Sunday, April 28, 2013

McDonalds Filet-O-Fish Now is Eco-Friendly Through Marine Stewardship Label

As one becomes involved with oyster reef restoration, one can't help but become aware of broader issues associated with ocean's such as the challenges with maintaining sustainable fisheries. Oysters play into this as 60% of the fish caught at sea live in estuaries for part of their lives. And oyster reef improve that estuarine environment by providing shelter and food through the 100 types of creatures that live in a reef.

McDonald's Filet-O-Fish Sandwich

McDonald's sells more than 200 million Filet-O-Fish sandwiches in the US each year. (To learn the interesting history of the Filet-O-Fish visit this link.) They are made of Alaskan pollock and New Zealand hoki. 

Hoki Fish from New Zealand

The company has recently obtained the blue eco label from the Marine Stewardship Council. This means that the fishery is properly managed to be sustainable. Here are three key criteria from their web-site.

Principle 1: Sustainable fish stocks
The fishing activity must be at a level which is sustainable for the fish population. Any certified fishery must operate so that fishing can continue indefinitely and is not overexploiting the resources. 

Principle 2: Minimising environmental impact
Fishing operations should be managed to maintain the structure, productivity, function and diversity of the ecosystem on which the fishery depends.

Principle 3: Effective management
The fishery must meet all local, national and international laws and must have a management system in place to respond to changing circumstances and maintain sustainability.

McDonald's is obviously a huge force in the fast food world and the restaurant industry overall, so their move could be a bell-weather for the industry.  And it could be a lever to lead more people to opt for the seafood option.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mass Oyster on Slideshare Passes 10,000 Views Milestone

From the outset, Mass Oyster sought to inform and educate on the benefits of oyster reef restoration. As part of our communication strategy, we sought to publish key PowerPoint presentations on Slideshare. It quickly became apparent that people had forgotten both the history of oysters here and did not know what they could do for our estuaries.

Apparently, we are achieving some success at getting the word out. We have had over 10,000 views!

oyster reef restoration  slideshare 10,000 views

Here are links to some of the most popular Slideshare presentations.

History of Oysters and Boston Harbor
Cost Effectiveness- Oysters vs. Building Waste Treatment Facilities
Starting an Oyster Shell Recycling Program
Boston's Fort Point Channel- A Photographic Tour

Saturday, April 20, 2013

B&G Oyster Invitational May 5th.

Each year in early May Barbara Lynch Group hosts their Oyster Invitational at B&G Oysters at 550 Tremont Street. This year it will be held on Sunday May 5th to benefit the Barbara Lynch Foundation. To learn more about the foundation you can click on this link.

The event includes all you can eat oysters and lobster rolls.

oyster event, oyster shell recycing, B&G oysters
B&G oysters in Boston's South End

B&G Oyster Invitational   Ordering Tickets
Order Tickets Here

B&G has been a supporter of oyster restoration through MOP for several years and Mass Oyster has been active at the event since its inception. This year, we will be present and collecting shell as part of our oyster shell recycling program.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mass Oyster Welcomes New Water Quality Organization Mass Baykeeper

Recently, Mass Oyster met with Brianne Callahan who is the Director of the Massachusetts Baykeepers organization. We were introduced through the NY Baykeepers organization who is quite active in oyster restoration in the Hudson River around New York City. 

Oyster reef restoration supporter Brianne Callahan
Brianne Callahan of Mass Baykeepers taken at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester
We are pleased to know of this organization as many of our members are interested  in getting to the water and Baykeepers holds frequent events such as beach clean-ups. The next one will be on Saturday May 4 at 9:30. You can learn more about that Quincy event by clicking on the link below or to RSVP

 A summary of the Mass Baykeepers organization is below.

Massachusetts Baykeeper (“MBK”), located in Watertown, Massachusetts, is a non-profit charitable organization concerned with the ecological health of Massachusetts Bay and its tributaries.  MBK is a member of the global Waterkeeper Alliance movement, and was founded in 2011 to serve as the public spokesperson for Mass Bay and its precious resources.

MBK works to protect, preserve, and promote Mass Bay and its tributaries for the enjoyment and benefit of its coastal communities and numerous visitors. We aim to enhance the environmental, educational, economic, cultural, and recreational opportunities associated with the Bay through advocacy, sound science, and community education.  We are committed to protecting the ecological health of the Bay, and the public’s inalienable right to clean water.

They are focusing on several key initiatives,
  1. water quality
  2. ocean debris
  3. beach health 
  4. climate change
  5. national ocean policy
While Mass Bay has improved dramatically with Deere Island we still have many beach postings for water quality in places such as Quincy. Other waste treatment facilities are not nearly as state of the art as Deere Island. Having another fresh young shoulder at the wheel, who is unsatisfied with the status quo can only help. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

You Are Invited! April 24 Oyster Tasting- Volunteers Turn Out to Build Infra-Structure for Shell Recycling

Come join us for quality beer and oysters at Harpoon Brewery!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

If you like cold beer, warm soft pretzels, and oysters, you will not want to miss MOP at Harpoon Brewery on 306 Northern Ave.  Harpoon has a new tasting room where friends of MOP (that's you) will enjoy a beer tasting and oysters. While the tickets are moving briskly, there still are some left. You can reserve a ticket by visiting the following link. Mass Oyster Harpoon Event

Boston's Harpoon Brewery Hosts Oyster Restoration Supporters

Celebrants at a previous oyster night at Harpoon Brewery


Volunteers Turn-out to Build Infra-Structure for Oyster Shell Recycling Program

Recently, a team turned out to build drying trays for our oyster shell recycling program. We like to get the oyster shell dry as quickly as possible as it reduces odor. The trays facilitate that drying and serve as a tool for storing them and tracking their vintage. 

oyster restoration oyster shell recycling
The team hard at work.

volunteers Lucas oyster shell recycling
Lucas has also helped out with measuring oysters at our Charles River location.

Jake Levy demonstrates his prowess with a hammer.  He studies at St. Sebastian's.

recycling oyster shell volunteer oyster restoration
Brenden Buckley is off to Dartmouth next year.

Theresa and Ed survey the work in progress.

A team of young men from Wellesley came out and honed their carpentry skills under the tutelage of our Oyster Shell Recycling Program Director, Terry Baybutt. Terry is steadily building and expanding the program with a growing list of participants. Recently, the North End Fish Market to the program and we received shells from the Boston Seafood Show via Nagle Seafoods.

The shell mus be aged for a lengthy period. Once aged it can be used either at a hatchery or at a restoration site with existing reproducing oysters. Hatcheries will use the shell for tiny young floating oysters to attach to and grow. When placed on site, the oysters are laid on the bottom so that free-floating young oysters have a place to settle. Last year we dropped off a load for use at Wellfleet.