Yesterday, I toured San Diego Bay with the CEO of Stone Brewing Company (soon to be a neighbor in NTC Promenade) and the developer of what will become a new LEED-certified hotel on Harbor Island. Tuesday I attended The Maritime Alliance awards dinner where I sat with Slow Food Urban San Diego to hear Dr. Sylvia Earle talk about our Planet Ocean. And tomorrow I’m off to meet the new community relations director of REI. It’s been one of those weeks that I love.
A local beer company, a developer, a maritime technology group and an outdoor recreation company…it’s a week that makes me think about collaboration. According to the expert opinion of Wikipedia, collaboration means working together to achieve shared goals. Collaboration does not mean convenient partnership. It means communicating and sharing knowledge and building consensus to achieve an outcome that might not otherwise become reality. San Diego Coastkeeper received the Maritime Alliance award for sustainable seafood to recognize our soon-to-be-launched webpage that tells people where to find seafood that they can eat with a clear conscience.
Why would Coastkeeper get into the web page game? We want people to make choices about eating seafood that leads to yummy dinner and also doesn’t harm our ocean life. But when we started to think about all the ways to spread the word, we realized that we had nowhere to point them to get the answers they would need. Seafood Watch provides guidelines about what to eat. I have the app on my phone. I know what to buy, but where to find happy fish at stores and restaurants in San Diego remains a black hole.
So we set out to fill the need. Our first step forward caused us to take a step back. We had to define sustainable seafood. Local? From robust wild fisheries? Environmentally friendly aquaculture? We talked to fishermen, chefs, retailers and others, including the Fisherman’s Working Group, who also received an award from The Maritime Alliance. (The award was for alliance building. Yep: collaboration.) And then we kept talking until we came up with a definition that made sense for San Diego. You’ll see it when the web page launches. Have thoughts about this? Join the conversation with a comment below at our Twitter feed (@sd_coastkeeper) on Facebook or just give us a call at 619-758-7743.