Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fishing For Change

Many of you know that I was in Tampa Bay, Florida last week to celebrate my birthday with my daughter and granddaughter, to meet one of my favorite bloggers (come back on Friday to see who it was!), to visit some of my favorite beaches and to give The Gulf a big, healing hug. Today I want to share a few of the photos I took and talk to you about an issue that affects all of us and what we can each do to help. This isn't about the disastrous oil spill, it is about something else that some of you may not think about when doing your weekly grocery shopping. But first, let's take a look at the beautiful Gulf of Mexico from the Florida Coast!

I'm sure you've all seen spectacular photos of gorgeous sunsets on the West coast, but did you know there are places where you can see the sunrise over the water? Well, not really over the water, it is rising on the East coast, but from the Dunedin Causeway, you can look over the water and see the reflection of the early sun.

As soon as the sun had soothed my weary soul, I headed over to my old stomping grounds — Indian Rocks Beach. I miss walking with the birds in the early morning hours and was not surprised to find Herons, Egrets, Ibis, Gulls and others out and about. I knew the oil was not here, but it made me reflect on those birds who have been suffering further north of where I stood. I was also excited to find a turtle nest had been roped off to protect it's precious eggs.

I then made my way over to Clearwater Beach and it looked magnificent! You can tell from these photos that I was there for a while, watching as the sky got bluer and bluer. I knew the beaches here had not been touched by oil and I wait for the day when the rest of The Gulf will return to its natural beauty.

While saltwater runs through my veins and to me there is nothing better than time at the shore, I know there is much we need to do in our daily lives to protect our oceans and its inhabitants so that future generations can experience the same feelings I have as I breathe in their beauty and reap the rewards of their bounty.

"The right to fish carries with it the obligation to do so in a responsible manner so as to ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resources."

Did you know the fish you choose at your local grocery store or seafood market has a HUGE impact on our oceans? Do you know there is a really easy way to make sure you're making the responsible choice?

One of my favorite websites to explore is for The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. I've been there numerous times and if you find yourself in the area be sure to add a visit to list of things to do. But the website goes much further than telling you how to plan your visit, it explores many issues and shares valuable information. They are the experts, so rather than trying to tell you in my own words, I'm going to share this information with you:

A Look at the Biggest Challenges—And the Way Forward
The oceans supply us with food, help regulate our climate, and supply a livelihood for millions of people. Just as important, we depend on the oceans for recreation and renewal. But our seas are not the infinite bounty they appear to be. Today, no part of the oceans remain unaffected by human activities. And among the many factors influencing our ocean ecosystems, none has a greater impact than fishing.

Humans have been fishing the oceans for thousands of years. But over the past five decades technology has allowed us to fish farther, deeper and more efficiently than ever before. Scientists estimate that we have removed as much as 90 percent of the large predatory fish such as shark, swordfish and cod from the world's oceans. In 2003, the Pew Oceans Commission warned that the world's oceans are in a state of "silent collapse," threatening our food supply, marine economies, recreation and the natural legacy we leave our children.

Creating Sea Change
Through better practices, we can create healthy, abundant oceans for everyone. Seafood Watch, a program of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, has always been about making this vision a reality. Working with consumers, fishermen, restaurants, retailers and suppliers, we've been making a difference since 1999.

But there is still much to be done. Learn which seafood to buy or avoid. The easiest way to do this is by downloading one of their pocket guides, folding it up and sticking it in your wallet. Then when you find yourself buying seafood, just pull it out and use it as a reference. Easy peasy, right?

I took the National Guide and through the magic of Photoshop I rearranged it so you could get an idea of what information it contains. When you download it, there are guidelines to show you how to fold it for easy use.

You can also log on to on your cell phone and you'll be automatically directed to the latest online pocket guide.

Or you can even download a free app at the iTunes Store if you have an iPhone or iPhone Touch!

Explore Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) to learn more about this issue and to find even more great seafood recipes!

