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(New Orleans, La.) - October is National Seafood Month, making it an opportune time to advocate for the sustainability of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. Audubon Nature Institute officials along with influential local chefs from the Gulf region gathered today at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas to announce the formation of a Chef Council to promote local, sustainable seafood harvested from U.S. fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico.

"Sustainability of our fisheries is a critical issue which reaches into many areas of our lives here in Southeast Louisiana," said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. "It's a good time for partnerships such as this one. Our goal is to develop ideas that will prove effective not just in our own backyard, but in fisheries all across the globe."

Spearheaded by Tenney Flynn, Executive Chef/Co-Owner of New Orleans restaurant
GW Fins, the Chef Council will partner with Audubon Nature Institute's Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) to act as a voice for promoting local, sustainable seafood.

"As chefs, we thrive on the ability to use fresh, diverse, and quality products, and the Gulf offers that up to us in spades," said Flynn. "We're fortunate to have such a great resource right in our backyard, and with that comes the responsibility to conserve this valuable resource that defines the culture and economy of our entire region. The G.U.L.F. program has taken on that responsibility and they are actively involved with our seafood industry to ensure the long term sustainability of our fisheries."

Joining Flynn on the Chef Council are: Susan Spicer, Chef/Owner, Bayona and Mondo; Brian Landry, Executive Chef, Borgne; Ryan Prewitt, Chef/Partner, Peche Seafood Grill; Chris Lusk, Chef de Cuisine, Restaurant R'evolution; Adolfo Garcia, Chef/Partner La Boca and High Hat Cafe; Christopher Lynch, Executive Chef, Atchafalaya; Kristen Essig, Executive Chef, Meauxbar; Cory Bahr, Chef/Owner, Restaurant Cotton and Nonna; and Alan Ehrich, Executive Chef, Audubon Nature Institute.

With the council's guidance, G.U.L.F. plans to expand its initiative with the creation of a restaurant partnership program to promote the use of Gulf seafood in restaurants and to educate local chefs, restaurant staff, and patrons about seafood sustainability in the region.

"G.U.L.F.'s mission is to ensure the long-term sustainability of Gulf fisheries, and partnering with our region's world class culinary community is perfectly in line with that mission," said Managing Director of Audubon Center for Endangered Species and Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Jason Recher. "This Chef Council will be instrumental in helping us achieve one of our most important goals: educating consumers on the sustainability of Gulf seafood."

G.U.L.F. acts as a neutral body and an arm of Audubon Nature Institute, working with government agencies, certification bodies, fishers and processors, buyers, restaurateurs, and consumers to ensure that fisheries in the region thrive for the benefit of future generations. Through education and outreach, advancement plans, and third-party assessment and certification of our fisheries, G.U.L.F. highlights what makes the region's seafood so special and encourages our fisheries to go above and beyond to meet the highest standards for responsible fisheries management.

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