Saving the beleaguered wild Atlantic salmon

| June 23, 2015 | 0 Comments
Portuguese Ambassador Jose Fernando Moreira da Cunha hosted a dinner for the highest bidders at the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s Fall Run dinner. Clockwise from lower left: Marcus Tratch, Audrey Sullivan, the ambassador, Terri, Louis and Ruth Tratch, Becky McGavin, Joe Tratch, Maria da Cunha, Don Moore, Celeste Tratch and Michael Siddons.  (Photo: Bill Shugar)

Portuguese Ambassador Jose Fernando Moreira da Cunha hosted a dinner for the highest bidders at the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s Fall Run dinner. Clockwise from lower left: Marcus Tratch, Audrey Sullivan, the ambassador, Terri, Louis and Ruth Tratch, Becky McGavin, Joe Tratch, Maria da Cunha, Don Moore, Celeste Tratch and Michael Siddons. (Photo: Bill Shugar)

Without the generosity of two ambassadors, the annual Fall Run dinner for the Atlantic Salmon Federation would have raised 15 percent less for its cause — the conservation of the Atlantic Ocean’s beleaguered wild salmon.
The ambassadors of Portugal and Iceland donated dinners in their residences on which dinner-goers could bid. Both raised a considerable sum.
“Those who were fortunate enough to dine at the ambassadors’ residences spoke very highly of the warmth of the hospitality they received,” said ASF dinner chairman Dawson Hovey.
For the diplomats,  it’s a chance to share their culinary culture and assist in a good cause.
“We do have North Atlantic wild salmon in our rivers and we do have many anglers, including foreigners, who come to Iceland to fish,” said Icelandic Ambassador Sturla Sigurjónsson. “We have been trying to support conservation and sustainability, minimizing or eliminating catch in the sea for commercial purposes, and also seeing that the rivers continue to thrive.”
Sigurjónsson and his wife, Elín Jónsdóttir, served 10 guests birch syrup cocktails, followed by langoustine, then lamb and finally, a dessert of Icelandic yogurt served with blueberries and vanilla.
On the Portuguese side, dinner was also a success.
“The people who bought our dinner were beautiful people, very relaxed,” said Portuguese Ambassador Jose Fernando Moreira da Cunha.
He noted that it’s become tradition for diplomats to donate dinners for auction and he was happy to take a turn. It was a good chance for him and his wife, Maria, to share the Portuguese culture with some who might not know much about it.
He gave his guests an option of what they’d like to eat and they chose fish, which pleased him, as Portugal is a country by the sea, and because of the cause in question. He also served white wine from Alentejo, red from Douro and, of course, Portugal’s revered after-dinner export, Porto.
Hovey said the diplomats who attend the ASF “always bring an informed perspective to the conversation, including the importance of sustainable oceans generally and Atlantic salmon conservation in particular.”

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