"Conservation through Appreciation" is the tagline of Karen Talbot Art, but it goes a lot deeper than a line of copy on her business cards. Karen's Conservation Series of limited edition giclee prints is an excellent example of how you can partner with Karen to help conserve important species and ecosystems through purchasing art (to learn more about giclee prints, click here). Each Conservation Series limited edition giclee print is a museum quality reproduction of one of Karen's original paintings with a conservation-themed remarque hand-drawn on each piece (to learn more about hand-remarqued prints, click here. A set amount from the sale of each Conservation Series Giclee Print is then donated to a specific conservation organization responsible for helping to conserve the species.

For example, purchase a limied edition striped bass (Morone saxatilis) giclee print with a hand-remarqued menhaden, and $50 of the purchase price (the cost of the remarque) will go straight to the Coastal Conservation Association - Maine Chapter, which has done (and continues to do) important work with both conserving stripers and helping menhaden stocks to recover. Karen will be adding new limited edition giclee prints to the Conservation Series, so be sure to check back often.

To learn more about the limited edition striped bass bass prints with menhaden remarques and the Coastal Conservation Association - Maine Chapter, see the brief article below, which was written by Karen in February 2013.

As any recreational angler, conservation-minded citizen, aquatic biologist, or fisheries manager knows, the oceans and streams from which I draw so much inspiration as an artist are changing. We know many of the species living in these aquatic ecosystems are being impacted by these changes, and some species are in real trouble. While some ecosystem changes may be linked to larger, cyclical trends having nothing to do with human actions and activities, others are certainly the result of anthropogenic stressors like overfishing, pollution and carbon emissions. At Karen Talbot Art, we believe businesses are in a position to affect positive change when it comes to conservation and the environment.

The Karen Talbot Art mission--conservation through appreciation--is something I try to live every day in the choices I make. This means everything from considering how the natural history subjects I paint might educate the public about conservation to carefully choosing the vendors with whom I work and the materials which I use. In addition, through donations of artwork to fundraising efforts and educational campaigns, as well as through direct financial support, I am fortunate to collaborate regularly with a broad coalition of grassroots organizations making a tangible difference.

Today I am pleased to announce a new Karen Talbot Art initiative aimed at raising awareness about a small fish that plays a big role in ecosystem stability and health. Brevoortia tyrannus, commonly known as the Atlantic menhaden, has been called "the most important fish in the sea" and is a species that needs our attention. Overfishing, degraded water quality and climate change are all conspiring against this once plentiful fish, and it is estimated the population surviving to one year is now less than 10% of historic levels. The species is a critical forage fish in ecosystems ranging from Florida to Maine, where everything from gamefishes like striped bass, tarpon and tuna to other wildlife such as ospreys, whales and dolphins depend on healthy menhaden stocks.

All is not lost, however, as a lot of good work has been done in recent years to help menhaden stocks recover. Most notably, in December 2012, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted to reduce quotas in the commercial menhaden fishery by 20% starting in 2013. This was not a move universally embraced by all member states, as three of the 16 Atlantic states voted for a smaller reduction in the commercial fishery. Unfortunately, my own state of Maine (along with Virginia and New Jersey) voted to only cut the quota by 10%, a number widely believed to fall far short of what it will take to give the species a chance to recover.

While my state was, in my opinion, on the wrong side of this vote, I am very pleased that many of the conservation and advocacy organizations in Maine took a leadership role in fighting for the kind of fisheries management needed to protect the menhaden. One of those organizations--the Maine Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA Maine)--has been fighting on behalf of the Menhaden for two decades. In addition to its work with the menhaden, CCA Maine has, among many other accomplishments, helped obtain gamefish status for shad and actively supported barrier removal efforts throughout the state, including on the Royal River and on the St. Croix River in the spirit of making miles of historic prime spawning and rearing habitat available to diadromous species of fish including alewives, shad, smelt, lamprey, and eels and returning many waterways to their natural state.

CCA Maine has shown a dedication to the protection and restoration of marine life in Maine waters, and I am very pleased to, with your help, lend my support to CCA Maine and their good work by donating $50 from every sale of a hand-remarqued limited edition striped bass giclee print through the end of August 2013. I will be individually remarquing these striped bass giclee prints with a hand-drawn pencil sketch of a menhaden, making each a one-of-a-kind piece of art printed to museum standards with the best reproduction process available to fine artists. As with all my limited edition giclee prints, each will also be hand-signed and numbered.

Purchase a Conservation Series Limited Edition Giclee Print Now.