Feasting at the 43rd Annual Zeke Grader Fisheries Forum

Seafood—how we enjoy the delicious ocean bounty. From Dungeness crab to salmon, tuna to oysters. We don’t discriminate and celebrate any and all excuses to fill our bellies with delicious food from the sea. And there is simply no better place to eat the most amazing, fresh seafood (coupled with stimulating conversation) then the Annual Zeke Grader Fisheries Forum.

Each year, the California Legislature holds a hearing at the State Capitol to discuss current issues surrounding fisheries in California. A reception is held the evening prior to the hearing, and fishermen from all over the state donate their catch to feed legislators, agency staff, fishermen and… Strategic Earth. On the menu this year was uni bisque, lobster bisque, asian crab salad, Dungeness crab claws (already shelled!), tuna poke, tuna tataki, seared salmon, pink shrimp cocktail, lobster tails, and so much more. This unique event brings people from across California together to provide an invaluable opportunity for fishermen to share their experiences and ideas with decision makers, for fisheries managers to hear from their constituents, and for Strategic Earth to catch up with old friends and colleagues – and meet new ones!

The Fisheries Forum hearing the following day, also serves as a valuable opportunity to hear and learn from fishermen, legislators, agencies, and industry. This year’s jam packed agenda was filled with agency briefings, a scientific presentation on harmful algal blooms, reports on fisheries research, updates on Dungeness crab, salmon, and aquaculture, and, most importantly (at least we think so), a briefing from Strategic Earth on the work of the California Dungeness Crab Task Force.  Although the mood of the hearing was somewhat bleak as the commercial California Dungeness crab fishery remains closed, the forum was successful in bringing diverse, on-the-ground perspectives to help educate legislators on issues currently facing California fisheries.

This year marks another successful (and delicious) Fisheries Forum in the books! We look forward to participating in next year’s festivities and conversations.

Be sure to check out the Fisheries Forum details (including watching Strategic Earth’s presentation) on the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture website.

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