These recommendations not only apply to fresh seafood, but also to frozen products. Here's one of my favorite things to have on hand…

They are made with the wild, ocean-caught, deep-skinned Alaska Salmon, blended with herbs and spices from Trident Seafoods. I buy these at Costco! In the words of Chuck Bundrant, Chairman and Founder, "We are fortunate to have the rich waters of the North Pacific literally at our doorstep, and we are committed to maintaining a steady supply of delicious, healthy seafood products from the sustainable fisheries that have made the waters off Alaska the envy of the world."

The aquarium also has a wonderful blog called Sea Notes. Here you'll not only find the latest news on events, but you can read informative articles on ocean conservation and find wonderful seafood recipes from world-renown chefs.

That's it for today, I hope you found this information useful and that you'll put it to good use. This post today is part of Project Genesis @ Old Grey Mare. Be sure to stop by for more links on what you can do to protect our environment. There are some really fun links!

 If you're a salmon lover like I am, you may find this interesting:

That's it for now, I hope you'll come back Friday and find out who the mystery blogger was that I had the great pleasure to finally meet! You're going to love her!

26 Thoughtful Comments:

Donna said...

What a great post! I heard that some farmed fish were not a healthy choice too. Almost makes one afraid to eat anything these days. Thanks for the post so we can choose wisely.

The Florida Blogger said...

Great shots. I bet it was good to be back!

Jane said...

Excellent post! So much good information the pocket guide.

Your photos of our coast are gorgeous! I love watching the sunrise from the causeway...and sometimes from the Courtney Campbell, too. And, of course, the sunsets are spectacular!!! Hoping to go shelling this afternoon, when the sun starts to go down...too hot, otherwise!!!

Jane (artfully graced)

Unknown said...

Really informative...we spend the winters in Ft. Myers FL, so enjoy everything the Gulf of Mexico has to offer there too.
We love fish, but promise to only eat responsibly.

Thanks for doing this Shellbelle and for stopping by to comment on my contribution to Project Genesis

Lori E said...

I live in British Columbia and seafood is one of our biggest draws. I live within walking distance of one of the biggest sturgeon fishing rivers and it is strictly catch and release.
We will always have people who think the laws don't apply to them. That if they want it they should take it. We see people down at our waters pulling in traps full of undersized crabs that they keep. They get harassed big time about it. Conservation officers can't be everywhere.
Thanks for this list.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Rhonda, your site is awesome. I will explore it further. The photos of the ocean are magnificent, I so love the ocean! And your topic is so informative and presented so well. Thank you for the information. On Vancouver Island, we have people working hard to inform the Department of Fisheries of the damaging effects of effluent from fish farms which are set right along migratory routes. Sea lice are killing the baby salmon. Alexandra Morton is devoting her life to saving the wild salmon. (
I love your post. AND your website. So happy to have found you.

Lynette Killam said...

Excellent post..information we can all use! And great photos...I thoughly enjoyed them.

It's lovely to hear you're writing letters to your family. I have started that, though in a small way, as I've found myself questioning so many things from the past that I might have asked my mother and father about whilst they were still around.

I do, however, make sure to tell my children often what a joy they are to me...:)


Stacy said...

Thanks for sharing the great information and the pictures are just beautiful!

Sue said...

Welcome home. You know that I love those pictures. I've spent so much time in Florida lately, and no time on the beach. I really NEED to be there. I just booked several nights on the water for fall, so at least I have something to look forward to.

The rest of the post was really informative, thank you. I wish we had a Costco anywhere near us!

Ms. Bake-it said...

Hello Rhonda!

I am so glad you had a great time. Those are fabulous pictures of my beloved coast. Very informative post. Years ago when I used to eat seafood, I had a pocket guide regarding purchasing seafood but for the life of me I cannot recall where I had gotten it. I am going to download this for my oldest because he loves seafood.


~ Tracy

p.s. I located what I was looking for so I will finally be sending your package! Sorry about that.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Your pics are just fabulous Rhonda!
I just felt like I was there with you. And what an interesting and informative post too,.
My son gets that salmon from costco and it's really good!
Wish we had one nearby.

