As oceans warm, the types of seafood that predominate in our major fisheries are changing. At the same time, farm runoff is contributing to dead zones from the Gulf of Mexico to Long Island. Both of these issues – climate change and farming practices – affect the health of ocean ecosystems and, ultimately, the seafood that winds up on our plates. To support sustainable fisheries, changes will need to occur on farmland and in the sea, from the adoption of more sustainable farming methods to the re-establishment of offshore habitat. What will that mean for the notoriously picky American eater? Will they need to move beyond their familiar cod, shrimp and salmon, and embrace species that thrive in a warming climate – like jellyfish, green crabs, even sea robins – if the local seafood industry is to survive? Join experts - including NAMA's Coordinating Director Niaz Dorry - and producers in a discussion to find out! Buy tickets here.
Action Alert! Public Hearing in Sarasota, FL
Based on a significant amount of interest from the public, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding a hearing on a draft permit for a fish farm that would operate in the ocean off the west coast of Florida. The hearing will take place on January 28, 2020 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s WAVE Center, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236.
The Velella Epsilon project, proposed by Hawai’i-based Kampachi Farms, would be the first such fish farm to be permitted in U.S. federal waters, setting a dangerous precedent that could expand harmful fish farming practices across the country. If this permit is granted, it would give one company license to create a private enclosure in the ocean and use public resources for its own financial benefit at the expense of the ecosystem, the community, and industries like fishing and tourism in the entire region.
We have three opportunities for you to demonstrate your opposition of this project (pick one or all three!). Help us make it clear to the EPA that our oceans deserve to be protected. Here's how you can get involved:
(1) Attend the January 28th hearing in Sarasota and make oral comments. Register here.
(2) Join us for a demonstration in front of the WAVE center right before the hearing! (5:00-5:30pm)
(3) Submit written comments to R4NPDES.Kampachi@epa.gov by February 4, 2020.
The Don't Cage Our Ocean Coalition, along with other local and national organizations, will be showing up at this event. If you are able to join us in person, please reach out to our policy coordinator, <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?Subject=Velella%20Project" target="_top">Rosanna Marie Neil</a> to coordinate with the group action.
Join NAMA along with the Don't Cage our Ocean Coalition and local partners to express our shared opposition to this project at the hearing.
Public Hearing Details
WHEN: 5:30 pm EST - 9:30 pm EST
WHERE: Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s WAVE Center, Sarasota, FL
To learn more about why this project would be a dangerous development, here's an op-ed by Marianne Cufone, Executive Director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition. She provides a detailed account of why this project would be harmful to communities and our oceans.
To further connect land and sea food systems, we'll be attending the Community Food Systems Conference taking place in Savannah, GA, December 9-11. Michael Twitty will be the keynote presenter, and our director Niaz Dorry will be joining an all-star plenary panel featuring Rashid Nuri, Karla Blaginin, and Shirley Sherrod. A slate of over 50 workshop and lightning talk presenters are attending from all over the country. The conference is co-hosted by Georgia Farmers Market Association.
Join the Don’t Cage Our Ocean Coalition on Thursday, December 5 at 3pm Eastern for a webinar discussion of our collective work to prevent industrial offshore aquaculture in the U.S. - an emerging industry that poses significant environmental and socio-economic threats. This webinar is co-sponsored by GRACE Communications Foundation and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders, and is a follow-up to the aquaculture dinner hosted at the 2019 SAFSF forum last June.
We'll be joining Jane Fonda and others at this week's Fire Drill Fridays: Food Justice & Agriculture Can't Wait! to highlight the impact of climate change on our sea and land food systems. Join us for a teach in Thursday night, November 28th and rally November 29th.
The Food Solutions New England (FSNE) Network Leadership Institute invited NAMA and network leaders to speak on a panel on fisheries issues that affect the New England food system. Discuss items will include the organizing efforts to defend the ocean commons, network building around values-based seafood and alternative business models, as well as opportunities to join the growing movement.
The Network Leadership Institute grew out of FSNE’s ongoing commitment to cultivating thought leadership and network leadership “to support the emergence and viability of a New England food system that is a driver of healthy food for all, racial equity, sustainable farming and fishing, and thriving communities.” Another impetus for the Institute was a year spent doing system mapping and analysis that revealed four leverage areas for advancing a just, sustainable and democratically-owned and operated regional food system, including cultivating and connecting leadership.
On November 5th, the Food Solutions Forum will connect farmers, fishermen, food workers, small business owners and the public with presidential candidates as we discuss the challenges and opportunities facing our local food producers.
Please join us and our partners at University of New Hampshire - Durham as we engage presidential candidates from across the political spectrum on how these small business owners can partner with state and federal governments to prosper, expand their markets and hire more people, while maintaining the unique character that is New Hampshire.
