Passionfish Co-Founder Andrew Spurgin Honored with Dr. Roger Revelle Award

P’fish’ers, we are beyond thrilled to give you this fin-tastic news from San Diego: Our very own Andrew Ryland Spurgin has been honored with the Dr. Roger Revelle Award.
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Please see the news release below and join us in San Diego April 26, 2012, for the San Diego Oceans Foundation Gala. The event is nearly sold out so act fast!
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Andrew Spurgin selected as 24th annual Dr. Roger Revelle Perpetual Award recipient

The San Diego Oceans Foundation has selected Andrew Spurgin as this year’s recipient for his dedication of sustainable seafood practices and commitment to encourage ocean stewardship.
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The San Diego Oceans Foundation’s (SDOF) most prestigious honor, the Roger Revelle Award, is awarded annually to a San Diegan in science, academia, industry, military, recreation or philanthropy who demonstrates personal initiative in encouraging stewardship of the world’s precious ocean resources. The award is named for the late Dr. Revelle, the fifth director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the driving force in creating the University of California, San Diego, and the first Director of the Center for Population Studies at Harvard. Past recipients include: filmmaker Howard Hall, Dr. Walter H. Munk, and Milton Shedd.
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This year’s recipient, Andrew Ryland Spurgin, is an innovator, inspirational leader, and an incredible culinary master. Mr. Spurgin is a chef/partner at Campine, A Culinary + Cocktail Conspiracy and is the co-founder of Passionfish and Cooks Confab. He also sits on the Advisory Board of Catering Magazine and Event Solutions Magazine. He is an Associate Board Member of the Slow Food Convivium San Diego. He is a past member of the Director’s Cabinet for Scripps Institution of Oceanography and E.W. Scripps Associate. He assisted in the development of Blue Ocean Institute’s “Green Chefs Blue Ocean” program, a national curriculum addressing sustainable seafood education for culinary students and continuing education for chefs. He sits on the Board of Trustees on the International Catering Association’s Educational Program and is a co-founder of The Culinary Liberation Front.
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Mr. Spurgin has produced and designed menus and events throughout the United States, in addition to Canada, England and Mexico. He regularly lectures to the industry and public and youth audiences too on sustainability, cooking, event design, culinary responsibility and entertaining. His events, interviews and photos have been featured in numerous local and national magazines, radio and TV. San Diego Home/Garden inducted Mr. Spurgin into the Chefs Hall of Fame in 2011. San Diego Magazine named him and Cooks Confab 50 People to Watch in 2011. He has received the coveted ACE Award as Best Caterer in the West, Spotlight Award as National Caterer of the Year, he has consistently won accolades from a host of local magazines and media as Best Caterer in San Diego.
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Mr. Spurgin has taken a leadership role with the San Diego Oceans Foundation as this year’s Culinary Chairperson for their upcoming sustainable seafood week and gala fundraiser at SeaWorld San Diego. Mr. Spurgin has been instrumental in educating chefs worldwide on the importance of sustainable practices in and out of the kitchen. His dedication and passion for the sustainable movement inspires others and proves that a simple choice can be delicious and have a lasting, beneficial impact on our environment.
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The award will be presented at SDOF’s sustainable seafood gala on April 26, 2012 at SeaWorld San Diego’s Turtle Reef exhibit. This event is SDOF’s largest fundraiser of the year, which funds their education and research programs in the community. Unlike most seated dinners, our guests roam the 14 different celebrity chef stations where they can interact with the chefs, learn about the proteins and understand their roles in sustainability.
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Click for more on the Roger Revelle Award
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About San Diego Oceans Foundation
Since 1984, the San Diego Oceans Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, has built a legacy of providing hands-on, meaningful volunteer programs that protect ecosystems, increase the understanding of marine life and provide solutions to environmental challenges. Whether it’s educating youth about marine science, restoring fish populations, tagging and monitoring lobster or educating people to become ‘citizen scientists’, each volunteer gains a deeper appreciation for our oceans. Visit us: www.sdoceans.org
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Contact: John Valencia
Telephone: 619-523-1903
Email: john@sdoceans.org
Website: www.sdoceans.org

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Passionfish forum on ocean & seafood sustainability, summer 2010

