Friday, May 30, 2008

Fire destroys landmark lobster business in Boston

BOSTON (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 restaurants. The business now ships 50,000 pounds of lobsters a day, according to its Web site.

One of the owners, Ed Hook, told WHDH-TV he saw smoke on his way into the city at 4:30 a.m. and knew there was trouble.

"It's hard for me to even look at the building," said Hook, adding that the business is run by third and fourth generations of his family. "I just can't believe the condition it's in. It's devastating."

No one was in the building when the fire broke out.

"Everyone's just in shock," he said. "That's our future, that's our present and that's our past."

The building sits in the heart of Boston's waterfront, close to the luxury Boston Harbor and Intercontinental hotels and a U.S. Coast Guard facility. It is across the street from Fire Department headquarters and the city's Financial District.

The blaze tangled traffic in the heavily traveled area. A portion of Atlantic Avenue, the main thoroughfare along the waterfront, was shut down and the Interstate 93 exit to Purchase Street was closed.

Meanwhile, divers were in the harbor to check the integrity of the pilings below the building to ensure the pier was safe. They also had hoses in the water to keep fire from threatening a nearby wooden pedestrian bridge, MacDonald said.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Top Farmed Seafood Choices

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Algae; Lets hope it doesn't come to this, although as a food source for fish it is a great idea.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

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

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.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fellow Fishmonger

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.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Menhaden, and the Continuing Battle for the Food Chain

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 the Atlantic ecosystem.
Rep. Jim Saxton, R-NJ., introduced a bill, H.R. 3840, that would impose a partial moratorium on commercial menhaden fishing while more research is conducted on the health of the fish population.
Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, R-Md., went further with a bill that would impose an immediate five-year moratorium on menhaden fishing.
Both bills were reviewed by the House Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans Subcommittee May 8. Saxton is a senior member of the subcommittee.
"Atlantic menhaden are a key piece of the Atlantic ecosystem from Florida to Maine," Saxton said at the hearing. "They serve as a vital link in the food chain and are a primary source of food for striped bass, bluefish and weakfish, and are favored by seabirds like loons and ospreys."
Saxton wants the moratorium on the commercial reduction fishery for menhaden until a scientifically-determined catch level can be established that also considers the role of menhaden in the ecosystem.
The bill would prohibit commercial menhaden fishing in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone that extends from three miles to 200 miles into the Atlantic Ocean.
Saxton said the "reduction fishery" menhaden are not used as human seafood, but are reduced for industrial purposes, agricultural fertilizer or feed for poultry and aquacultural processes as well as in nutritional supplements.
Dr. Bruce Franklin of Rutgers University, author of the book on menhaden titled "The Most Important Fish in the Sea," supported both congressmen's bills.
Franklin emphasized that menhaden filter algae from ocean water at a rate of up to four gallons per minute. They feed on rotting sea vegetation and plankton, and have a positive effect on water quality as well as serving as a source of forage for fish, marine mammals and birds.
"Menhaden are a primary food source of game fish that are crucial to Jersey Shore tourism," Saxton said. "I'm not saying anything fishermen don't know already. What's good for menhaden is good for stripers, blues and mackerel.
"Menhaden are a poster-fish for why we need to consider the ecosystem in the way we manage our fisheries," he said at the hearing. "More research and studies are needed to determine the health of menhaden populations and what level is a truly sustainable catch.
"But the danger signs clearly point to the need for protection measures now for what is often called "the most important fish in the sea,' " he concluded.

Omega Protein qualifies for Friend of the Sea Certification

Independent audit and official scientific data confirm US menhaden fishery sustainable

© - Pubblicata il 21/05/2008

Houston, Texas – After an extensive process of auditing the United States Menhaden industry for sustainability and fishing practices, Friends of the Sea has certified the industry as a «Friend of the Sea».

Friends of the Sea, which is an independent organization known for its thorough certification procedure, used the following guidelines to certify applicants for sustainability: (a) target stocks cannot be considered overexploited; (b) the applicant’s fishing methods cannot impact the seabed, and (c) generation of less than average (8%) discards. Omega Protein has met this criterion.

«The menhaden fishery, the second biggest fishery in the United States, has been found compliant with Friend of the Sea standards by an independent audit,» comments Dr Paolo Bray – Director of Friend of the Sea. «This is a great result for Friend of the Sea, which would have not been possible without Omega Protein’s strong environmental commitment. Omega Protein is also a large international fishmeal producer – others are going to be audited in the next few months and a first Friend of the Sea sustainable fishmeal will soon be on the market. We expect the collaboration of fishmeal producers: the aquaculture market is ready and already demanding certified sustainable fishmeal.»

