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Showing posts from 2008

Sustainable Seafood After Hours

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Wednesday November 12th was the second evening hosted by Wild Edibles to promote sustainable seafood. Sustainable After Hours is an opportunity for concerned New York Chefs to have questions answered by experts and producers of seafood.

The special guests for the night included Kate McLaughlin Seafood Program Director from the Blue Ocean Institute, Jim Michaels Program Manager Mote Sturgeon Research Project, and Karen Rivera Founding Member Noank Aquaculture Cooperative. All the guests made brief speeches followed by personal conversations with some of the cities best chefs. I personally cannot help but think the impact that these small gatherings will have on the choices we all make when procuring the fruits of our fragile oceans. For those of you who attended, thanks for coming and having the conversation. I encourage anyone in the industry to continue the conversation and to reach out to your suppliers, and friends.

Chef Paul Jambor of Wild Edibles Oyster Bar with the always tasty h…

Mercury

I know I should be writing about mercury in seafood, but frankly there has been plenty of press. I am concerned about mercury in seafood and elsewhere.

Seafood in an Economic Downturn

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Despite the current economic situation I want to encourage everyone to keep eating sustainable seafood. We all need to reap the benefits of great seafood more than ever. The healthy benefits of seafood will pay for themselves in the long run; with increased brain function, decreased risk of coronary problems, just to name a couple. Seafood prices have remained stable and are apparently on a downward trend. Some relief has been granted to local fisheries as the price of fuel continues to decline. And I received the first freight reduction in years from one of our trucking companies. So now is a great time to vote with your wallet and continue to support sustainable seafood. Here is a list of some reasonably priced choices.

Bluefish (wild caught local)Mussels (farmed, US and Canada)Clams (farmed or wild hand dug)Barramundi (farmed, US)Coldwater Shrimp (wild, US and Canada)

End of the Summer Fishmonger Reading List

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I guess you would expect me to suggest you read the new book Bottomfeeder, but I won't burden you this beautiful summer weekend with something so serious. Instead pick up one of these, they are only remotely seafood related.

A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffet - Mix up a few margaritas and enjoy this lighthearted tale about a young man searching for bonefish and a second chance.Atomic Lobster by Time Dorsey - The title has little to do with the book, but if you like classic pulp fiction with a slightly sick Floridian sense of humor this Tampa native will have you laughing out loud at the beach this weekend.Hooked: Pirates, Poaching and the Perfect Fish by G. Bruce Knecht - Ok so one of my selections is about commercial fishing. I think that this is a great informational non-fiction work about "Chilean Sea Bass". I am only recommending this because it is written very well and reads like a mystery novel, besides some excerpts about the Antarctic could have a cooling effec…

Sustainable V.P. Candidate?

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Sarah Palin

Hey Cats.......

Stop eatin' so much fish!

GOURMET meals dished up to pampered pets could be threatening world fish supplies, Victorian scientists have warned.Calculations by Deakin University researchers show an estimated 2.48 million tonnes of forage fish are used each year by the global cat food industry.........Dr Turchini's paper, co-written with colleague Professor Sena De Silva, is published online by the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. link


I have to say this did not even dawn on me. But when you stop to think about it those cats are sure chowing down upon a great deal of the oceans bounty. And why should they benefit from all our labors, not like my dog who will eat just about anything. These high falutin' felines are starting to demand the finest select cuts of wild salmon and halibut. When was the last time you saw a cat actually catch a fish? Let them eat rat.

DNA in the City

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Two young students using simple dna testing techniques are shining the light again on the growing problem of mislabeled seafood. Everyone in the seafood business should be outraged as consumers and I am at the deception of a few bad purveyors and retailers. Not only is it wrong to mislead the consumers, but this leads to a wider range of problems. These problems range from unfair trade to species depletion from bad catch reporting.

Read the article in the NY Times.

So I want to personally thank these two intrepid sleuths.

Here are a few ways to assure you are getting the fish you pay for (without DNA testing).

Know your fishmonger.Buy whole fish, not fillet.If the price is to good to be true, it probably is.A similar article also appears in the Canadian Globe and Mail.

