SeaFood Business is the global trusted authority for seafood buyers and sellers. We are the seafood industry's leading trade magazine with more than 30 years of experience. Our coverage is based on the "business" of buying and selling seafood.
Issue link: http://seafoodbusiness.epubxp.com/i/233790
Special Feature Seafood schooling Kid-targeted program puts focus on U.S. seafood, health benefts Images courtesy of Seafood 101 BY MELISSA WOOD A s a child in the 1980s, Rebecca Reuter remembers recycling as an up-andcoming trend frst embraced by kids. Te practice eventually became widespread after her generation encouraged their parents to do it too and continued doing it 32 SeaFood Business January 2014 into adulthood. She's hoping Seafood 101, a government-industry partnership launched in Seattle this fall, will create the same type of generational shift: As kids learn about the health benefts of U.S. seafood consumption, they in turn will encourage their parents to eat more fsh and grow up making seafood a greater part of their diets. Unlike eco-labels and ratings systems, the goal of Seafood 101 is not to instruct consumers what to buy. It is to send the overall message that seafood is a healthy choice and to tell the story of the United States' sustainable management of its fsheries. "We really want to be educational, not exclusive," says Reuter. "It's about becoming more educated about what it is you're buying." Te idea grew from Reuter's outreach work as a fsheries scientist/ communications specialist for the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Center in Seattle. In 2011, she began working with the Seattle Times newspaper and its Newspapers in Education program, a national efort that provides lesson plans tailored to content from newspapers, to create a series introducing the process of getting seafood from sea to market. After her second series, explaining the science behind sustainable seafood and a conversation with a colleague from Alaska Sea Grant, also an Alaska native, who wanted to get her kids to eat more seafood, she decided to take the program a step further. "Here was a person whose culture was based on eating seafood, and they're having a hard time getting their kids to eat their native food," she says. So in 2013, with the support of industry associations and seafood businesses, she expanded the program to not only include the curriculum — along with a 12-page supplement that ran in the Seafood 101 sends young consumers a positive message about seafood. Seattle Times in October — but also cooking demonstrations and other promotional events throughout the region. Te efort broadens NOAA's Fisheries' outreach from just explaining its work to fshermen and others in the industry to spreading the story of how it manages fsheries to the general public. But that is no small hill to climb, especially with seafood, which is routinely associated with a negative message in the media. A 2009 John Hopkins University study found that out of 310 health-related news stories on fsh found that "risk messages outweighed beneft messages four to one." In addition, labeling and ratings programs often use NOAA data in making decisions but don't tell the full story. For example, Reuter points out the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program may give a species an "avoid" rating even though NOAA Fisheries may allow fshermen to catch a quota that is small enough for the population to rebound. Consumers should know it's OK to eat that fsh since it was caught under careful management guidelines. "It's not as simple as red, green and yellow," says Reuter. "Tere's no way those colors can adequately describe or tell the story of what's happening with the seafood industry. Tings change. It fuctuates, especially with wild populations." It's a story the U.S. industry wouldn't mind sharing as well, and its involvement was critical to the program's launch. Ken Saunderson, principal of Saunderson Marketing Group in Seattle, took on the job of Seafood Visit us online at www.seafoodbusiness.com