Omega Protein is the world's largest manufacturer of heart-healthy fish oils containing Omega-3 fatty acids for human consumption, as well as specialty fish meals and fish oil used as value-added ingredients in aquaculture, swine and other livestock feeds. Omega Protein makes its products from Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus), Gulf menhaden (Brevoortia patronus), an Omega-3 rich fish that is abundantly available along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coasts.

«We believe Friend of the Sea’s approval further emphasizes Omega Protein’s marine conservation and environmental protection efforts. Our well managed fishery has gone on for centuries and this is further evidence that it is sustainable.» states Joseph L. von Rosenberg III, President and CEO of Omega Protein. «We want consumers to know Omega Protein is a Friend of the Sea

The database of gulf menhaden is among the best in the United States. Accurate landings data exist back to 1946 because of full disclosure from the industry. Menhaden is fished by a relatively small number of vessels operated by few companies, making the data also very precise. The 2006 NOAA/NMFS/SFSC/ASMFC Official Stock Assessments Reports for Atlantic Gulf Menhaden convened that the stocks are not considered to be overfished. FAO, in its 2005 «Review of world State of Marine Fisheries Resources» considers Atlantic menhaden as not overexploited.

The United States Menhaden fishery is considered to have zero percent discard rate according to FAO «Discards in World Marine Fisheries. An Update». Bycatch of other fishes in menhaden purse seines has been examined repeatedly since late 1800s. Taking of non-target species is a relatively rare event, and the overall bycatch is insignificant.

The Company utilizes a fleet of purse seine fishing vessels supported by spotter aircraft to supply menhaden to its four processing facilities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia. It provides more than 1,000 jobs in the states where it operates. All Omega vessels use an excluder nozzle to exclude larger predator species. Then an additional excluder screen is used to exclude the larger species and return them to the water via excluder chutes.

I have included both of the articles in an effort to be fair. Your comments are welcome. It certainly does not require an advanced degree in ocean biology to envision the effects of taking too many of these vital fish out of the natural food chain.

Copper River Trading Like Oil

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.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

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 fisheries observers on board, among other measures.

"Our region will achieve success if our countries band together to adopt and implement action plans to fight illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, both on national levels and with respect to fishing on the high seas," Palau VP Elias Chin told meeting attendees.

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 fisheries observers on board, among other measures.

"Our region will achieve success if our countries band together to adopt and implement action plans to fight illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, both on national levels and with respect to fishing on the high seas," Palau VP Elias Chin told meeting attendees.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

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.

Riverkeeper has been trying for years to force power plants to upgrade their cooling systems to a closed-cycle type that would use 97 percent less river water. The group's president, Alex Matthiessen, said Wednesday that the Clean Water Act requires that such technology be updated and that he would call on the state Department of Environmental Conservation to enforce the requirement.

"Too many of these species are in serious decline," he said. "You have to try and address all the factors that are playing a role, and at the very least, you have to make sure that the various parties responsible are following the law."

Matthiessen said the study's findings surprised him.

"We've managed to improve the river over the last four decades. We thought it would only make sense that as the river became cleaner the ecosystem upon which the fish depend would become healthier," he said

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Grow Fish In Your Basement

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.

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... especially now that overfishing (coupled with the pollution of many spawning and feeding areas) has led to higher seafood prices.
Fish can , of course, be grown in basements (as Dr. Fernwood Mitchell proved when he raised rainbow trout in his Washington, D.C. cellar). Such closed systems, however, require perpetual filtering and aeration of the water, constant temperature control, and regular supplemental feedings... and they'll only be worthwhile when transportation expenses become so high that basement growing, with all of its costs, becomes economically competitive with our present commercial fisheries.
On the other hand, not all aquaculture is as intensive and financially prohibitive as are basement systems. Ocean ranching is a good example of the other "fin farming" extreme. Salmon hatcheries on our northeastern and northwestern coasts release millions of juveniles each year... fish that are subsequently harvested by both commercial boats and sports anglers. (The Lummi Indians of Bellingham, Washington—who use their trout and salmon hatcheries as a spur to encourage community economic development—produce nearly five million fingerlings a year.)
In addition, there's an extension of ocean ranching—a system that's appropriate for a wider variety of species—in which the juveniles are released into a partially enclosed environment... one that can receive some management. Known as parc culture , this system was initially developed to grow oysters in Brittany's tidal flats, but is now being used in many American shellfish beds. And—for more mobile forms of marine life—gates can be used to retain the finned groups in the "cropped" bay, tidal flat, or whatever.
Raft culture provides still another fish farming alternative. By growing mussel colonies on rafts anchored in the middle of an unpolluted estuary, Ed Meyers of Damariscotta, Maine is able to raise the shellfish for less than 20¢ a pound!
Ponds are, therefore, the best hope for city fish farming. Such small "lakes" can take advantage of the energy available from solar radiation... the higher temperatures of the urban environment... and, perhaps, even wind power to provide water circulation.
Source: Mother Earth News

