seafood
John LaGrange, fisherman and President, American Fishermen's Research Foundation
Dick Murphy, Mayor, City of San Diego (invited)
Dierk Peters, Ph.D., International Marketing Manager, Sustainability Projects,
Unilever Frozen Foods Europe
Walter Pereyra, Ph.D., Chairman, Arctic Storm Management Group, Inc.
Mike Sutton, Program Officer, Ocean Conservation Program, David & Lucile Packard Foundation
Linda Sheehan, Director, Pacific Regional Office, The Ocean Conservancy
Christopher Speed, N.D., Manager, Food and Nutrition Strategies, Oldways Preservation Trust
Brad Warren, Editor, Pacific Fishing Magazine

Bradford Matsen, Author of books and films on marine science, fisheries, and seafood

About us: Passionfish is for people passionate about the ocean, fishing, and seafood! We are a nonprofit public education project actively promoting sustainable wild fisheries and aquaculture. Founded in 2000, Passionfish has developed an innovative approach for addressing seafood and fisheries sustainability: forums that reveal common ground amid contention, celebrations of seafood, broadcasts that build awareness, and a unique book series aimed at inspiring adults and children about ocean and seafood sustainability.

Passionfish: www.passionfish.org
Oceans 2003 Conference: oceans2003.org
Scripps Centennial: scripps100.ucsd.edu/bash.cfm