Showcasing Seasonal and Sustainably Caught
Seafood for Locals on Local Scales
MenTa Cuisine, a French-Caribbean infused restaurant located in the north coast town of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, prides itself on serving in-season seafood. Now, they can verify their pride. In August, 2017, the Beyond Our Shores Foundation provided the means for Cedric to showcase in-season, locally sourced seafood in a dynamic, interactive visual display at his restaurant. The goals are simple: provide MenTa Cuisine an educational platform to verify the authenticity of their in-season, local, and sustainable sources of seafood and collect invaluable catch and effort data that can be used to further inform our understanding of fisheries in the region. In a recent interview, Cedric said “I catch about 75% of the fish we work with at MenTa.” He went on to say, “the other 25% I buy from a select group of local fishermen that I know take good care of their catches. We want to show our restaurant guests where we caught their seafood, to verify that it was caught in-season and sustainably.” To kickstart this project, Cedric and a few of his responsible commercial fishermen have agreed to collaborate, signifying the start of a great initiative to promote Puerto Rico’s precious seafood resources. Cedric notes “fish species can vary from day to day, season to season, or availability – now, we can show our customers what is in-season, where was it caught, by which gear, and by who through a cool visual display. Before the start of this initiative, my customers learned to appreciate different species for their specific characteristics and seasonality. Now, when my customers ask to see the photo of my catch on my phone I can now show them the track and location of where it was caught just a few hours before it was served on their plate!.” This pilot project began before Hurricane Maria hit the island. The storm forced us to start over and we are pleased to announce that with funding made possible through a grant from the Waitt Foundation, the SeasonalCatch Seafood Initiative pilot project is operational once again. Click here to see MenTa Cuisine’s Spring and Summer SeasonalCatch seafood report. At the end of Fall we will issue their next report and are currently working on the interactive display. Please check back often to see improvements to MenTa’s page and the progress of this project!