Monday, May 12, 2008

Fuel Cost Affects Seafood

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 seafood industry will be affected by transportation costs. The perishable nature of fish requires a lot of just on time and less than full load trucking. This means that the cost to transport less available seafood stands to equal the same costs enjoyed in the past for larger quantities of product. All this information may seem obvious to some, but of course understanding doesn't always equal acceptance. End customer distributors, retailers, and food service establishments are tasked with surviving on ever narrowing margins. I have only talked about these fuel costs as they relate to wild caught product, but these and other factors are adding costs into aqua cultured products as well. Tilapia prices as an example have increased by 25% since this time last year.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

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 Seafood
Groups Release Ambitious, Realistic Vision for Ensuring a Long-Term Seafood Supply
(Washington, D.C.) – More than a dozen Canadian and U.S. organizations today released steps companies
can take to develop and implement a comprehensive, corporate policy on sustainable, wild-caught and farmed
seafood. The “Common Vision for Environmentally Sustainable Seafood” highlights a clear path for achieving
sustainability in the seafood industry. For a full copy of the Common Vision, visit
These organizations – which all have a strong history of working with the seafood industry and policymakers
on environmentally responsible seafood issues – have partnered to form the Conservation Alliance for Seafood
“Our Common Vision outlines an ambitious but realistic path toward sustainable seafood that businesses can
follow to safeguard the future viability of their industry,” said Mark Powell, vice president for fish conservation,
Ocean Conservancy.
“In the past, we’ve heard from companies that there is too much competing information about environmentally
responsible seafood,” said Jennifer Lash, executive director, Living Oceans Society. “Seafood buyers and
suppliers now have clear and consistent input from a broad range of conservation groups about how to move
The Common Vision identifies six critical areas where companies can take action to ensure a sustainable
seafood supply and protect ocean environments:
• Making a commitment to develop and implement a comprehensive, corporate policy on sustainable
• Collecting data to assess and monitor the environmental sustainability of their seafood products;
• Buying environmentally responsible seafood;
• Making information regarding their seafood products publicly available;
• Educating their consumers, suppliers, employees and other key stakeholders about environmentally
responsible seafood; and
• Engaging in and supporting policy and management changes that lead to positive environmental
outcomes in fisheries and aquaculture.
Seafood buyers and suppliers can be a powerful force for improving the environmental performance of the
seafood industry. A number of businesses including Plitt Company, Ahold USA and Compass Group North
America have voiced their support for the Common Vision – and for the need to improve ocean health to
maintain the long-term viability of the seafood supply. To see what these companies have to say about the
Common Vision, visit
“It just makes good business sense for companies that buy and sell seafood to ensure a long-term supply of
seafood through direct support for environmentally responsible seafood policies and practices,” said Tobias
Aguirre, executive director, FishWise.
“We recognize that achieving the Common Vision is a journey with many steps,” said Rebecca Goldburg,
senior scientist, Environmental Defense Fund. “We want to join together with committed companies to move
forward, using this Common Vision as a guide.”
“The Common Vision outlines new opportunities for companies to expand enterprise in a more responsible way
with long-term benefits for the industry,” Bill Wareham, senior marine conservation specialist, David Suzuki
The following organizations developed and are actively supporting the Common Vision:
Blue Ocean Institute
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
David Suzuki Foundation
Ecology Action Centre
Environmental Defense Fund
Living Oceans Society
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Natural Resources Defense Council
New England Aquarium
Ocean Conservancy
Sierra Club British Columbia
World Wildlife Fund – US
For more information about the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions and the Common Vision for
Environmentally Sustainable Seafood, visit
More than a dozen conservation organizations from the United States and Canada have partnered to pursue a common
vision for sustainable seafood and work together as the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions. Using a range of
approaches, participating organizations bring conservation expertise to companies that buy and sell seafood. Our goal is
to preserve the health of ocean and freshwater ecosystems and ensure a long-term seafood supply

Friday, May 9, 2008

In the News

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

CONNECTICUT - NOAA researchers recently evaluated the potential of black sea bass for commercial aquaculture and found promising results.

