Fabien Cousteau and Presidential Task Force on IUU Join an Already Strong SeaWeb Seafood Summit Pro

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SeaWeb and Diversified Communications announced today several new additions to the program of the 11th International SeaWeb Seafood Summit, to be held 9-11 February at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

"The collaborations that have been fostered by the preeminent group of global seafood leaders who attend the Summit have served as the foundation for much of the progress on sustainable seafood," said Dawn M. Martin, SeaWeb President. "Having some of the best and brightest minds on sustainability and the most innovative seafood companies together under one roof has drawn the interest and engagement of both the Presidential Task Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud and of world renowned ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau at the Summit," Martin continued. 

Fabien Cousteau
Fabien Cousteau will moderate the concluding plenary panel to highlight the progress that attendees will have made during the Summit on key issues such as growth in aquaculture, fishery improvement projects, illegal fishing, and responsible sourcing. Mr. Cousteau will also deliver the closing keynote address of the Seafood Summit, which will follow the panel. 

Grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and aquanaut, oceanographic explorer, conservationist and documentary filmmaker, Fabien Cousteau continues to fulfill his family's legacy to protect and preserve the planet's extensive and endangered marine inhabitants and habitats. Mr. Cousteau's audience at the Summit will include stakeholders from the nonprofit community, scientists, and seafood industry professionals from around the world gathered to create solutions consistent with Mr. Cousteau's belief that environmental discipline can be the basis for cutting-edge solutions that strike a balance between regional, as well as global, environmental problems and the realities of market economies. 

Plant A Fish, a nonprofit organization founded by Fabien Cousteau and designed to empower communities and children to help restore local water ecosystems through the healthy "replanting" of key marine species, currently has restoration projects in El Salvador, New York City, South Florida and the Maldives. The Republic of the Maldives is being honored at the Seafood Summit as a finalist at the SeaWeb Seafood Champion Awards (www.seafoodchampions.org) for their groundbreaking work to promote sustainability in the Indian Ocean long-line tuna industry. 

Presidential Task Force on IUU
Following the keynote address by Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, the opening plenary will be immediately followed by a report from the Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud on their much-anticipated implementation strategy. President Obama directed the Task Force to issue recommendations on steps the government could take to prioritize actions to address IUU fishing and protect these valuable food and ecological resources. The threats posed by illegal and black market fishing to those who operate legal and legitimate seafood businesses are receiving considerable focus at the Summit, including a dedicated Pre-Conference Workshop on "Exploring the Elements of Effective Seafood Traceability, including Key Data Elements." 

Celebrity Chef Lionfish Challenge
The upcoming Summit features several other side events designed to expand awareness of some of the most high-profile issues in seafood sustainability. Summit participants are invited to attend "Celebrity Chef Lionfish Challenge-Malicious but Delicious!" a reception highlighting culinary creations featuring lionfish, an invasive species that is rapidly displacing native species throughout the Caribbean and up the lower eastern seaboard of the U.S. 

Past Seafood Champion and Chef Barton Seaver will serve as emcee of the reception, which is being held in partnership with NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The invasion of lionfish currently threatens two U.S. Sanctuaries in the Gulf of Mexico that are connected to the New Orleans coast-Florida Keys to the east and Flower Garden Banks to the west. Dishes featuring lionfish will be presented by celebrity chefs Brian Barber of Fleet Landing Restaurant, Charleston, South Carolina; Xavier Deshayes of International Trade Center, Washington, DC; Eric Damidot of the Hyatt Hotel, New Orleans, LA; Jean-Philippe Gaston of Izakaya Itanji, Houston, Texas; Dana Honn of Carmo, New Orleans, Louisiana; Roberto Leoci of Leoci's Trattoria, Savannah, Georgia; and John Mirabella of Castaway Waterfront Restaurant, Marathon, Florida. 

Restoration Field Experience
Another exciting side event offered to Summit participants includes an "on the ground" look at the devastating loss of critical coastline habitat in the region, including the shores of the Mississippi River and coastal wetlands in the Gulf. Approximately 1.1 million acres from Louisiana's coast are expected to be lost in the next fifty years without decisive action. The "Mississippi River Delta and Estuary Restoration Tour" field trip will allow attendees to tour an area with some of the highest rates of land loss in addition to being one of the hardest hit by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. They will also see first hand several important restoration projects that will highlight the vibrancy and resilience of this region. 

About the Seafood Summit
The SeaWeb Seafood Summit brings together global representatives from the seafood industry with leaders from the conservation community, academia, government and the media for in-depth discussions, presentations, and networking around the issue of sustainable seafood. The goal of the Summit is to foster dialogue and partnerships that lead to a seafood marketplace that is environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. The conference is produced in partnership by SeaWeb and Diversified Communications.

SeafoodSource.com, Diversified's online publication, is the official industry media for this year's Seafood Summit and the international online business tool to keep seafood industry professionals informed and connected on the conference's topics and activities.

For more information on the Keynote Presentation and the Summit, visit www.seafoodsummit.org.

About SeaWeb
SeaWeb transforms knowledge into action by shining a spotlight on workable, science-based solutions to the most serious threats facing the ocean. To accomplish this important goal, SeaWeb convenes forums where economic, policy, social and environmental interests converge to improve ocean health and sustainability. SeaWeb works collaboratively with targeted sectors to encourage market solutions, policies and behaviors that result in a healthy, thriving ocean. By using the science of communications to inform and empower diverse ocean voices and conservation champions, SeaWeb is creating a culture of ocean conservation. For more information, visit: www.seaweb.org.

About Diversified Communications
Diversified Communications is a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face-to-face events, eMedia, publications and television stations. Diversified serves a number of industries including: seafood, food service, natural and organic, healthcare, commercial marine and business management. The company's global seafood portfolio of expositions and media includes Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America, Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global, Seafood Expo Asia, and SeafoodSource.com. Diversified Communications, in partnership with SeaWeb, also produces SeaWeb Seafood Summit, the world's premier seafood conference on sustainability. Based in Portland, Maine, USA, Diversified has divisions in the Eastern United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit: www.divcom.com