Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Zealand CRAMAC5 Rock Lobsters Receive FoS Certification

New Zealand Rock Lobster harvested by members of the CRA 5 Rock Lobster Industry Association Incorporated (CRAMAC5) will now be certified by Friend of the Sea.

The CRA 5 rock lobster fishery is located on the East Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

CRAMAC 5 represents 54 quota owners, 27 active commercial crayfishing vessels and two main processors. The bulk of the catch is exported live into Hong Kong and China.

Rock lobsters harvested in the fishery are caught by potting, which has a minimal bycatch and a very low impact to the seabed.

The fishery is regulated by the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries within the Quota Management System. The Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) is 350 tonnes per year. Size limits for Rock Lobster are specified in the Fisheries Regulations 2001, with a minimum tail width of 60mm for females and 54mm for males. Rock lobsters caught below these limits are returned to the sea alive.

The production chain is short as the catch is taken by an owner-operated vessel and generally landed to a processor who is also an exporter.

source: FoS

Friday, September 16, 2011

Types of Smoked Salmon


Salmon is usually smoked by either hot-smoking or cold-smoking.

Hot-smoking is a process by which the fish is smoked from 6 to 12 hours at 120° - 180°F. The type and size of fish, desired flavor, local tradition, and other factors affect the hot smoking process.

Cold-smoking is done using temperatures of 100°F or less. Cold smoking times range from roughly 24 hours to as much as 3 weeks.

Types of smoked salmon:

American style kippered salmon is chunked, steaked or filleted Pacific salmon that has been brined and hot-smoked.

European kippered salmon consists of whole salmon that has been split, brined and cold-smoked.

Lox is a type of brined, cold-smoked salmon that tends to be saltier than other smoked salmon.

Several geographical designations for cold smoked salmon include Nova or Nova Scotia, Scotch-smoked, Danish-smoked and Irish-smoked. In some cases, these names refer more to a process than an actual area.

Cold-smoked Pacific salmon (usually coho or chinook) is often labeled as smoked salmon without reference to the type of smoking process.

Indian-cure salmon is brined fish that has been cold-smoked for up to 2 weeks until it becomes jerky.

Squaw candy is another type of smoked Pacific salmon consisting of thin strips of salmon that has been cured in a salt-sugar brine before being hot-smoked.

Both hot and cold smoked salmon is popular for making smoked salmon dip, fish chowders, and other recipes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

NFI 2010 Top Ten Seafood List

On September 12, 2011, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) released its 2010 Top Ten Seafood List.

According to NFI, the following list includes the top ten American seafood products. In parentheses is per capita consumption in pounds:

1. Shrimp (4.0)
2. Canned Tuna (2.7)
3. Salmon (1.999)
4. Tilapia (1.450)
5. Alaska Pollock (1.192)
6. Catfish (0.800)
7. Crab (0.573)
8. Cod (0.463)
9. Pangasius (0.405)
10. Clams (0.341)

Americans ate approximately 20 percent more tilapia in 2010 than in 2009, going from number five to number four on the NFI Top Ten Seafood List.

The list reflects a National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) recalculation of 2009’s total pounds per capita that changed to 16 lbs from 15.8 pounds.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2010 USA Seafood Landings

According to the latest figures from NOAA, U.S. commercial fishermen landed 8.2 billion pounds of seafood in 2010, valued at $4.5 billion. Landings increased by 200 million pounds and more than $600 million in value over 2009.

The report, Fisheries of the United States 2010, shows that for the 22nd consecutive year, the Alaska port of Dutch Harbor-Unalaska led the nation with the highest amount of fish landed, primarily pollock.

For the 11th consecutive year New Bedford, Mass. had the highest valued catch, due in large part to the sea scallop fishery.

Last year, commercial fishermen unloaded 515.2 million pounds of fish and shellfish in Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, an increase of nearly 10 million pounds over 2009 and a rise in the dockside value of $3.4 million to $163 million. Alaska claims three of the top 10 ports for landings volume and six of the top 10 ports for landings value. More than half of the seafood Americans eat from U.S. waters is caught in Alaska.

The port of New Bedford took top place for values of landings, bringing in $306 million in 2010, a 22.8-percent increase over 2009, and the highest landing values in 30 years for that port. While there was a substantial increase in value, the total amount of seafood landed in New Bedford decreased by 36.6 million pounds to 133.4 million pounds.

Fishermen at the nearby port of Gloucester, Mass., also landed their top value in the last 30 years, with landings valued at $56.6 million, an increase of 11 percent from 2009.

All coastal regions of the country saw increases in total value of fisheries landings in 2010. The Gulf of Mexico region, which suffered the nation’s worst marine oil spill in 2010 and saw landings drop by 19 percent, achieved a modest two percent increase in total landings value.

The report also shows that the average American ate 15.8 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2010, a slight decline from the 2009 figure of 16 pounds. The U.S. continues to be third-ranked for consuming fish and shellfish, behind China and Japan. Americans consumed 4.878 billion pounds of seafood, slightly less than the 4.907 billion pounds in 2009.

