The National Restaurant Association, in its continuing effort to support sustainability practices in the foodservice industry, joined Share the Gulf, a coalition of chefs, restaurateurs, restaurant associations, seafood suppliers, fishermen, consumers and conservationists working to protect their access to fish in the Gulf States.
The initiative, launched in 2013, aims to ensure the region’s restaurants and grocery businesses maintain an equitable share of the Gulf States’ red snapper catch.
“Our goal is to make sure Gulf seafood continues to be shared fairly and sustainably so that all of us can enjoy it for generations to come,” said Stephen Stryjewski, executive chef at New Orleans-based Link Restaurant Group and Share the Gulf co-chair. “We believe – and science shows ‑ that if Gulf fisheries are well managed, there will be a growing population with plenty of snapper, grouper and other fish to go around. We are committed to sitting down and working together to find a productive, fair and reasonable solution about how to share the Gulf.”
Scott DeFife, the NRA’s executive vice president of policy and government affairs, said the Association is supporting Share the Gulf so the region’s restaurants and other food businesses retain access to the fish and do not experience business downturns because that access is denied.
“The fresh, local seafood of the Gulf States is essential to the growth of this area’s economy and its varied foodservice businesses,” DeFife said. “We are committed to helping ensure that this seafood is not only fished sustainably so its population continues to grow, but that the voices of small businesses here, their employees and customers, also are heard.”
In addition to the NRA, the Louisiana Restaurant Association, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Texas Restaurant Association, Mississippi Restaurant and Hospitality Association and the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance, as well as dozens of restaurants and seafood companies, are supporting the initiative, which is fighting proposed changes to regulations that would take a portion of the red snapper reserved for restaurant and foodservice use and make it available for recreational fishing instead.
To join Share the Gulf, go here. Visit the NRA’s Conserve program to learn more about sustainable practices for the restaurant industry.