Oh P.E.T.A. :Deja Vous

We have seen this kind of publicity stunt before. Back in June they proposed a lobster empathy center in Maine.
PETA would have us close all the zoos and aquariums. I think that a well run facility can not only provide useful education opportunities but also a positive message of sustainability.
ORLANDO:
Whale of an Offer: Buy SeaWorld, Free Animals An animal-rights group says a supporter wants to buy one or more SeaWorlds from the theme parks' soon-to-be new owner so it can free all the animals, even killer whales. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says an undisclosed donor wants to buy at least one SeaWorld park, then free the animals and replace them with virtual-reality or animatronic displays. Belgium-based InBev, one of the world's largest brewers, is to acquire the SeaWorld parks as part of its $52 billion acquisition of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Busch calls the offer "a publicity stunt." [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Is Sustainable Seafood Catching on?

Zagat says yes.

Consumers have had information at their disposal for a few years now about the fish they purchase in retail stores. This was helped along by some legislation C.O.O.L (country of origin labeling) that took effect in 2004. This law only applies to retail stores and excludes prepared fish. So basically every restaurant is exempt from any reporting. One still must be careful and dine at trusted restaurants, because some misleading information is out there like the Florida grouper debacle that had numerous species filling in for the states favorite fish in a bun.

Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis)

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Striped bass (Morone saxatilis), also known as rockfish to some are one of the east coasts most valuable species. They are both a commercial fish and are regarded by sports fisherman as a desirable species. Sometimes these two agendas are at odds. This occurred last year when President George Bush signed an executive order against the sale of wild striped bass caught in Federal waters, and urging States to do the same. Striped bass was once over fished but over the past ten years most states have implemented strict guidelines for the commercial sales of this fish as well as fair catch limits for the recreational fisherman. However this fragmented regulation from state top state has made enforcement difficult. Below is a list of some Northeast state regulations.Rhode Islandtrap: 26" mingeneral category: 34" minNew York24" - 36"Delaware28" min20" special spring season 3/1-3/30MarylandBays and Rivers: 18"-36"Ocean: 24"PRFC ( Potomac River Fish…

Where Has All the Tuna Gone?

If I haven't been looking for tuna these past weeks I have been fielding questions from my customers about the scarcity of said tuna.

The perfect storm? While it seems that no single event has caused this supply problem a few combined may have made this inevitable. Mostly the evidence I present is purely anecdotal, so your comments are welcome.

Fuel prices: The rise in the dock prices of diesel have forced a hard decision upon some of the tuna boats. Faced with the possibility of filling up the tanks and returning to port with less than a full hold of fish many fishermen choose to stay in port longer and cut their losses.Moon cycle; The current position of the moon and the effect it has on pelagic fish, as well as the bait fish it feeds upon makes finding large amounts of Tuna difficult.Last month many Asian countries announced what amounts to a nearly 40% reduction in the size of their fleets. They did not however make plans to reduce consumption.
China comes on strong: Could the in…

My July News

July was a really hectic month for the fishmonger. I am sure those of you that are kind enough to make regular visits to these pages can well see from the lack of posts this month. My schedule was flipped into night dweller mode as I covered for one of my co-workers during his much needed vacation. The experience of going to the New Fulton Market every night was very enjoyable despite the hours. A big thank you to all my support staff, and vendors.

Commercial Fishing Troubles, Links

Yesterday National Public Radio aired a story highlighting the fuel cost problems that Northeast commercial fishermen are trying to cope with.Asian Tuna Boats are suspending activities for "a few" months in response to high fuel costs. This follows the same action by squid fishermen in Japan.This follows last months strikes in Europe, primarily by French and Spanish Boats.This article from Namibia, foretells of the possible crash of smaller fishing economies.

Now Do I Have To Reconsider Sockeye?

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A recent article in the Canadian Paper Globe and Mail highlights the plight of B.C. sockeye.

Trout Unlimited, an Oregon sport fishing and conservancy group has partnered with a supermarket chain to focus on the issue of Bristol Bay and a planned mining operation that could starve the areas rivers of water, and be devastating to salmon stocks.

Marine Harvest doing something to protect wild salmon migratory routes.

Wild Pacific salmon used to be easy, but now with news about bycatch in the pollack fisheries and these new stories we must take a new look.

Just to keep you updated I will be taking home some Pacific chum salmon (aka: keta, dog, silverbright) Oncorhynchusketa.
I will be cooking the fish a few ways, and will post the results.

