Seafood Industry Research Fund
A 501(c)3 organization established in 1964
Dear Seafood Industry Professional,
Welcome to the Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF) newsletter! Here you can find quarterly updates on SIRF's activities, current research and funding information. Through your generous support, SIRF provides the seafood community with scientific studies that further business and improve the bottom line. Read in this newsletter how SIRF is linking industry and academia with articles on the Bill and Betty More Living Tribute Fund, NFI Future Leaders, and the Narragansett Bay Oyster Restoration Project.
We could not fund exciting research without your support. Thank you for your continued contributions. To view past SIRF sponsored research, please visit www.sirfonline.org
and contact us with any questions you may have firstname.lastname@example.org.
Russ Mentzer, Chairman
Seafood Industry Research Fund
The husband-and-wife team of Bill and Betty More have benefited the aquaculture community for over a half-century. After an extensive career of globe-trotting and aquaculture pioneering, Bill and Betty More signed onto the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) in 2011.
|Bill and Betty More will retire from GAA in 2015|
Bill has served as GAA's director of Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program and Betty as program manager. Under the Mores' guidance, BAP certification has grown into an industry standard with more than 900 certified facilities.
The Mores will be retiring from GAA at the end of 2015. The Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF) has launched the Bill and Betty More Living Tribute Fund in commemorate the pair's invaluable lifework.
SIRF is now in the process of raising a minimum of $50,000 necessary to establish a permanent fund in their names.
To honor Bill and Betty More's contributions to the seafood and aquaculture industry with a donation, click here
|Russ Mentzer Speaks to Future Leaders|
In June, SIRF Chairman Russ Mentzer spoke to the NFI Future Leader Class of 2015 during their visit to St. Simons Island, Georgia. Mentzer spoke as part of the Future Leader's three day itinerary which featured stops at King & Prince, the Jacksonville Port Authority, a cooking class at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel and a shrimp battering and breading lesson with Rich's Seapak.
|NFI Future Leaders Class of 2015|
Addressing the Future Leaders, Russ Mentzer reinforced innovation as critical to seafood's success.
"Seafood is versatile," said Mentzer. "Our industry's product offerings, as well as challenges, take on many forms. Dynamic thinking and farseeing action are needed to evolve the category and to address issues at their start."
By sponsoring research for EMS, decomposition testing, and the economic impact of the seafood industry, SIRF positions itself as part of seafood's progression, an effort that Mentzer believes the NFI Future Leaders share in as well.
Since 1998, the Future Leader Program has provided rising seafood professionals an opportunity to interact with business colleagues while experiencing aspects of the seafood industry. SIRF and the Future Leaders have long shared supporting ties through project sponsorship (see below: SIRF on the Half Shell), Future Leader Alumni SIRF Board members and most recently the establishment of SIRF's Wally Stevens Perpetual Fund to honor Mr. Stevens as the creator of the Future Leader Program.
Sarah Hayes, co-president of the Future Leader Alumni Network and Independent Investment Committee member for SIRF, views the relationship between the two organizations as a marriage of energies and purposes.
"The NFI Future Leaders are the decision-makers of tomorrow's seafood industry," said Hayes. "And SIRF is investing in projects that are realizing that future. Together, our efforts are helping to reshape the seafood landscape for a more robust and intelligent business."
At the Future Leader Alumni Networking event occurring during the Seafood Expo North America Boston, the Future Leaders have raised over $10,000 to support SIRF projects.
Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay had oysters for ages. In pre-colonial times, the Narragansett was known for their wild-harvest output, and in the late 1800s, oyster aquaculture operations transformed the area into an oyster powerhouse with an annual harvest worth $50 million.
By the 1950s though, pollution, economic conditions and a devastating hurricane brought the fishery into decline leading Rhode Island to revoke all aquaculture leases, ending commercial oyster production in the Narragansett.
Enter: SIRF and the NFI Future Leaders. In 2005, members of the NFI Future Leader class chose the Narragansett Bay for their charitable project and donated $10,000 to the oyster restoration effort. With sponsorship from SIRF and the Ocean Trust Foundation, Roger Williams University founded the Oyster Gardening for Restoration and Enhancement (ORGE) Program and conducted a comprehensive re-cultivation of the oyster population by establishing oyster reefs and introducing spat (young oysters) to an existing shellfish spawning sanctuary.
Ten years later and the Narragansett Bay oyster is back in business.
Since the start of restoration in 2005, Roger Williams University has released over 4 million oysters. The project's success has been bolstered by local participation. Each year over 100 local waterfront owners volunteer to maintain an oyster nursery at their docks, cultivating thousands of oysters over the summer. Roger Williams University collects the oysters in the fall releasing them onto oyster restoration reefs where they enhance the native stock and contribute to the ecosystem by filtering up to 50 gallons per oyster per day. In 2015, Steve Patterson, coordinator for ORGE, expects the oyster yield to be upwards of 500,000.
Wally Stevens, a former NFI Chairman and a long serving Director on the SIRF Board of Directors, participates in the restoration program and terms it a private-public success.
"A small restoration project, started over a decade ago has now grown into a sustaining stock-enhancement effort," said Stevens. "The return of oysters to Narragansett Bay demonstrates the power of identifying the right projects and giving them the right amount of support, a balance at the core of both the Future Leader program and SIRF."
The resurgence of oysters in Narragansett has also dovetailed with commercial cultivation as seen with the Matunuck Oyster Bar's
locally centered pond to plate approach where oysters are harvested right off of the restaurant's waterfront patio.
To learn more about the Narragansett Bay oyster restoration, visit Roger Williams University's website
or read the project report