By: Chad Campbell, Client Development Associate
I love the concept of Science on Tap, Manchester’s new Science Café, for a few reasons; science, beer, and bar food.
I’m also a huge fan of how Manchester organizations are helping lead the charge with promoting science for everyone (from K-12 programs at The SEE Science Center, college level classes through STEAM Ahead NH and for the 21-and-older crowd at Science on Tap). Our city is a growing technology and business hub, and these types of programs show how proud we are of it, and attract people to our city’s culture and promise.
The premise of a Science Café is to bring together scientists and the community to discuss different topics of interest in an informal setting. Together with the SEE Science Center, UNH Manchester, and The Shaskeen Irish pub, we have created Manchester’s first Science Café.
First topic was off the hook
Our first event focused on the New England fishing industry, sustainable fishing and the labeling and regulations that our panel of scientists deal with every day. Our scientists; Jill Swasey from MRAG Americas, and Eric Chapman and Gabriela Bradt from New Hampshire Sea Grant all brought unique experience and expertise that gave the group of about 30 science and/or beer enthusiasts a good overview of this complex issue.
Here’s what I learned about the fishing industry
· It is way too complex for the average consumer to understand everything about where the fish they eat comes from.
· There are multiple agencies that certify a fishery as sustainable
· There are multiple government agencies that are involved in the fishing industry
· Everything varies upon region
· There isn’t a fish that you could definitively say, across the board is more sustainable than another
· Not everyone in the fishing industry follows the rules
But just because it’s confusing doesn’t mean we should stop trying.
As consumers, we have to educate ourselves about where our food comes from, how it’s caught and the impact that has on the fishery and ecosystem. Is it local? If so, is the species you are eating sustainable for your local waters? If it’s farmed, is it a species that is sustainable and doesn’t take up more resources than it gives back?
There are many guides and apps out there to help answer those questions. A few to check out include: Marine Stewardship Council, Seafood Watch, Blue Ocean Institute, NOAA FishWatch.
This infographic from Jill Swasey is a great place to start.
Our next topic is pretty sweet
Science on Tap happens every second Tuesday of the month. Next up is The Science of Chocolate at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Admission is free, and The Shaskeen will donate a percentage of food and beverage sales from the event to the SEE Science Center.
If you are a scientist, doctor or engineer and are involved with something that you think would be a good fit for Science on Tap, please reach out. Follow SEE Science Center on Facebook for cool science related information from around the globe once a day and more updates about Science on Tap.