Trucking Crunch, Seaboard Express Closes the Doors

Late yesterday afternoon I was told by one of my vendors of the pending demise of Seaboard Express, Inc. In business since 1977, the news of this is more problematic than surprising, as it was confirmed by six other reputable seafood purveyors in Boston and New England and from employees within the company. Seaboard Express of New Bedford was one of the larger carriers of fresh and frozen seafood that shipped product up and down the Northeast corridor. We have been hearing for some time how the rising costs of diesel, and less than full loads has increased trucker's costs substantially. So that leaves only a handful of existing carriers to fill the void. This is most likely to lead to increased shipping costs, that will in the short term be absorbed by intermediate parties. But the net result is less competition, and rising costs that will eventually be passed onto the end users. It is always hard to see a company close, so I wish the former employees and principals all the best.

Sustainable Shrimp Cocktail

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Sustainable Seafood guides recommend using U.S. wild caught shrimp. One type of shrimp that rates high is the diminutive Maine shrimp,pandalus borealisit is also sold as Canadian pink shrimp. It is commonly sold cooked and frozen and could go by the name ti-ti shrimp as well. Many of us had this shrimp in the form of those SauSea jarred shrimp cocktails. You know the ones that were mostly sauce, and came in a container that found a future as an orange juice glass for use at the breakfast table. In some ways that childhood treat is the inspiration for this easy recipe. Though pandalus borealis is not in season right now I had put up some frozen cleaned Maine shrimp meat for just such an occasion. You can purchase the already cooked frozen variety and achieve the same results.

Cocktail de Camarones
[makes 3-5 servings]

2 lbs of Cooked Maine Shrimp, pandalus borealis
3 ribs of Celery {1/4 inch dice}1 medium size Red Onion {1/4 inch dice}3/4 cup Ketchup {I am hooked on Whole Foods Organic}J…

Sea Stories

The Blue Ocean Institute has an interesting site devoted to better writers than I. They call this collection Sea Stories. It is an interesting mix of poetry and short stories from contributors of all sorts. The next issue could even contain writings by you; should you want to contribute they have a submission tool.

BYCATCH

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One of the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) great success story has been the certification of the Alaskan Pollack fishery. Some 100 plus boats (factory type ships) harvest huge amounts of pollack under the watchful eyes of The MSC and the Alaska division of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency). One problem is the huge amount of salmon bycatch that is inadvertently caught with the pollack. Strict guidelines currently have these boats discarding tons of fish. Surely there has to be some better way to handle all this bycatch. Below is today's AP article. Please cast your vote in the sidebar about bycatch.

Associated Press/AP Online

Enlarge Photo June 23, 2008- ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Florence Johnson can rattle off myriad ways to prepare salmon. Drawing on a lifetime of fishing the Yukon River, she recommends canning, salting, or drying the fillets in her smokehouse near the heart of downtown Eagle. "I'd be very lost without it," Johnson said. "I can eat sa…

Fishmonger's Recommended Reading

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I guess you would expect me to suggest you read the new book Bottomfeeder, but I won't burden you this beautiful summer weekend with something so serious. Instead pick up one of these, they are only remotely seafood related.

A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffet - Mix up a few margaritas and enjoy this lighthearted tale about a young man searching for bonefish and a second chance.Atomic Lobster by Time Dorsey - The title has little to do with the book, but if you like classic pulp fiction with a slightly sick Floridian sense of humor this Tampa native will have you laughing out loud at the beach this weekend.Hooked: Pirates, Poaching and the Perfect Fish by G. Bruce Knecht - Ok so one of my selections is about commercial fishing. I think that this is a great informational non-fiction work about "Chilean Sea Bass". I am only recommending this because it is written very well and reads like a mystery novel, besides some excerpts about the Antarctic could have a cooling effec…

Grouper Switch Follow Up

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Red Grouper(Epinephelus morio)

This morning I received an interesting offer sheet from one of my suppliers. The offer was to purchase a new item they will be carrying. The item a fish called emperer (lethrinus lentjan), sold as a frozen CO2 treated fillet. This is one of the many fish that made it's way to the tables of restaurants under the guise of grouper. I applaud the efforts to legitimize grouper sales.

