At the intersection of marine conservation and social, economic, environmental and food justice

Friday, March 2, 2012

Support local economies and a healthier ecosystem

By Michelle Gottlieb, guest blogger
Co-Coordinator, Healthy Food in Healthcare
Health Care Without Harm

Note: This letter was addressed to New England fisheries decision-makers regarding Amendment 18 to the groundfish plan. We encourage everyone to join Michelle by submitting your own comments in support of fleet diversity. Click here to learn how.

To the New England Fisheries Management Council,

We, Health Care Without Harm's Healthy Food in Healthcare Programs, oppose the no-action alternative option under A18 because the loss of fleet diversity is a major problem facing the New England fleet. Loss of fleet diversity affects the network of hospitals we work with, who are engaged in efforts to purchase local and sustainable seafood. The healthcare sector understands that a diverse and local fleet is essential to implement this goal. Hospitals across the region have signed a Pledge to serve healthy and sustainable foods to their patients, and many of them recently gathered in Gloucester, MA to hear directly from fisherman about the challenges they face. Some of these hospitals are now exploring how they can purchase seafood through Community Supported Fisheries. Fleet consolidation and concentration of the rights to fish will undermine the efforts of the healthcare sector to support local fishing communities.

HCWH’s mission is to transform the health care sector worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment. To that end, we are working to implement ecologically sound and healthy alternatives to health care practices that pollute and contribute to disease. HCWH’s 440 member organizations represent an international coalition of hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals, community groups, health-affected constituencies, labor unions, environmental and environmental health organizations and religious groups.

We recommend that the Council explore solutions that support local economies and a healthier ecosystem.
Thank you,

Michelle Gottlieb, MEM

Thank you Michelle for sharing your comments. We encourage everyone who, like Michelle believes fleet diversity matters, to submit your own comments as part of a public comment period. Click HERE for help on e-mail comments. Every comment counts!
Michelle on the clams flats


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