CITY OF KEY WEST PROCLAIMS FEBRUARY AS “KNOW YOUR FISHERMAN” MONTH

KEY WEST, FLORIDA, February 9, 2017 – To help prevent the kind of seafood fraud that has plagued many American ports and cities from becoming an issue in their local community, the City of Key West, in conjunction with the commercial fisherman of the Florida Keys and the Three Hands Fish market, today announced that February 2017 will be known as Know Your Fisherman month.

Throughout February, Key West will celebrate their commercial fishermen, who provide the community and tourist economy with the unsurpassed local, fresh seafood that has built the island’s reputation as one of the world’s leading fresh seafood capitals.

“For generations, our family of Florida Keys commercial fishermen has provided us and our many visitors with locally-caught Keys seafood that is so fresh it has made Key West one of the seafood capitals of the world,” said Key West Mayor Craig Cates. “All of us in Key West owe a great debt to our commercial fishermen. Our tourist income wouldn’t be what it is without them.

The Know Your Fisherman proclamation represents the beginning of a sustained effort to ensure that their work is widely-recognized and accurately-represented here in Key West and wherever else our great seafood is sold.”

As part of the Know Your Fisherman proclamation, the fishermen sponsors have also launched “Who Caught It?”, an innovative in-restaurant educational campaign. The campaign creates the expectation that if markets and restaurants are stating their seafood “fresh” and “local,” they should be able to answer a very simple question: Who Caught It? Local commercial fishermen are well-known by the restaurants they fish for. Participating restaurants and markets in the “Who Caught It?” campaign will not only answer the question, they will hand out a Florida Keys Commercial Fisherman “baseball-style” card to each restaurant customer. It’s a unique and innovative way to get to “know your fishermen”.

“It’s discouraging to see how prevalent seafood fraud has become in restaurants across parts of Florida and throughout the country,” said Captain Zane Osborn, a Florida Keys Commercial Fisherman and regular supplier of his locally-caught fish to the Three Hands Fish market in Key West. “All too often, the terms ‘fresh’ and ‘local’ are included on menus as a marketing tool, when in fact they are misrepresenting the fish being sold. Know Your Fisherman demonstrates to all of us Florida Keys commercial fishermen that Key West is aware of this national epidemic, and they’re taking a stand to prevent it from becoming a threat to our restaurant’s integrity and Key West’s reputation as a tourist destination.”

A 2015 NOAA report concluded that 86% of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported, 50% of it coming from unregulated, unhygienic fish farms. 100% of it arrives frozen. 98% of all imported seafood is not inspected by the FDA. [1] According to recent exposés published by the Boston Globe[2], New York Times[3], Tampa Bay Times[4], and Consumer Reports[5], it is this seafood that is appearing on the menus of restaurants and markets across the country under the guise of fresh, local, and American catch.

“The Know Your Fisherman and Who Caught It? campaigns work to ensure that all seafood declared ‘fresh’ and ‘local’ will be tagged with a Florida Keys commercial fisherman’s name and face,” said Captain Paul Menta, a Florida Keys commercial fisherman and co-founder of the Three Hands Fish market in Key West, a program that directly connects fishermen and their catch with local restaurants and community members. “Seeing and reading about the actual fisherman who caught your meal personalizes the entire transaction. Key West is a major destination for seafood lovers. This program goes a long way to eliminating ambiguity and mystery. It creates complete transparency and honesty, which is what consumers from all over the world now expect in our restaurants today.”

Wednesday, February 22, will be recognized as Know Your Fisherman Day, the pinnacle of this month-long program. On this day members of the local government, Florida Keys commercial fishermen, restaurant chefs, and community members will come together at the Three Hands Fish market to express appreciation to the local commercial fishermen community.

“This is just the first of many steps Key West will take to ensure that our island proudly and confidently remains a world capital of fresh and sustainable seafood,” concluded Cates. “Key West has always been a progressive island, often standing brave in the face of adversity. This proclamation presents us with another opportunity to show the world just how progressive and forward-thinking we are.”

