A year ago, approximately 13 million people watched a “60 Minutes” story on the oil spill’s impact on fishermen across the Gulf Coast.
One man decided to do something about what he saw.
Jimmy Galle, owner of seafood distributor Gulfish in Sausalito, California, created the “Dine Out for Gulf Seafood” fundraising campaign, putting Gulf seafood on the menu to raise money, but more importantly, to raise awareness about the quality of Gulf seafood.
Thanks to Galle, a Gulf Coast native with 40 years’ experience in the seafood industry, more than 100 restaurants in 18 states and Washington, D.C., participated in and raised money for the Gulf Oil Spill Fund, established by the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) to help fishermen and their families.
A year later, Galle continues to support Gulf Coast fishing communities by giving a percentage of his business’s profits to GNOF.
“That is something we will always do, as long as we’re in business,” he affirms. Galle believes that despite the tragedy of the oil spill, the event did shine a light on the quality of wild, domestic products as opposed to farmed, imported products.
“I pay a premium for a premium product,” said Galle who distributes fresh, wild, sustainably harvest seafood straight off the boat from the Gulf of Mexico. “I can trace my product back to the net.”
Ninety percent of the nets catching Galle’s products belong to Louisiana fishermen — meaning, the more they catch, the higher the investment going back into coastal communities.
Galle knows it’s a drop in the bucket, given the past few years of natural and manmade disasters in Louisiana. “It would be nice to have a year when nothing happens,” says Galle, “A year of normalcy where the industry can catch its breath.”
No one would argue. But thanks to “ambassadors” like Galle, Louisiana fishermen know that someone — miles away — has their back.