Top: Dean Max created this seafood pasta
with Cedar Key clams, pink shrimp, black
grouper and mahi with basil broth.
Bottom: Wesley True serves Gulf seafood—
including oysters from Bayou La Batre—at
his restaurant in Mobile, Ala.
The Gulf Wild program will only trace
grouper, tilefish and red snapper for
now, but other fishermen, such as Gulf
shrimper Lance Nacio, say they’re feeling
confidence in Gulf seafood returning.
Nacio, who brings in a few hundred
thousand pounds of premium shrimp a
year, says that after the spill, only a few
customers refused shipments.
“When you’re building a business, any
interruption in product is going to set
you back, and you have to work to regain
confidence,” he says.
have added two tests that NOAA is not
performing now,” says David Krebs, Gulf
Wild spokesman and president of the Gulf
of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance.
“We think that at the end of the day, when you
say, I’ve got this choice of an authentic, tested
Gulf of Mexico product versus something
from another country? Our product should
give the consumer the confidence they’re
making the right choice,” says Krebs.
Moonen says the concept is brilliant, and
believes consumers will be assured by the
ability to trace their fish. “What’s on that
tag? You can go straight to the website
and track it all the way to the name of the
captain and the name of the boat. And
now you know it’s a Gulf red snapper.
Until this moment? I used to have to ask if
it was a real Gulf snapper, and I know it’s
But a disaster with this kind of
environmental impact was far different
from previous hurricanes Nacio had been
through. “I was hired by BP to do the
burning of the oil. I was out there watching
it every day,” he says. “It was devastating to
see it come ashore, knowing that was the
nursery for so many species.
“But down here, Mother Nature has a way
of healing herself, and I think the worst is
behind us. It’s a bright future ahead.”
Calif.-based writer Clare Leschin-Hoar's
work has appeared in The Wall Street
Journal, SciAm.com, San Diego
Magazine, Slashfood and many more.