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Your beach photos are so pretty.
I'm so glad you enjoyed your time there and you were able to have some solitude and peace walking along the shore.

Thanks for the good information. It's very good to know the facts.


Sam Rosenthal said...

Hi Ms. Renee (I'm not sure what to call you LOL!), thank you for your wonder comment. I have never tried to do still frame video, but I always wanted to! I will definitely be reading your blog about your son's camera. I also really love your photos too, especially the ones of the sun setting and the beach.

Thanks again,

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Rhonda
Another fabulous post.. and well researched... you put us to shame... I need to read this thoroughly... I know we are quite stringent here about our fishing laws.. I must see if I can find a local alternative to your guide..

Love that 4th photo down.. beautiful beautiful..
You know.. as I am on the east coast of aus .. I only get sunrises over the sea.. but the advantage is I get the moonrise also!!! Well worth it...

Happy Birthday once again.. Hope it was fabulous!! xxx Julile

Sahildeki Ev said...

Wonderful photos. I bet you had great time there. Happy Birthday...

The Fajdich Times said...

Welcome back!! Your photos of the beach are fabulous.....wish I had been there with you:) Thanks for the info on the fish. Very interesting post. Enjoy your weekend:)

Tootie said...

I loved your pictures and learned some things too. Thanks for this post. I am going to link it to my blog, in a few days, so my followers can benefit from this information too.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Thanks for visiting me. You have excellent information here about fish, some I knew but most I did not.
Being an 'inlander' I didn't grow up eating too much fish and we still don't. But then, we've cut back on meat considerably too.
I love telling my husband that we're having plants for dinner. :-)

Scrapping With Sherry said...

Thank you for educating me with this valuable information that honestly I dont believe I would have taken the time to read anywhwere else.

I came by today to introduce myself. My name is Sherry and I have joined the Bloggerette Sorority. I have only been blogging for almost 30 days so I missed the Rush, but I look forward to taking part in future events. I would be honored if you would like to come by for a visit at Hope to see you there!

Take Care~ Sherry

Ella said...

I love this and you took the time to share a pocket guide with us! Brilliant!!!

I use to live in Alaska; I miss all the amazing salmon... This was so informative, Thanks for stopping by my blog!!!

Kaybe said...

Yah, yah, yah ....great info BUT did you find any shells?

Arabella said...

Thank you so much for sharing this very important information with us! Your photographs are so absolutely lovely ~ I'm drooling!

Hope you have a wondrous weekend :O)

Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea

Anonymous said...

Wow - great post with great information! Thank you!!!

Happy weekend,

Magdalena said...

Hi Shellbelle,
glad you are back home and a bit cooler, the humidity is hard for me to handle, it is exhausting!! I see my son , Sam has commented above. He told me he visited your blog and loved your sunset pictures as do I. They are gorgeous. You shared so much important information with us, I know how much you love and appreciate the ocean and all it has to offer. Looking forward to your mystery blogger's identity being unveiled ...I'll be back later to find out, I am so curious...I thought it was someone else, hmmmmm I'm not sure now???
Love and hugs

Completely Coastal said...

Awesome post! I have that guide already, and follow it, although I don't eat much fish (and no shrimp) anymore. When I see how commercial fishermen treat these fish, it's such a turn off for me..., that I kind of lost my appetite. I really don't get that fishing (or hunting) is considered a sport. I guess, I'm just not into the "killing" for fun or food. I'm glad I'm a vegetarian and love vegis so much, haha!!

Maya @ Completely Coastal

CrazyCris said...

beautiful! I'm not a morning person so it's hard for me to see sunrises like those... except in winter! :p

I have to look into that project genesis when I have time... I don't eat much seafood (in spite of living by the coast) but we usually buy local. There was a major campaign of Spanish TV a few years back called "pezqueñines NO" a word play on "pequeñines" (small ones) and "pez" fish which was to inform people of the minimum size of the most commonly consumed fish so they wouldn't buy those that had been caught too young, and as a deterrent to fishermen so they wouldn't catch them

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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