Share the Sea campaign helps feed the hungry
December 9, 2014
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Getting seafood to hungry Americans. Learn how you can help after this —
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A one dollar donation can be turned into eight seafood meals for hungry Americans this holiday season. The goal is to provide one million servings to food banks across the nation.
It’s part of SeaShare’s Share the Sea campaign during the month of December. SeaShare is a Seattle-based non-profit which is celebrating 20 years as a seafood source of nutrition for the less fortunate, from the East Coast to Kotzebue. It’s now one of the largest protein donors in the nation.
SeaShare began in the late 1990s in Alaska as a way to funnel fish taken as bycatch to food banks and soup kitchens, instead of being thrown overboard as required by law.
Fishermen have the opportunity to retain those fish and to bring them to shore and donate them to Sea Share. We are the only agency authorized to receive prohibited species catch. If they don’t retain them for us they have to throw them overboard so there is no economic incentive for them to retain high value salmon when they are fishing for pollock.
Jim Harmon is Sea Share director. More than 120 Alaska boats are working with the program, including every boat in the Bering Sea pollock fishery and more than half of the trawl boats in the Gulf.
Today, bycatch makes up about 10% of the donations; the rest is donated by seafood companies. Contributions have approached nearly two million pounds over the past year.
Over the past two decades, SeaShare has built a nationwide network that includes fishermen, seafood processors, freight, storage and packaging companies, and financial donors. Harmon says this unique donation model brings all partners together to share the costs of getting the seafood to food bank outlets.
We try to make it easier for fishermen and processors to donate and we are able to bring in other companies who can help with packaging or freight or storage, whatever it takes to make the product available so the donating entity doesn’t’ have to bear the whole cost to get it out there.
The Share the Sea campaign aims to turn every dollar into eight seafood servings with a goal of one million meals this month. Visit www.seashare.org to donate and follow @SeaShare on Facebook and Twitter. Find links at www.alaskafishradio.com
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture. www.oceanbeauty.com In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.