Co-producers Mischa Hedges and Melissa Mahoney shared their experience of getting up close and personal with Californian fishermen for their film, Of The Sea, at our Encore Screening at San Francisco Public Library.
Working in small spaces, overnight and often with hooks and traps flying around, made filming on board the boats challenging.
But it was all necessary to get the real story of five California fishermen, and to show how our seafood choices can influence ocean sustainability.
Few California fishing families remain. In 1981 there were 6,900 fishing vessels in California. Today, just 1,800 remain.
They face complex regulations, high cost, and competition with cheap farmed and imported seafood.
Mischa explained that "Fishermen, historically and today, they are often vilified, often seen as the enemy - as they say in the film - raping and pillaging the ocean"
He continued, "where as most of the people in this film are very much invested in ocean sustainability and work very closely with regulators to make sure we're managing our fisheries responsibly."
These fishermen are struggling to revive a fading way of life and creating new models for how to support sustainably produced seafood.
Melissa & Mischa urged the audience to ask questions about where their fish is coming from.
They've worked with Seafood Watch, CUESA and Local Catch to provide this interactive guide to making sustainable seafood choices.
As seafood eaters we can vote for local, sustainable seafood, every time we choose to buy (or not buy) seafood at our favorite markets, restaurants and grocery stores.
Watch The Film
Of The Sea is now available online.