Sunday, August 29, 2010

2010 Fraser River Sockeye Returns

On August 24, 2010, the Honourable Gail Shea, Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, issued the following statement:

2010 is turning out to be a banner year for Fraser River sockeye salmon, with this year's return currently set at just over 25 million fish, one of the highest returns in the last hundred years. Several fishery openings for Fraser River sockeye have already occurred in 2010 and more are planned.

Conservation and the sustainable use of salmon stocks are the Government of Canada's first priorities in the management of this fishery. With this season's abundant numbers, for the first time in four years, all sectors, including commercial, recreational and First Nations have had a chance to harvest Fraser River sockeye. Having been assured that conservation goals have been met and exceeded, we are extremely pleased that there will be even more opportunities.

For more information about the management of Fraser River sockeye, see:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Five Years of Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

Five years ago, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall and became one of the most destructive disasters in U.S. history, ravaging the Gulf of Mexico coastline. Especially hard hit were the states of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Impacts were seen thru major decreases in landings of fish, shrimp, oysters and other seafood. Landing values for the following year showed losses in the millions, compared to the previous five year average's values. Although the Gulf of Mexico sea food industry suffered severe losses, it endured and regained great strength.

Again in 2010 disaster struck the Gulf of Mexico when the BP Deepwater Horizon incident became the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Although these events have affected thousands of lives, the valiant people of the Gulf Coast will continue to provide fresh seafood to the USA.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Study Calls for Increased Scottish Mussel Farming

A new report has identified significant scope for growth in Scotland's shellfish industry, with mussel farming identified as an area that Scottish producers should place more focus on.

Researchers at the University of Stirling have analyzed the prospects and opportunities of farming mussels, oysters and scallops. The report says that, despite Scotland's marine environment offering good opportunities for cultivating shellfish, productions remains low compared to other parts of Europe.

A Study of the Prospects and Opportunities for Shellfish Farming In Scotland was produced by Stirling Aquaculture, based at the University of Stirling, and funded by Marine Scotland. The study covers issues such as site availability, market size and location, development and production and water quality. The report analyses the prospects for mussels, oysters and scallops.

In 2008, Scottish shellfish farmers produced 5,869 metric tonnes of blue mussels.


Filipino Farmers Receive Tilapia for Backyard Fish Farms

In the Philippines, over 85,000 tilapia fingerlings were given away to local farmers for use in starting backyard tilapia food production, according to Prisciana C. Torres, AT/ Fisheries Coordinator of the Maasin City Agricultural Office.

At least 76 farmer-recipients were given from 500 to 2,000 tilapia fingerlings during the traditional Pabulhon, the city's agri and aqua fair. The event, held in August coincides with the twin celebrations of the 10th Charter Day celebration of Maasin Cityhood and city fiesta.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shetland Farm Raised Salmon Production Up 15 Percent

The ex-farm value of the Shetland salmon sector is to top £145million in 2010, an increase of 15% from the previous year (£126m in 2009), according to Shetland Aquaculture. 

The salmon industry generates over 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in Shetland. With a working population of 10,000 people, this accounts for over 10% of the workforce, making it the largest private sector employer on the islands.

Shetland is the largest salmon producing region in the UK, producing over 30% of the nation's farmed salmon. The Shetland Islands (part of Scotland) is known for its Atlantic salmon aquaculture. Salmon farms of the region supply conventionally farmed and organic fish. Shetland farmed salmon are typically available as fresh or smoked products.

Florida Shrimp Harvesting Re-opens

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will reopen state waters offshore of Escambia County to the harvest of shrimp at 12:01 a.m. on August 17, 2010.

The FWC had temporarily closed this area to the harvest of fish, shrimp and crabs on June 14 as a precautionary measure due to possible effects of oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Monday, August 9, 2010

B.C. Fraser River Sockeye Salmon Fishery Certified by MSC

The Fraser River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) fishery in British Columbia (BC) has earned Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification having been independently assessed by an accredited certifier and found to meet the MSC standard for sustainably managed fisheries.

The Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery was assessed against the Marine Stewardship Council’s robust, environmental standard for the certification of wild capture fisheries. The Fraser River fishery joins three other B.C. sockeye salmon fisheries, the Skeena River, Nass River and Barkley Sound, that recently received MSC certification.

The fishery is managed by the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Also involved with the process is the Fraser River Panel, a group comprised of government, First Nations, and recreational and commercial interests from both the United States and Canada.

The Pacific Salmon Commission, a body independent of government, provides scientific advice to the Fraser River Panel and to DFO regarding run size, stock identification, timing of returns and migration conditions.

The Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery operates within British Columbia and Canadian Pacific Exclusive Economic Zone waters. Salmon are harvested by drift and setnet gillnets, purse seine, beach seine and trolling.

Fraser River sockeye salmon are sold fresh in North America, frozen in Japan and Europe and canned primarily in the UK.

source: MSC

Eating Fish Might Help Reverse Lionfish Invasion

A massive fishing effort to stop invasive lionfish involves chefs marketing these delicious fish to consumers.

A new study looking at how to curb the rapid growth of lionfish, an invasive species not native to the Atlantic Ocean, suggests that approximately 27 percent of mature lionfish will have to be removed monthly for one year to reduce its population growth rate to zero.

But the good news is that the invasive fish happens to be delicious. NOAA is encouraging chefs to find new ways to introduce this tasty species of saltwater fish to U.S. consumers.

Lionfish are native to the western and central Pacific Ocean, but have established themselves from North Carolina to South America.

Scientists and public officials are seriously concerned at the effect lionfish are having on reef ecosystems, since this predator is capable of rapid population growth, often competing with native fish for food and territory.

Authorities are also encouraging a local market for the species, whose delicate white flesh tastes similar to a snapper or grouper. NOAA scientists concur that developing a market for lionfish is one of the only ways to substantially reduce their numbers.

NOAA has developed an "Eat Lionfish" campaign that brings together fishing communities, wholesalers, and chefs in an effort to broaden U.S. consumers’ awareness of this delicious invader.

MSC Certifies Canadian Sablefish Fishery

The Canadian sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) fishery operating within the Canadian Pacific Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the coast of British Columbia (B.C.) has earned Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. Products from this sablefish fishery will now be eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel. Sablefish is also marketed as black cod.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Florida Spiny Lobster Season Opens

The commercial fishery for spiny lobster in Florida waters will open Friday, August 6, 2010. The season is set to close as usual on March 31, 2011.

How to Clean Catfish for the Table

Catfish are among the most commonly caught freshwater fish. They make good table fare and are relatively easy to clean. The meat is white, mild tasting and boneless when properly cleaned.

These are tips for cleaning catfish:

 - Wash the catfish well before cleaning

 - Make a cut behind the gills from top to bottom and another cut at the tail

 - Using pliers, carefully peel the skin off the fillet

 - Slice along the back, trimming the fillet from the bone. Continue cutting the fillet free, working downward

 - Wash channel catfish fillets and chill immediately.


The same technique applies for channel catfish or bullheads.

Like other fish, catfish destined for the table should be kept cool at all times. Anglers report that bleeding catfish immediately and keeping them on ice will improve their flavor.

An alternative method to skinning is to fillet catfish with the skin on, then lay the fillets on a flat surface and cut the meat away from the skin. This process leaves a thin layer of meat on the skin. This method is said to improve the flavor of catfish during warm weather when some fish tend to have an off taste.

Always use a sharp fillet knife.