I feel it worth a bit of newsletter space to bring a couple of items to your attention. I’d also like to point out that I’d be glad to hear from you by phone, e-mail or letter if you have opinions or ideas on any of the newsletter topics.
First, I know that some ECSGA members,
especially those from our southern states are concerned that ECSGA may be
putting too much emphasis on northern growers.
This is not intentional, and we are working to make sure that we do
serve all of our growers equally. The
annual meeting at the end of January in
ECSGA can only be stronger if we have active membership from all of the east coast states. We are working to make sure that we represent shellfish growers in all of the “right coast” states, and we look forward to your comments on how to do this even better in the future.
And secondly, a vision I have is to try and bring the shellfish industry and the National Shellfisheries Association closer together. For years and years the industry, represented by the Shellfish Institute of North America and NSA met together annually. That joint meeting allowed a substantial interaction of industry and research, to the benefit of both groups. This collaboration broke down about 20 years ago, and I think it is time to revisit it. I’ll start a dialog on our listserv in the near future on this to see whether this is something we should pursue.
The annual meeting of The National
Shellfisheries Association, 10-14 April in
– Gary Wikfors
The winter has been pretty mild so far. We have not had to battle the ice to get to our crops and while it has been wet, the temperatures have been mild. There have only been a handful of blowout days that force me to retreat to the warmth of my office to write newsletters. I write just before heading off to a flurry of events to represent East Coast Shellfish Growers.
Ed Rhodes and I (and several of our members)
will be at the World Aquaculture Conference in
I will bring our concerns to the Board of
Directors meeting of the National Aquaculture Association. The NAA has been
very helpful supporting our comments on
A few days after WAS several of our members will be joining shellfish growers from the Gulf Coast and Pacific Coast in a strategy meeting at National Fisheries Institute’s headquarters outside DC. On January 24th. We will spend the next several days meeting with legislators and discussing various issues that require their attention such as funding for BMPs or marketing, sewage blending, WTO sanctions and misguided regulators. Since we have representatives in so many states it is easy to find influential legislators from almost every key committee who need to hear our message. Joining Ed and myself will be Karen Rivara, Tom Kehoe, Tom Leggett, and George Mathis.
After a day at home to do a load of laundry
and say “hi” to the family it is off to
The recently released Dietary Guidelines for
Americans 2005 authored by
In August, a federal panel of nutritionists
recommended eating at least two fish meals per week, but the new
Seafood Business, in a December 2004 front-page article based on the committee findings in August, went so far as to give a heads-up to the seafood industry to get ready for the increased marketing opportunities that would come from the expected release of this information.
ECSGA has discussed this situation with the National Fisheries Institute and they are working to see why the nutritional panel recommendation was not incorporated in the advice issued by USDA. Stay tuned!..-- Ed
The ECSGA Board of Directors voted in
November to join the Molluscan Institute starting in
21005. The Molluscan
Institute is part of the National Fisheries Institute (
addition to keeping us abreast of national and regional issues and going to bat
for us in the D.C. arena,
The ECSGA made a splash in
At the mid-day break, the ECSGA put on an elegant oyster tasting, with product from five of our grower’s farms. Thanks especially to Perry Raso (East Matunuck Oysters), and Beth and Bill Walton (Bee's River Oysters) who provided oysters, but were also at the event to shuck and talk about their products. Thanks too to Tom Kehoe of K&B who provided the Saddle Rock oysters and arranged the shellfish shipments to NYC and to Jeff Gardner (Watch Hills), Bob Rheault (Moonstones), and Travis Croxton (Rappahannocks). Our set-up was
very professional, and hired a ringer shucker, Kingsley, from the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station who helped us keep up with the crowd.
Beth Walton participated in an afternoon
“growers” session, along with a trout farmer from Sunburst Trout Company,
In December, ECSGA submitted a pre-proposal to the Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center (USDA) for funding the development of shellfish Best Management Plans. Sandy Macfarlane and Gef Flimlin have been working to obtain funding for this work but to this point none of the funding agencies have stepped up to the plate on this. We hope that it works this time!
The impetus for submitting the proposal to NRAC came as a result of the “shellfish summit” sponsored by NRAC in December. At that summit a few ECSGA members and some state shellfish extension people met and prioritized the issues that the group felt most impeded progress in growing the shellfish aquaculture industry. BMP’s were viewed as part of the solution for a number of issues, including public perception of aquaculture, improved internal company management and marketing.
In the proposal, ECSGA has the lead on the project, and would help Gef and Sandy coordinate a number of industry workshops that would be held in a number of locations. Some of the project funds would go to ECSGA and be used for this coordination. We anticipate that the BMP development will take two years to complete.
We’ll keep you posted on how this develops over the next few months. -- Ed
Be sure to visit the ECSGA web site www.ecsga.org often. We have a new web master; Kathy Rhodes has promised to keep information on the site useful and up-to-date. Please send any information you’d like to share or any comments, complaints, or complements to firstname.lastname@example.org. Depending on the sensitivity of the material, she will clear it with the Executive Director, the President or the Board and post it as quickly as possible. Of particular interest would be upcoming conferences and meetings, job postings and industry related developments in the legislature and handy hints for your fellow growers. Thanks for your help in making our website truly valuable.
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Visit our web site : www.ECSGA.org.
The mission of the ECSGA is to promote responsible commercial shellfish aquaculture through market research and promotion, active involvement in public education, participation in policy formation at the state and national levels, and directed research.