Last October following reports in the Saint Petersburg Times and a full blown investigation by the Florida Department Of Agriculture I wrote:

If you live in Florida, or have vacationed there you would know that the Grouper Sandwich is the default State meal. From Gainesville to Key West you would have a hard time not finding the ubiquitous selection on the menu of most restaurants. Fried, blackened or grilled millions have been served to locals and unsuspecting tourists alike. The big dirty secret is finally out in the open. The chances that the sandwich you or anyone else ate w…

Rising Fuel Cost Saves the Ocean, Maybe Not

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In the past month the rising costs of fuel, diesel in particular have caused an uproar from coast to coast and from sea to sea. Strikes in France, Spain, and Portugal. Work stoppages in Japan. Limited days at sea for struggling American boats, and the list goes on. So how is this good? It is not. But maybe it could be good for those threatened species you say. You know less fisherman out there catching fish from day to day, that has to take some pressure off of the reserves right? This line of thinking only highlights the problem with the perception of fishing today. Unlike what most consumers might think about the fishing industry; small boats and small crews hand lining fish, most fish is taken by larger vessels with high tech gear, and high yield fishing techniques. High fuel prices really only affect the small guys. So when fuel costs rise some of these old school artisanal fishermen are the ones most hurt. So despite what may seem like a panacea for ocean conservation, could actu…
Calif. Delivers Final Truckload of Juvenile Salmon to San Francisco BaySubscribe to RSS Feed for SeafoodSource News – Supply & Trade
Subscribe to Seafood News via email The Sacramento Bee
June 18, 2008- State officials on Tuesday trucked their final load of juvenile salmon from hatcheries to San Francisco Bay, marking the end of an unprecedented effort to help a dwindling species. In total, the Department of Fish and Game hauled 20.2 million fall-run chinook salmon smolts from three hatcheries on the American, Feather and Mokelumne rivers. The fish were deposited into net pens on shore, then towed by barge out into San Pablo Bay for release. The state has trucked salmon for years, but never on this scale, said spokesman Harry Morse, nor has anyone else. "I called both Washington and Oregon and asked them if anybody had transported a number this massive, and both those agencies said no," Morse said. Fish and Game decided to truck nearly all its hatchery chinook…

The Greenpeace List

Today Greenpeace released a report grading major U.S. supermarkets on sustainability. Most did not do well. The highest rated of the group Whole Foods received only four out of a possible 10.

I was reminded about the presence of this report by an e-mail from Greenpeace despite the fact that I had not been a strong supporter of the group in the past.

Hi Matthew!

Over at Greenpeace I've been looking over tons of blogs on ocean conservation and seafood, ect., and yours has caught my eye. I thought you might be interested in our new report?

From overfishing to bottom trawling to overcrowded fish farms, the seafood industry threatens our marine ecosystems to the point of collapse. Sustainable fishing is a key to maintaining healthy oceans which in turn help stabilize the planetary environment and the climate at large. Greenpeace has just released a unique report detailing the seafood purchasing practices of major American supermarkets, markets who make billions of dollars a year…

The Great Salmon Debate

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This morning I received a request from a reader to write about some talking points that the Atlantic salmon farmers have produced.

Having been on the front lines with consumers in a retail seafood environment I have tried to educate myself on the pros and cons of Salmon farming. New York has perhaps some of the best educated seafood consumers due to the presence of those diligent writers, and op-ed columnists at the New York Times. Don't get me wrong, I think that the Times is a great paper. What happens is the same people that come in and asked me for four six ounce center cut Chilean Sea Bass portions (hey people, fish have tails!) after reading a recipe in the Times Wednesday's Dining Out Section are confused about PCB scares and the like involving farmed salmon.