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P’fishers, we recently held a fin-tastic forum on the beach on Coronado Island (San Diego, Calif) discussing ocean and seafood sustainability. Our event was co-hosted by the fabulous (and super generous) Hotel Del Coronado and the new, fun-loving nonprofit Cooks Confab that, other than being a group of cooks with a drinking problem, promotes local food and simple ways to prepare it!
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Our panelists were: Caron Golden (freelance journalist), Tommy Gomes (fisherman, Catalina Offshore), Kristen Goodrich (board member, Slow Food Urban San Diego), Martin Alberto Hall, Ph.D. (Chief Scientist, Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission), Nigella Hilgarth, Ph.D. (Executive Director, Birch Aquarium at Scripps), Don Kent (President, Hubbs Sea World Research Institute), Logan Kock (Vice President of Strategic Purchasing & Responsible Sourcing, Santa Monica Seafood, Inc.), and Andrew Spurgin (Executive Director/Chef, Waters Fine Catering, and Co-Founder, Cooks Confab and Passionfish).
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Our forum moderators were Carl Rebstock (Executive Director, Passionfish) and Robin Seigel (National Conflict Resolution Center).
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Our event was graphically recorded by talented cartoonist Lloyd Dangle (known for his work on the %$&!#@! Airborne packaging, among many years of political cartooning). He specializes in distilling very complex issues in a visual manner to aid problem solving. See his illustration below.
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We got lucky with the weather given that our event was held on the beach during a California coastal summer. Yes, right on the sand just a couple of footsteps from the Pacific Ocean. I was hoping I wasn’t the only one looking at the tide charts (& freezing my butt off that week)! Rain threatened all day (and all of the previous week). But, fortunately, we only had to deal with a fine mist that barely affected anyone.
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Optimists that we are, we had our summer clothes on beneath that marine layer and we charged ahead with our event! We’re grateful for the staff at Hotel Del Coronado who set up the stage and the awesome beach chairs for the audience, the sound/audio guys, and the audience full of culinary students and interested members of the public. Our audience participants also included representatives of several seafood companies. Thank you all.
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Our forum was followed by a decadent reception in the grassy area at Hotel Del, then a spectacular dinner at 1500 Ocean. Check out our Facebook page for details.
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Suffice it to say (for me, anyway), I ate about 50 oysters before the main course/s…and I think people were shocked we actually had an incredible dinner still to occur after the amazing reception. I had no qualms with it, of course.
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A Passionfish forum is unlike other educational forums on the subjects of ocean and seafood sustainability. We offer a venue for various, valid viewpoints that examine and explore solutions to help our ocean recover –no, THRIVE– ecologically while also keeping it a viable source of protein for humankind. Yes, I know how that sounds: IMPOSSIBLE! The ocean can’t do both! Well, we think it can do both.
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It will take sacrifice…there’s a word few seem to understand. A sacrifice in eating habits, and a sacrifice in thinking so that our ocean can continue to produce for future generations — yes, for humans. And, for the animals/wildlife within. And, it will take innovation. Big, bold innovation.
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The panelists (listed above) for our 2010 forum represented various sectors: commercial fishing, the wholesale and retail seafood industry, science/academia, public education and outreach, fishery and aquaculture research, and the culinary/restaurant sector.
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The common threads: Everyone believes the ocean has been damaged and needs recovery. Everyone believes commercial/wild fishing should continue (albeit greatly reduced). Everyone believes that aquaculture (the farming of finfish and shellfish) will have to meet the increasing (‘explosive’ is more like it) demand for seafood among the burgeoning world population; they also believe the U.S. has the best practices and is best prepared to innovate in this sector. Everyone believes that current fishing practices worldwide are not “sustainable.” And, everyone believes that public awareness of “ocean/seafood sustainability” is important, although no one agrees on what that looks like.
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Our forum’s transcripts are here. We will post our audience/panelists’ Q/A soon, and we welcome your thoughtful comments and questions.
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Patti
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A progressive company: Arctic Storm

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The Arctic Storm Management Company is featured in Business Review USA. The impressive company has sustainably managed the North Pacific pollock and West Coast whiting fisheries, both certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. Excerpts below:
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“The (company’s) vessels are members of fishery cooperatives that allocate catch shares among their members who are committed to the conservation and utilization of marine resources. A far cry from the wasteful Olympic-style fishery in which vessels race to outpace their competitors in the harvest of fish, a rational harvesting arrangement that allocates catch shares to fishing participants allows vessels to slow down production and maximize the amount of food produced per pound of fish harvested.”
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“The rationalized fishery allows Arctic Storm and other participants an opportunity to improve the quality of the harvest and practice innovation. It allows them to increase utilization of the resources by increasing the recovery rate and producing more products for consumers. And in slowing harvest rates, participants can take the time to avoid the incidental catch of non-target species, known as bycatch.”
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“Arctic Storm President Doug Christensen says, “There’s a strong focus on continual innovation on what we do with our fish. We’re constantly trying to figure out ways to make more products with the same amount of fish. By doing so, we’ve increased our fishmeal output, added fish oil output and added high recovery lines that increase our frozen human consumption food output.”
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“Arctic Storm also participates in the Sea Share program, which has donated more than 100 million seafood meals to local and national food assistance programs. “This is the seafood industry’s answer to hunger in America. We participate by donating high quality frozen seafood into the Sea Share program which then is further processed and distributed through homeless shelters,” Christensen says.
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P’fish’ers, check out the rest of the article here.

Passionfish friend and advisor Wallace J. Nichols featured in Experience Life Magazine


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P’fish’ers, check out this great article in Experience Life Magazine featuring Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D., a true ocean hero!

New York Times editorial, “Ocean Rescue” sparks sobering commentary

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See the readers’ comments following yesterday’s New York Times editorial titled Ocean Rescue. Population pressure, habitat destruction, pollution, floating islands of plastic, ocean acidification, the persistent mankind-over-earth ideology, politics as usual, etc.: Is there a way out of this mess?