As part of START’s partnership with Healthy Earth, Mote and the Chiles Group, the group has been named as one of the five finalists in the $500,000 Gulf Coast Challenge. Based on establishing a more sustainable fishing program to preserve the grey striped mullet that is indigenous to our local waters, the partnership’s objective is to reduce the current waste of non-roe bearing male mullet and to create an economic stimulus to the local economy by building a state-of-the-art fish processing plant in the historic Cortez village. The plant will provide new local job opportunities and an array of mullet seafood products including roe, fillets, fish oil, fish feed and fertilizer. By utilizing the entire mullet, we will eliminate any waste of this valued resource and relieve the fishing pressure on other endangered species like Grouper.
START’s role in the partnership will be to help educate the public about the need to make more sustainable seafood choices and to increase the demand for mullet through new menu selections and food events at participating restaurants.
Photo courtesy of the UN Fisheries & Aquaculture Dept.