Dear friend,

Recently in the broad work we do of protecting the ocean commons, we’ve been supporting the work of the BlockCorporateSalmon campaign. The campaign is a fresh push on the long work of fighting against Genetically Engineered salmon, or Frankenfish as we like to call it (because we know it’s not *really* Salmon anymore). This campaign was launched in 2019 when Uprooted & Rising joined the ongoing work to oppose Frankenfish that Community Alliance for Global Justice was doing, and they both pushed that to be in solidarity with impacted indigenous leaders and fisherfolk advocates nationally.

If you haven’t been hearing the struggle against Frankenfish then today’s a great day to start listening! And if you’re wondering why, here’s a lot of reasons and parallels to similar struggles folks in our networks are facing/have faced:

  • First and foremost, it is a massive attack on Indigenous sovereignty, especially to people who consider themselves as Salmon People

  • It is a huge threat to the environment as we have no way of knowing what the escape of this Frankenfish would do to our ecosystem.

  • It’s being peddled as a ‘sustainable, affordable protein, that's safe for everyone, and a solution to overfishing in an eerily similar way as factory fish farms in general are being cast, and we've all seen how downhill that has gone.

  • We’re already facing threats of the privatization of the waters through Catch Shares and through the AQUAA Act, but Frankenfish would then allow for the privatization of fish themselves, as we’ve seen with GMO corn/soy/seeds and many other parts of nature.

  • We have no idea what the human health impact of this will be, yet it could be sold in a restaurant near you soon, without you ever being able to know.

  • Large corporations whose focus is on profits, and not feeding our communities are just looking to expand and make profits and will stomp on any local fishing community/economy that gets in their way.

This all falls under the bucket of Corporate Consolidation and Corporate Takeover, which is one of the many ways colonialism looks like today. This is a constant threat to fishing and coastal communities, especially Indigenous and Black communities in the US.

We’ve even made it to the news a couple of times through this campaign as we’ve been speaking out about the seafood distribution company Samuels & Son who’ve contracted with Aquabounty to sell Frankenfish to restaurants throughout the East Coast -- where they don’t have to be labeled. The folks at AP and Fox heard us and shared some of our thoughts on the manner.

If you’re interested in helping out, we can still use all the support!
Here are a few ways you can help. 
  • Sign on to the petition
  • Post on social media opposing the GE Salmon! Be sure to tag @aquabounty and @samuelsseafood and call them out for what they’re doing
  • Here’s a document for who to hit up and examples of what to say!
  • For chef’s, here specifically is a pledge to not use GE salmon
  • Follow BlockCorporateSalmon on Instagram
  • And generally, tell everyone around you about all the harm and damage that could come were GE animals allowed into the market

Jon Russell
Food Justice Organizer

The Speaking of protecting the ocean commons, the Don't Cage Our Ocean coalition hosted a virtual Hill briefing on June 23rd on the topic: What Future Do We Want For Our Oceans? It was a rich and lively discussion. The event attracted about 40 attendees. The panelists spoke about the relationship between human beings and nature, the large hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico caused by fertilizer runoff and wastewater flowing from the Midwest and the cruise industry as a source of pollution in the form of untreated waste that gets discharged into the ocean. Chief Shirell Parfait-Dardar encouraged people to work with nature instead of relying on man-made processes like placing a fish farm in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The take-home message was to support the Keep Finfish Free Act, a pending bill in the House which would prohibit commercial finfish aquaculture in US federal waters, unless and until Congress expressly authorizes it. 
One of the many things we missed in 2020 was our annual pilgrimage to Farm Aid. Well… it turns out there will be an in-person festival this year after all. According to our friends at Farm Aid, the location will be revealed in July. So stay tuned.
NOAA Fisheries is seeking nominations to fill vacancies on the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee. The Committee researches, evaluates, and provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary and NOAA on the development and implementation of agency policies that address science and regulatory programs critical to the mission and goals of the NOAA Fisheries Service. Full nomination instructions and guidelines are available on the Federal Register.

It’s critically important to have the interests of small to medium-scale fishermen and seafood businesses represented on this Committee. If you qualify and are available to serve in those roles, consider throwing your hat in the ring!
We’re more than halfway to reaching our mid-year fundraising goal of $10,000. Thanks to a matching grant from the Nell Newman Foundation your $25 donation becomes $50, a $50 gift becomes $100, and $100 contribution becomes $200. Please help us reach our goal and donate today!
On June 2nd, the Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP) hosted a virtual graduation celebration that recognized over 430 social impact leaders representing more than 350 organizations who have recently completed the INP's year-long leadership development programs. The event celebrated graduates from across New England. As part of the celebration, NAMA's Coordinating Director Niaz Dorry accepted the 2020 Barry Dym Champion for Change Award, alongside the 2021 recipient, Dr. John A. Powell. Both NAMA and NFFC are honored to have our work recognized by INP alongside Dr. John A. Powell of the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkley.
NAMA is a fishermen-led organization building a broad movement toward healthy fisheries, and fishing communities.

We build deep, and trusting relationships with community based fisherman, crew, fishworkers, and allies to create effective policy, and market strategies.