Seafood sustainability panel

A panel will be held at LMU discussing sustainable seafood on Thursday, Feb. 27 in St. Robert's Auditorium at 6 p.m. The event is hosted by Sustainable Seafood L.A. and the Center for Urban Resilience at LMU. It will feature tasting, learning and promoting sustainable seafood in local communities, and will provide resources and tools to help consumers and businesses practice sustainability skills. 

For those interested in eating healthy and responsibly, there will be a panel this week discussing sustainable seafood and how to incorporate it into the L.A. community.

The event will feature tasting, learning about and promoting sustainable seafood. Hosted by Sustainable Seafood L.A., The Bay Foundation, and LMU’s Center for Urban Resilience, it will take place in St. Robert’s Auditorium on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m.

The panel intends to raise public awareness of the issues associated with sustainable seafood and demonstrate ways for business owners and consumers to implement changes in their own lives.

“We want to give people a better understanding of the term ‘sustainable seafood.’ It is a complicated issue because we can’t make any generalizations that seafood is sustainable,” said Leah Ross of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council.

Solutions to problems regarding seafood sustainability will be examined throughout the panel, along with tools and resources to help the individual make a difference in the community and in their own seafood consumption.

Lia Protopapadakis, project manager for The Bay Foundation, expressed the importance of making informed seafood choices and adding variety to what consumers purchase.

“By adding local seafood to the options, you add variety. Ninety percent of all the fish Americans consume is either tuna, salmon or shrimp,” Protopapadakis said. “This takes pressure off of these top three choices and supports local fish and small businesses.” 

The event will begin with a seafood tasting from chefs and organizations concerned about the future of oceans and seafood.

After the tasting, there will be a discussion about local and farmed fish, with speakers including California State Senator Ted Lieu, L.A. Councilmember Mike Bonin and Founder of EvoFarm David Rosenstein.

Attendees will learn how to eat seafood with sustainability in mind, and take actions promoting responsibly managed fisheries and aquaculture.

“My primary hope for this panel is people who come will realize making smart seafood choices is not as difficult as it seems,” Protopapadakis said.

From an environmental biology standpoint, the consumption and sale of unsustainable seafood is also damaging oceans and ecosystems.

“We are starting to see profound changes in the oceans because of our fishing,” said environmental biology professor John Dorsey. “We are losing top predators in the oceans and it is starting to change the ecology.”

Awareness and knowledge of this issue are not only important to the L.A. food and health system, but also to the LMU community.

Showcasing the campus’ efforts toward bettering the local food system, LMU will offer attendees sustainable fish prepared for the event. 

“LMU is marching towards being one of the most sustainable campuses in the nation. It looks at the origins of the food it buys and prepares,” said Dorsey.

The relevance of this event to students can be found at a deeper level than just being interested in sea life sustainability. It also gives them the opportunity to make a significant impact in the local food community.  

“When you’re in college, it is important to find out that you can make an impact and how. As individuals, [LMU students] have the chance get involved in organizations that support sustainable seafood,” said Ross.

The event is open to everyone, but RSVP is mandatory. It is free for LMU students, and is otherwise $10.

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