One problem with the farmed salmon debate is the fact that land based proteins have many of the same issues with contamination. The difference here I think is that The beef, poultry, and swine industries have muc…

Iron Seeding the Oceans

Have you heard this one? In an effort to offset carbon

"Bottomfeeder" Preview

I have been reading an interesting book by Taras Grescoe who is the author of “Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood.” For those of you who have read "The Omnivores Dilemma" by Micheal Pollan, and liked it, than this is a book I think you will enjoy. Grescoe's style is very readable and full of useful information. Whether you are an avid proponent of sustainable seafood, or a fan of the McDonalds Fillet O' Fish you will benefit from this good read. I was going to actually wait until I finished the entire book before I blogged about it here, but Grescoe wrote an op-ed piece in Monday's New York Times. The piece suggested that maybe we should just take a pass on salmon altogether, wild or farmed. Personally I will continue to limit my farmed salmon to fish from farms like Loch Duart, and my wild salmon to Alaskan fisheries. Like Grescoe I will not be having any Copper River fish this year as the cost is prohibitive, even at wholesale p…

Menhaden Update

One of my ongoing rants involves the menhaden fishery. This is by many accounts the largest fishery in the United States. It is in my opinion one of the most important in terms of environmental impact. Here is the wholesale removal of the most important food source for almost every kind of other fish up and down the east coast. In some online research I found that some of the most well opinionated and active people fighting to protect this fish are recreational stripe bass fishermen. Please visit the following sites to learn more, and to sign the petition.

http://www.stripersonline.com/surftalk/showthread.php?p=4868342

http://laterallineco.com/

Attention Dave Barry - Lobster Jail?

June 4, 2008- Animal-rights activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has submitted a bid to lease a vacant, rural Maine jail to establish the world's first Lobster Empathy Center. "A prison is the perfect setting to demonstrate how lobsters suffer when they are caught in traps or confined to cramped, filthy supermarket tanks," PETA wrote in a June 2 letter to Somerset County commissioners. The county is constructing a new prison and has put the century-old facility in Skowhegan up for sale. read morePETA, what is next a condo rented out for the sole use of cockroaches?

East Coast States Debate New Rules

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Teaser Post

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Attention New York Chefs:

Be the first to menu giant domestic crayfish 7-10 inches each. Contact the fishmonger to get in on the action. First responders will be eligible to receive sample next week.(this is a small one, stock photo)

World Ocean Day

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The Earth day for the seas is June 8th. Check out The Ocean Project for more information and be sure to sign the petition.

Shellfish Handling

It is the time of year now when increased outdoor temperatures, and the natural inclination to spawn are upon us. To help prevent unwanted mortality follow these helpful guidelines.


Keep shellfish refrigerated and buried in ice in a container that allows drainage.Proper refrigeration is important, but even more so during this time. Even moderate temperature abuse, or rough handling could cause your shellfish to spawn.Gaping shellfish can be run under cold water to get them to close, if they still do not close they are dead or dying and should be discarded.To prevent gaping , keep shellfish in a tightly closed mesh bag.Spawned product should be rinsed in fresh cold water and put into a clean container.Monitor these critical areas.

Loading docks, limit time and temperature abuse.Ship product in refrigerated trucks only.Hot kitchens can kill shellfish in no time, keep product iced and refrigerated at all times.ICE, ICE, ICE

Take extra care in all these areas and your shellfish will take …

Cooking Fish is Easy

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Why are you so afraid of seafood; it really could not be more simple. Just follow the CANADIAN RULE.


How to cook fish:
Here is a really simple and easy rule to follow and your fish will be cooked to perfection every time.
This will work for any method of cooking.
Use this rule for all species of fin fish.
The only requirement is that the heat source is as very hot. Now the secret; for each inch of thickness cook the fish 1o minutes.
That's it, now go cook some fish.

Fire destroys landmark lobster business in Boston

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By MARK PRATT – 2 hours agoBOSTON (AP) — Fire destroyed a landmark wholesale and retail seafood business on the waterfront early Friday, but there were no reports of injuries.It was not known why the fire broke out around 3:30 a.m. at James Hook & Co., which extends on pilings over the harbor. Several hours later, firefighters were still working to contain the blaze, which continued to burn, particularly in rooms full of corrugated cardboard boxes used for shipping seafood, Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald.They had to battle the blaze from outside the building after being ordered out amid fear it would collapse. A dive team was sent into the water as a precautionary measure in case a firefighter fell into the harbor, Fire Chief Kevin MacCurtain said.James Hook & Co. has been in business since 1925, when the Hook brothers started trucking their catch of lobsters from Maine and Canada to Boston's fish piers and selling them directly to the city's top restaura…

Top Farmed Seafood Choices

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The growing demand for seafood cannot be met by wild caught fish. Aquaculture is the solution to the problem of increased seafood demand. We do want to ask all the right questions in determining if the fish (or clam, or shrimp) is sustainable. Sustainable? What exactly is that? Lets define sustainable as being able to maintain (or better yet increase) the wild population of a given species. Doing no harm to other organisms while procuring the target species. Producing no negative environmental impact. So what exactly are good choices here? This is going to require you ask your local fishmonger when you buy, but here are some good choices.