Get to “Know Your Fisherman” throughout February and beyond by asking restaurants and markets promoting “fresh” and “local” seafood “Who Caught It?” to receive your fisherman baseball card. Visit www.KnowYourFisherman.com to learn more about our commercial fishermen of the Florida Keys! For hi-res photography, click here.

 

 


The Miami Herald

The lionfish: King of the ocean no more?

"Paul Menta is almost ashamed to admit how delicious lionfish is. A co-founder of Three Hands Fish, a sustainable fish market in Key West, Menta is also executive chef at its adjacent The Stoned Crab restaurant, where he serves lionfish daily as a main course or as a free addition to other plates. He wants consumers to fall in love with the fish — enough to fish it to extinction on Florida’s coasts."

For the full article, click here.

Edible South Florida

Loving That Lionfish – More Ways to Eat 'Em to Beat 'Em

"Lionfish, the notoriously invasive species that’s been taking over waters along the entire U.S. East Coast from Florida through Massachusetts as well as the Gulf and Caribbean, is now making its appearance in seafood markets, grocery stores and restaurants. And that’s seen as a positive step in dealing with this predator, which happens to also be delicious."

Click here to read the full article.

UNWIND Magazine

Three Hands Fish: A Local Seafood Revolution

"While not exactly on plane with the 1982 establishment of the secessionist Conch Republic, a group of local fisherman have declared a Seafood Revolution, calling on America’s restaurants to stop serving uninspected, third world farm-raised seafood. Three Hands Fish, Florida’s first and only Community Seafood Market (CSM), have banded together Key West commercial fishermen with local restaurant owners and citizens to revolutionize the American seafood industry."

Click here to read the full article.

Esquire

Searching the Sunny Florida Keys for Netflix's Darkest Show

"'When you raise kids here, it's all about the water,' our captain said. We'd just launched from the marina at The Stoned Crab in Key West, and Tony Osborn, the co-owner of the restaurant and the adjacent Ibis Bay Resort, had agreed to show us a part of the Keys that you don't normally see—to pull back the curtain of the well-trod cavalcade of Duval Street's galleries, dives, and t-shirt shacks. He piloted the 19-foot boat close to the shore."

Click here to read the full article.

Edible South Florida

Telling the Truth about Farm-to-Table in South Florida

"As a commercial fisherman, a seafood supplier with their market and a seafood buyer for the restaurant, he’s keenly aware of how widespread seafood mislabeling and misrepresentation is. 'In fact, it’s what drove me, and my two co-founders, to launch Three Hands Fish. We saw restaurants and markets across the country deceiving, either actively or passively, their customers and we wanted to do something to change the tide.'"

To read the full article, click here.

Honest Cooking

Catching and Cooking the Best Seafood of Key West

"As a guide to the restaurant and seafood landscape, Paul Menta of Three Hands Fish gave us the lowdown. A professional chef and community advocate, with long locks and a chill attitude that makes him seem more like a pro kite surfer, which he also is, Paul is the perfect person to talk to to find out the secret dining spots of Key West. The Philly native began his culinary career in Spain and France and eventually came to Key West to continue his love for competitive kite surfing. An athlete, distiller, chef, and entrepreneur, Paul has made it his mission to tap into all Key West has to offer."

Click here to read the full article.

Epicure & Culture

Three Hands Fish: Hands Down, The Keys’ Best Seafood Resource

"Sourcing local, fresh product was the incentive for the concept of Three Hands Fish. The advantage of living in Key West is having access to an abundance of fresh — not farm raised — fish. The location between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic creates a unique mixture and breeding ground in the reef system which produces the pink shrimp and the Key lobsters.

The philosophy of three hands is that only three hands touch the fish in the chain of custody: the fisherman, the fillet master or fishmonger, and the consumer."

For the complete story, click here.