With the release of the new documentary, “Seaspiracy,” I thought it was my duty as a coastal resident to check it out to stay informed about what’s happening in our oceans. I always carry garbage bags in my backpack, and whenever the kids and I are at the beach, we pick up garbage and plastics as we go. But perhaps there is more we can do to help, so I decided to sit down and watch “Seaspiracy” on Netflix.

From the very beginning, I could tell this wasn’t a feel-good documentary — honestly it was hard to watch, but I continued to do so for the sake of learning. I certainly learned a lot about the fishing industry that I never knew, including some horrific details from other parts of the world that deeply saddened me.

But as a coastal resident who has personally spoken to many fishermen over the past year of living here, I knew the entire fishing industry as a whole certainty wasn’t what “Seaspiracy” was making it out to be, and cutting all fish and seafood from our diet and replacing it with factory-made, plant-based food certainly wasn’t the answer as they were portraying it to be. So I reached out to my friend Sam Shragge, from Federated Seafood out of Florence, in search of some answers.

Sam fishes for many of the fish mentioned in the documentary, including salmon and tuna right here off the Oregon coast, so if anyone would know the answers to my questions, it would be him. One of my first questions was regarding bycatch, which is the fish or other marine species that are caught unintentionally while catching certain target species and target sizes of fish. Sam assured me that he has absolutely zero bycatch since he uses the traditional hook and line method of fishing, which means he can personally guarantee that the fish he sells are caught one at a time using sustainable methods that do not deplete the natural supply.

Sam told me that by incorporating traditional methods of fishing, he can guarantee absolutely no wasteful fishing, providing the best sustainable fish for his customers. Sam said he is “obsessed with providing the highest quality fish for his customers,” and he can assure that with daily fishing excursions, going out early in the morning and heading back to shore in the evening, insuring that his fish stay fresh and are never frozen on the boat. Federated Seafood offers a variety of fresh seasonal fish from king salmon, lingcod, rockfish and young albacore tuna, which he is now offering in shelf-stable packs so you can have a low calorie, high protein, nutrient packed snack on the go anytime, anywhere.

So is cutting ocean fish and other seafood out of your diet necessary when trying to do our part when caring for the world’s oceans? Absolutely not, but getting to know our local fishermen is a must. These are the men and women in our community who have dedicated their lives to bring us the freshest local seafood, and many of them still use traditional fishing methods when supplying us with their daily catch. We are so fortunate to be surrounded by some of the best fishermen here along the coast who can tell us exactly where our food comes from because they have sourced it themselves.

So if you love this picturesque Oregon coast as much as I do, be sure to get out there and get to know your local fishermen or reach out to my friend Sam Shragge at federatedseafood.com and start filling your refrigerators, freezers and now pantries with the freshest and ethically sourced seafood.

Wild Caught Albacore Tuna Salad Sandwich 

Ingredients: 

1, 7.5-ounce can albacore tuna

1/4 cup mayonnaise 

1 tablespoon yellow mustard 

1/2 tablespoon. Worcestershire sauce 

1/4 teaspoon Johnny’s Seasoning Salt 

1 finely chopped crunchy dill pickle

 Directions: 

Drain the tuna well.

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Add tuna mixture to whole grain bread with lettuce and tomato for a perfectly balanced lunch.

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