There are no better advocates for the food we love than the people who prepare it. That's why the Aquarium works closely with chefs and culinary educators, supporting their role as advocates for sustainable seafood.
In summer 2017, as Congress began discussing legislation that could weaken management of U.S. fisheries, we knew just who to call: our Blue Ribbon Task Force—a 60-strong group of leading culinary professionals who actively promote sustainable seafood, both in their kitchens and during hundreds of events and appearances each year.
Chefs Susan Feniger (Border Grill Restaurants, Los Angeles and Las Vegas), Sheila Lucero (Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, Denver and Kansas City) and Steve Phelps (Indigenous, Sarasota) join Aquarium experts to meet with more than 25 members of Congress.
Over the summer, we accompanied three Task Force chefs to Washington DC, where they let elected officials know how important strong, science-based U.S. fisheries are to the restaurant industry. When legislation began to make its way through Congress, the entire Task Force took to social media to defend the Magnuson-Stevens Act, our nation's foundational fishery management law.
In December, the Task Force's 100+ posts across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter urged members of the House Committee on Natural Resources to uphold the science-based management standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and in turn, the sustainability of U.S. fisheries. In just over one week, the chefs' messages had gotten over 10,000 likes, shares and retweets, and reached almost 2 million people.
In August, the Aquarium rallied nearly 200 chefs across five continents, who pledged to keep Pacific bluefin tuna off their menus until nations agreed to take meaningful action for these imperiled ocean predators. This pressure from the culinary community may have helped pave the way for a historic international agreement to put Pacific bluefin tuna on a path to recovery.
As businesspeople and public figures, chefs provide a fresh perspective on the seafood supply chain. In our ongoing work to improve the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture, both at home and abroad, we'll continue to help make their voices heard.
The Aquarium rallied nearly 200 chefs who pledged to keep Pacific bluefin tuna off their menus.