Juvenile black sea bass in the tank at Milford Laboratory. (Credit: NOAA)

After two separate culture trials, covering a period of four years, its National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) lab in Milford, Connecticut, has found the species can be reared from larvae using commercial fish farming techniques.

Fisheries biologists found that sea bass can thrive in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) eating a diet of commercial pellet feeds.

However, the nutritional composition of the feeds used is very important, as bass appear to require different feeds at different life stages to maintain optimal growth.

"Black sea bass are a slow growing fish in the wild, but show great promise as an aquaculture species because of its rapid growth in RAS, said NMFS study leader Dean Perry.

"We tried a number of commercial feeds with different percentages of protein and lipids, and the bass clearly had a preference," he added.

The species are carnivorous and in the ocean would feed on feeding on crabs, lobster, shrimp, squid, molluscs and other shellfish.

The RAS temperature, salinity and alkalinity levels were also found to affect growth rates. But, by careful monitoring, good nutrition and environmental manipulation the NMFS team managed to induce spawning and successfully culture black sea bass to adults. The fish attained market weights in less than two years, a year faster than wild stocks which can take at least three years to achieve optimum weights.


While optimistic about their results, Perry and study colleagues note that future aquaculture research efforts should look at understanding the factors that control growth, investigating optimal culture temperatures, lighting conditions, reproductive physiology, and the nutritional requirements of various life stages of black sea bass.

Landings of Black sea bass along the Atlantic coast of the US have decreased in recent decades as demand for this tasty fish has increased. The ability to farm the species could have significant implications to the market and for both existing and prospective aquaculture businesses.

TheFishSite News Desk

Sustainable Seafood Top Spring Picks

In no particular order, but with some leaning towards the northeast. All products should be consistently available fresh this spring and early summer.
  • barramundi, farm raised, United States
  • pollack, wild, mid-trawled, Atlantic and Pacific
  • wild salmon, wild, seine net and line caught.
  • catfish, farmed, United States
  • pacific halibut, wild, line caught, United States and Canada
  • mackerel, wild, net and line caught, Atlantic
  • oysters, all varieties farmed and wild
  • bay scallops, look for Taylor Bays and fresh Mexican bays
  • Squid, wild, Worldwide
  • clams and mussels, especially hand dug, or suspended, United States and Canada
  • crayfish, wild and farmed, United States
This list should provide any creative chef or home cook a season of recipes. Your comments and questions are welcome. I have provided links above to help answer some questions you may have. For more about sustainable seafood choices please visit one or more of these sites:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Copper River Salmon Coming Soon

I received word today that the opening day for the Copper river in Alaska will be May 15th. Prices this year are expected to be quite strong, due lack of fish from the rest of the coastal Pacific region.
If you want some of these fish you might want to contact your fishmonger today, and place a pre-order as fish will be scarce to start. Copper river sockeyes and kings should be available for delivery in the New York area by Monday, May 19th. Then we will see an opening bi-weekly through mid June. Prices tend to fall off significantly as the season progresses, so if you can wait a week to buy some slightly more reasonably priced fish. Prices will not see last years levels, as fuel and limited production continue to drive prices despite lessened consumer demand.

Monday, May 5, 2008


I was watching a the National Geographic channel and a program last night about world greenhouse gas production. One thing that struck me as having great truth when it comes to seafood as well was the notion that there is good news and bad news. The good news was that if we could alleviate the problem in China, then we would solve the problem for the world. The bad news was that if we didn't change the way things are going in China almost nothing else matters. This I think is true when it comes to seafood. Already China is the largest producer of seafood and they are soon to become the biggest consumer as well. Of course there are hundreds of reasons why this is true including the vast number of people, and the growing level of wealth that gives China such incredible buying power. I have read the following report that was put together in late 2006 by Glitner. Chinese Seafood For seafood consumption in China will increase by more than 40 per cent by 2020

Friday, May 2, 2008

Urban Aquaculture

For those of you with an appetite for information about farmed seafood, and seafood sustainability I have a new site to recommend. That site is for the Urban Aquaculture Center, a group of people in Milwaukee, Wisconsin of all places dedicated to aquaculture and seafood awareness. Below is a copy of their mission statement:

The Urban Aquaculture Center’s mission is to:

PROMOTE urban aquaculture in Milwaukee through a fully operational demonstration facility and informational campaign

PRODUCE high quality aquaculture products to help meet the area’s consumption needs and reduce dependence on imported food sources

PREPARE citizens to live in a sustainable way through educational exhibits and community demonstrations on urban aquaculture and its global benefits