Oysters; Most farmed oysters are not only sustainable, but actually beneficial to the local water quality due to the large amount of filtration power they supply.Catfish; Being omnivorous catfish do not require much wild caught fish meal in their feed, and effluents are limited or treated to avoid harm to the environment.Algae; Lets hope it doesn&…

Strikes in Europe Over Fuel Prices

Following the actions of some fishermen in France; Spanish fishermen and some truckers are protesting rising fuel prices. These are surely difficult times for anyone who's income is affected by the cost of oil. What is most disturbing is the possibility of special price fixing for individual groups regardless of market pricing. Lets hope that this doesn't make our shore. Some of these fishermen also engaged in illegal activities including road blocks, destruction of seafood shops, and ransacking of wholesale facilities. My advice to these guys give the fish a break for a while, lower your landings, get the right price for the fish you catch, and let the markets adjust. Be careful what you wish for fishermen; your efforts could lead you in the wrong direction, and your livelihood may be overtaken by people with their own dark agenda.

Tuna Troubles

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The last two weeks lack of tuna supply were like nothing we have seen in recent times. The compounded effects of the monthly lunar schedule, and the fisherman's efforts to squeeze the most out of a gallon of diesel led to something like a "perfect storm". I will be speaking this week to everyone I know in the tuna trade, and maybe we can come up with some predictions for next month. I doubt that the announcement last week by some Pacific Island nations to ban tuna fishing in their waters added to the low supply, but it makes an interesting side story.

Fellow Fishmonger

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This morning I checked my inbox and was pleased to receive an e-mail from a fellow fishmonger and blogger, Don't Fear Fish. Although I often get feedback from Friends and business associates it is good to get a fresh response. My west coast doppelganger is doing a great job providing information to his customers and to the public. Please stop by check out his site and leave a comment.

Menhaden, and the Continuing Battle for the Food Chain

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As someone who makes a living trading in seafood for human consumption I have the opinion that the wholesale taking of a valuable natural resource by only a hand full of people is not good. Apparently there are even a few elected officials that are of the same opinion. I think that the effects of the Menhaden fishery is similar to the corn for ethanol scheme. By removing these fish from the food chain it no doubt effects the fish that rely on them for food. The other added benefit of that menhaden, and fish like them offer is the improvement of water quality as they filter feed upon algae, and detritus. Now that "Friend of the Sea" has sold them the sustainability label the fight to protect them might be harder.

Below are two recent articles for your consideration:

Taken from Asbury Park Press 5/16/2008

Bunker Bills Will Protect This Valuable Resource

Two Republican congressmen are pushing legislation that would provide further protection to menhaden stocks that are so vital to …

Copper River Trading Like Oil

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A couple weeks ago I wrote that Copper River salmon would be in New York this week. I was wrong about that, but pricing predictions were more accurate. All seafood prices have been trending up, but with catches roughly one fifth the quota these fish demanded record prices. Prices in the pacific northwest, not including freight costs to the east coast were $15.00 to $17.00 wholesale for Sockeyes, and over $19.00 for Kings. With these kind of prices it had me looking for last seasons frozen production. Unfortunately most of the quality fish has been taken, and what little frozen wild salmon remains is dull, soft and tired fish. I have had some really nice frozen wild salmon to get me through the winters, but the probabilities are diminishing that we will see fresh demand at levels low enough to freeze and store this hot commodity.