Date: November 5, 2019
Time: 10:00am - 1:00pm
Location: The Granite State Room
University of New Hampshire – Durham
The US Food Sovereignty Alliance Northeast Regional Gathering is happening November 2nd & 3rd in Milford, New Hampshire.
Join us to learn, reflect and continue strategizing together to advance food sovereignty!
During the Assembly, we will ground ourselves in our history, hear from attendees about the work they are doing to advance food sovereignty, and explore a contextual analysis of food sovereignty in the Northeast through analyzing trends, forces, and opportunities. Attendees will hear about how feminism intersects with food sovereignty, and work together to create a shared work plan for our region!
Link to the Facebook event where we will post updates and information. We encourage you to invite your friends! Please be sure to register in addition to RSVPing on Facebook.
The Assembly Planning Committee is made up from folks from WhyHunger, Agrarian Trust, Harmonized Cookery, Friends of the MST, Greater Nashua Food Council, the Agroecology Research-Action Collective, Farmworker Support Committee/El Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas (CATA) and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA).
Saturday, Nov. 2nd.
Venue: Unitarian Universalist Congregation church - 20 Elm Street, Milford, NH
Light breakfast served 8:00-9:00.
Assembly begins at 9:00.
Dinner 5:00-7:00 at Greenleaf restaurant - 54 Nashua Street, Milford, NH
Sunday, Nov. 3rd
Venue: Greenleaf restaurant - 54 Nashua Street, Milford, NH
Light breakfast served 7:30-8:30.
Assembly begins at 8:30.
We will wrap up by 1:30.
Friday, Nov. 1st. USFSA Assembly attendees are invited to attend, though the Assembly officially starts Saturday morning.
2nd Annual Free Community Dinner 5pm-7:30pm
Greater Nashua Food Council invites community members of the Greater Nashua Region to join us in celebrating another successful year in improving access to healthy, local foods for all. Dinner is Free and this year provided by NH Food Bank Culinary Program. We will be awarding our Community Food Champions and honoring our local farmers. We hope to see you there!
About the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance
The US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) works to end poverty, rebuild local food economies, and assert democratic control over the food system. We believe all people have the right to healthy, culturally appropriate food, produced in an ecologically sound manner. As a US-based alliance of food justice, anti-hunger, labor, environmental, faith-based, and food producer groups, we uphold the right to food as a basic human right and work to connect our local and national struggles to the international movement for food sovereignty. Click here to learn more.
The USFSA has a regional organizing structure and the Northeast has members in every state from Maine to New Jersey. Co-Coordinators of the Northeast region are Kathia Ramirez with the Farmworker Support Committee/El Comite de Apoyo a Los Trabajadores Agricolas (CATA) and Julianna Fischer with the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA).
What is Food Sovereignty?
“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.” – Declaration of Nyéléni, the first global forum on food sovereignty, Mali, 2007
Food sovereignty is a movement growing from the bottom up, from the farmers, fishers, indigenous peoples and landless workers most impacted by global hunger and poverty. Food sovereignty goes well beyond ensuring that people have enough food to meet their physical needs. It asserts that people must reclaim their power in the food system by rebuilding the relationships between people and the land, and between food providers and those who eat. First framed by the international peasant movement La Via Campesina at the World Food Summit in 1996, food sovereignty is rooted in the ongoing global struggles over control of food, land, water, and livelihoods.
The 6 principles of food sovereignty are:
Focuses on Food for People
Values Food Providers
Localizes Food System
Puts Control Locally
Builds Knowledge and Skills
The 3rd Local Seafood Summit celebrates the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of small-scale and community-based seafood businesses committed to strengthening our local, regional, and national food systems. It is an opportunity to showcase progress within the Local Catch Network, expand the community, and gain practical skills and knowledge that can help seafood businesses thrive.
The goals of the summit are to: (1) facilitate knowledge sharing, mentor relationships, and networking within our community and with new partners; (2) identify and develop innovative strategies for protecting, operationalizing, and promoting the core values; (3) increase LocalCatch.org’s capacity to directly support small-scale fishermen and values-based seafood businesses.
Catalyzed by local innovation and global collaboration, seafood enterprises seeking to create safe, fair, sustainable supply chains that support marine conservation and coastal resilience continue to emerge. However, these businesses also continue to face financial and organizational challenges that limit their ability to sustain a triple bottom line and potential long-term success. Recognizing these challenges, the summit is framed around the need to transparently incorporate values into a rapidly changing seafood system, thus adding value to small-scale fisheries.
NAMA and our partners are hosting a briefing and reception on Capitol Hill on September 17th from 4:30-7:30pm to celebrate the launch of the Don't Cage Our Ocean coalition and give fishermen their day on the Hill. The subject of the panel discussion will be: "The truth about offshore aquaculture: protecting our oceans, fisheries and coastal communities." Several fishermen will be sharing their stories informally with staffers at the reception that follows. We will also be showcasing seafood samples, including Alaskan salmon and other wild-caught seafood.