Working for Good, Clean, Fair Food for All - Slow Food Urban San Diego Convivium of Slow Food International


Meet Your Fishermen

Their days usually start with listening to the weather. And are filled with doing what they love: fishing. Not slave to traffic patterns so much as the winds and currents, they harvest the food we eat in ever changing conditions.

Meet our fishermen on Feb 25th at an evening of local seafood & local wine! 
Sea bass and box crab caught by San Diego’s fishermen 
and crafted into delicacies by MIHO Gastrotruck
Wine produced by J*Brix

Seafood Demonstrations by the pros!

San Diego’s fishermen* harvest a diverse array of species: from swordfish, the most cunning of catches, to sea urchins, the sessile ocean starbursts. From 60+ species of rockfish which most restaurants call snapper to opah, a warm-blooded newcomer on the San Diego seafood scene with three distinct cuts of meat ranging from the fatty belly to the beef-like abductor muscle. Plus albacore, sardine, snails, whelks, black cod, octopus, spot prawns and more. The list of our local abundance goes on.

Fukushima and son and fish

San Diego is a unique location for the seafood industry in the world. We have a large diversity of year-round species. We have seasonal migrations of pelagic fish. And we have weather that makes seafood available year round.” – Kelly Fukushima, first generation San Diego fishermen.

On Saturday, February 25th, San Diegans have the opportunity to meet some of our local independent fishermen. The folks who chose a life of constant change – weather, regulations and fish availability – to provide our food. Slow Food celebrates these food producers. Box crab demonstrations all night and sea bass breakdown at 7pm. 

Kelli and Dan Major
Fishing Vessel: Plan B
Fishes: Box crab and just about anything available from Point Conception to the Mexico border and out 200 miles – lobster, octopus, whelk, rockfish, bonito, yellowtail…

Kelly Fukushima
Fishing Vessel: Three Boys
Fishes: swordfish, squid, crab, lobster, seabass, groundfish

Antonio Estrada
Fishing Vessel: Caroline Louise
Fishes: sea bass, including the one we’ll be eating on Sat

U.S. fisheries are among the most stringently regulated in the world.

“When San Diegans eat seafood from California fishermen, they are making a great choice for sustainable, responsible seafood and they are supporting artisanal fishing families.” – Kelly Fukushima

Box crab, harvested by Dan Major.

Luke Halmay and sea bass

*Most people who fish commercially, whether man or woman, prefer the term fisherman over fisher, fisherwoman, etc.

And Evening with San Diego’s Independent Fishermen and Small-Production Winemakers

Slow Food Urban San Diego invites you to a Slow Fish & Slow Wine event featuring small-production winemakers and San Diego’s independent fishermen
Hometown heroes MIHO Catering Co. will provide sea-to-street cuisine on-site with support from Hostess Haven, who’ll be handling the décor and look of the evening. The night will feature seafood demonstrations by the fishermen who caught the night’s sustainable fish as well as tunes, visuals, and antics provided by the Wine Not? team. 

GET TICKETS HERE

This February 25th, Wine Not?, the L.A.-based event and lifestyle unit of Bon Appétit Wine Editor Marissa A. Ross and event producer Evan Enderle, comes to San Diego in support of Slow Food Urban San Diego and J. Brix Wines. 

The event takes place from 6 to 9pm on the 25th. Tickets are $25 and include admission, wine tasting and small bites. Advance purchase is strongly recommended as space is limited. Tickets are available via WineNOT. Proceeds will benefit SFUSD’s programs to promote good, clean & fair seafood in San Diego.
 
The Rose is located at 2219 S. 30th Street and can be reached via telephone at 619.281.0718.

Keep San Diego Seafood Local

On August 24th, stakeholders of San Diego fisheries began meeting with Protea Waterfront Redevelopment about their plans to redevelop the Downtown waterfront. This meeting was important. That the fishing community is meeting at all with the likely developer may affect whether our local and sustainable seafood industry will persist, diminish or flourish in the redevelopment.

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Fukushima and son, San Diego commercial fishing family.

Learn more about good, clean & fair seafood in San Diego.

The Port of San Diego envisions redeveloping the “Central Embarcadero” an area that includes Tuna Harbor, where the majority of San Diego’s active commercial fishermen dock their boats. “Tuna Harbor is central to San Diego’s cultural history as a fishing community,” says Pete Halmay, San Diego sea urchin fisherman. “It was the hub of San Diego fishing for a 100 years and is central to our local industry today.”

Today, San Diegans have little access to locally-caught seafood, even though we are a waterfront city. The U.S. imports over 90% of its seafood and San Diego fishermen are hard pressed to sell their catch locally. The redevelopment represents an opportunity to invest in our local fisheries and reconnect with our local seafood system. It’s up to the San Diego to commit to this.

Want to help? Write a letter to the Port of San Diego in support of local commercial fisheries and sustainable seafood. Go here.  

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Jordyn, holding 2 San Diego species, red sea urchin and red crab, is from a San Diego fishing family.

While it is still early in the planning process, it is important that we let the Port (and City and County) know now that San Diego wants to support a thriving commercial fishing industry by keeping Tuna Harbor solely as a working fishing harbor. One of the early draft alternatives presented by Protea for Tuna Harbor shows a mixed use harbor, combining fishing with another yacht club. This would reduce the number of slips and total space allocated to fishermen, and create unsafe conditions with little room to maneuver boats and allow for daily boat traffic. Plus, “Creating a mixed-use marina conflicts with the Port Master Plan which delineated this area, among others to commercial fisheries,” says Halmay. The preliminary plan also reduces the size of the on-site processor and sets it back from the water behind retail stores and a taco shop. “Santa Monica Seafood provides vital services to the fishermen: ice, loading dock, crane, etc. We need these things to operate and keep our seafood fresh.” While this plan is only one of several draft alternatives, it reveals the extent to which commercial fishing could again be reduced in San Diego. Setting commercial fishing as a priority in San Diego needs to happen now.
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Local red sea urchin, or uni, a delicacy harvested in local waters.

At the 2nd meeting in September, facilitated by Dr. Theresa Talley of SeaGrant California, stakeholders chose Mike Conroy, of the American Albacore Fishing Association, to Chair future meetings. They also presented their vision of Tuna Harbor, which is a single use harbor for commercial fishing vessels only, including necessary infrastructure like cranes, squid pump, freezer and net mending space plus, signage illustrating San Diego’s fishing history and present, and an open-air fishermen’s market. The vision maintains Santa Monica Seafood and their infrastructure, as well. All intended to support the current and likely future local fishery.

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Sketch of fishermen’s vision for redeveloped Tuna Harbor

Click here for larger version of fishermen’s sketch.

San Diego needs fishermen to harvest our seafood. It’s not much further for us to get to importing 100% of our seafood. The redevelopment of the Central Embarcadero represents an opportunity for San Diego to invest in its fisheries, in its local seafood system, in community. We can make room for more yachts and chain restaurants or we can invest in Good, Clean & Fair Seafood for All. The success of Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, the popularity of restaurants serving local seafood, and the move to eat locally, all point to the potential of our local fisheries.

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More than 40 species of rockfish live off our coast.

Maintaining and improving the fishing infrastructure at Tuna Harbor will keep locally-caught sustainable seafood in San Diego. Keep San Diego Local. Support your local fishermen, and fresh, tasty local seafood.

Watch this video to learn more about the value of San Diego commercial fisheries.

Want to help? Write a letter to the Port of San Diego in support of local commercial fisheries and sustainable seafood. Go here.  

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This man wants you to eat local crab.