South Pacific Nations Adopt Tuna Moratorium

SeaFood Business
May 21, 2008- Eight South Pacific island nations on Tuesday agreed to block bigeye and yellowfin tuna fishing in the region's international waters. At the Fourth Forum Fisheries Ministerial Meeting in the Republic of Palau, eight nations - the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu - agreed to prohibit licensed tuna vessels from fishing in two areas marked for protection beginning June 15. Environmental groups praised the decision. "It is the boldest move ever to prevent the overfishing of tuna. It is significant. It has really drawn a line," says Greenpeace campaigner Dean Baigent-Mercer. The nations identified so-called "doughnut holes" as waters that have been overexploited by tuna fishermen. One of the two areas is located north of Papua New Guinea, and the other is further east. Licensed boats operating in the protected waters will have to carry fi…

South Pacific Nations Adopt Tuna Moratorium

SeaFood Business

May 21, 2008- Eight South Pacific island nations on Tuesday agreed to block bigeye and yellowfin tuna fishing in the region's international waters. At the Fourth Forum Fisheries Ministerial Meeting in the Republic of Palau, eight nations - the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu - agreed to prohibit licensed tuna vessels from fishing in two areas marked for protection beginning June 15. Environmental groups praised the decision. "It is the boldest move ever to prevent the overfishing of tuna. It is significant. It has really drawn a line," says Greenpeace campaigner Dean Baigent-Mercer. The nations identified so-called "doughnut holes" as waters that have been overexploited by tuna fishermen. One of the two areas is located north of Papua New Guinea, and the other is further east. Licensed boats operating in the protected waters will have to carry fi…

Hudson River Study Finds 10 Species Ailing

by The Associated Press Thursday May 15, 2008, 7:06 AM A study of 13 Hudson River fish species indicates 10 have declined since the mid-1970s, despite a significant improvement in the river's water quality.One fish, the rainbow smelt, no longer shows up at all in the samplings, the report said.It suggests a variety of causes, ranging from global warming to the invasion of the zebra mussel. But it also points a finger at five power plants that take in river water -- and millions of fish and fish eggs each year -- to cool their equipment."Even if the power companies are not the sole cause of degradation of the Hudson River fish community, the loss of such high proportions of the fish populations must be important," the report said.The environmental group Riverkeeper, which commissioned the study from Pisces Conservation Ltd., a British consultant, planned to release the study at a riverside news conference Thursday morning. The Associated Press obtained a copy in advance.Ri…

Grow Fish In Your Basement

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Turned off by high seafood prices? Maybe the future of seafood is next to the washing machine or the water heater in your basement. It might seem like a far fetched idea, but it is one that increased transportation costs could bring closer to reality. The article below appeared in a recent Mother Earth News.

USA.- For the past several years, the good folks at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Washington, D.C. have worked to help urban residents gain greater control over their lives through the use of low-technology, decentralist tools and concepts. [2008-02-22]We strongly believe that more people (city dwellers and country folk alike) should be exposed to the Institute's admirable efforts... which is why we've made this "what's happening where" report by ILSR staffers one of MOTHER'S regular features. Raising fish in the basement—as a means of producing a home supply of inexpensive protein—is an enticing idea to urban and rural dwellers alike... …

Fuel Cost Affects Seafood

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The rising cost of diesel is putting a real strain on many sectors of the seafood industry. Recent articles from all coasts, and overseas are highlighting the plight of fishermen as they struggle to make ends meet. More often than not the choice is to fish or not to fish. When the decision is how much money do I want to lose, it is sometimes better to just stay tied up. A visit to Long Island over a relatively calm weather weekend revealed docks with commercial boats, many with for sale signs. Even charters leaving from Crossbay, New York are making sure that they are completely booked before heading out. So with costs to fishermen up we are seeing dock prices start to skyrocket. That of course means that consumer costs will be steadily rising. The big question is how that affects overall purchases in the future. It could help some species by relieving pressures, but by what factor. And of course their is always someone willing to pay any price. In addition to fueling boats, the seafo…

Sustainable Guidelines for Seafood

Just launched is a new site The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions . This is just the kind of consolidation that we need. Now that some of those have gotten together to set some basic guidelines for all my fellow fishmongers, chefs, cooks, and consumers to take a good look at. One problem that has troubled the entire issue of seafood sustainability is the fragmented and confusing messages from a myriad of experts. By the way I am not an expert, just a concerned fishmonger trying to make a difference. When I was looking to label all the seafood I currently buy, sell, and stock I collected data from no less than a dozen organizations with different guidelines, I think we are moving in a a better direction. Though brand new, the site offers specific ideas for everyone to use in their efforts at a better future for the oceans.

Below is the Alliance's press release

Businesses Seeking Expertise from the Conservation Community
Now Have Clear Steps for Moving Ahead on Sustainable S…