While seafood consumption remained fairly consistent, the amount of imported seafood consumed by Americans continued to increase. About 86 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported, measured by edible weight, up four percent from 2009. However, a portion of this imported seafood is caught by American fishermen, exported overseas for processing and then re-imported to the U.S.

The U.S. exports 63 percent of its domestically produced seafood, measured by live weight, which represents an increase of four percent over 2009.

Almost half of imported seafood comes from aquaculture, or farmed seafood. Aquaculture outside the U.S. has expanded dramatically in the last three decades and now supplies the world with half its seafood demand, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. America’s aquaculture industry, though vibrant and diverse, currently meets less than 5 percent of U.S. seafood demand.



source: NOAA

Monday, August 29, 2011

Florida Marine Flea Market and Seafood Festival

The Florida Marine Flea Market and Seafood Festival will be held at the South Florida Fair Grounds in West Palm Beach, FL on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 16-18, 2011.

The event features healthy delicious seafood. Savor all the traditional side dishes, beverages, desserts and comfort foods as well. To work off that stuffed feeling, you can browse and shop the expanded nautical and maritime vendor booths.

Local Florida bands will provide two days of live, continuous music as visitors search for bargains and enjoy healthy delicious seafood.

The South Florida Fairgrounds is located at 9067 Southern Blvd West Palm Beach, FL with easy access from the I-75 and the Florida Turnpike. There is plenty of free parking.

Visit the Florida Marine Flea Market and Seafood Festival website for more information:

www.FLNauticalFleaMarket.com

Monday, August 22, 2011

2011 Great American Seafood Cook-Off

Chef Jim Smith, executive chef of the Alabama Governor’s Mansion, took first place at the eighth annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans. He impressed the judges with a dish titled “Late Summer Alabama Bounty” that featured sous vide shrimp and marinated crab with garam masala, scented yellow squash puree, farmers market lady peas, bacon-peach relish and Spanish basil oil.

The event, sponsored by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and presented by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board, is known for pitting up-and-coming chefs against recognized culinary greats from throughout the United States. The chefs were asked to create unique dishes with domestic seafood, and utilize fish that’s native to their home states. Prior winners include John Currence of City Grocery in Oxford, MS and John Besh of Restaurant August in New Orleans.

Earlier this year, organizers of The Great American Seafood Cook-Off encouraged states to hold a qualifying round or appoint a chef to compete in the event.  There were chefs representing 14 states such as: Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia. The 2011 Great American Seafood Cook Off is endorsed by the National Restaurant Association and will be audited by the National Fisheries Institute.

More information is available at www.GreatAmericanSeafoodCookoff.com

source: NOAA

Monday, August 1, 2011

BAP Names Business Development Manager for North America

Best Aquaculture Practices, a leading global certification program for aquaculture facilities, has announced the  addition of Molly Metcalf to its international marketing team.

Ms. Metcalf will serve as BAP's new business development manager for North America. Her duties are to include helping seafood suppliers, buyers, retailers and food service outlets in the United States and Canada to share the benefits of the organization's certification program.

Metcalf is a seafood industry professional who has worked for Slade Gorton & Co. since 2002 in various buying and sales positions. Previously she taught Spanish at the high school level.

Metcalf is a graduate of the National Fisheries Institute Future Leaders program. Her class raised over $300,000 for SeaShare, a non-profit hunger relief organization.

A graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, USA, she has a degree in Spanish, which will allow her to apply bilingual skills in the marketplace.

source: Best Aquaculture Practices

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Indiana Yellow Perch Aquaculture Operation To Expand

Bell Aquaculture is expanding its production facility in Albany, IN. Formed in 2005, Bell Aquaculture is the nation's largest yellow perch (Perca flavescens) fish farm. In June, 2011, ground was broken on a $5 million expansion project.

The company's production facility in Albany, IN is thought to be the nation's largest yellow perch (Perca flavenscens) fish farm.

Norman McCowan, president of Bell Aquaculture: "We are happy to partner with The Conservation Fund, Indiana Soybean Alliance, and Pranger Enterprise, Inc., to further develop Indiana aquaculture using sustainable water recycling technology. The added capacity of 3 million more fish per year is much needed to meet our growing customer demand."

Bell Perch™ Yellow Perch

Yellow perch is one of the most popular of all North American pan fish. It has a mild, sweet flavor with firm white flesh and low fat levels, making it a favorite in residential and commercial kitchens alike. There’s no taste difference from wild-caught like some other farmed species. In years past, yellow perch was the fish typically served at Friday Night Fish Frys in the Great Lakes region, particularly during Lent (the period prior to Easter).

"The greatest difficulty in recent years has been the availability of yellow perch out of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie – the two predominant lakes for the supply of wild-caught yellow perch," explains McCowan. "Which means restaurants that were typically serving customers who enjoy the taste of yellow perch and individual consumers, just couldn’t get the supply. . ."

source: Bell Aquaculture press release

Monday, July 18, 2011

NOAA Aquaculture Initiative


NOAA recently announced its new aquaculture initiative. According to the agency, the plan is intended to help meet our country’s growing demand for seafood, while creating jobs and restoring healthy ecosystems.

The agency’s Aquaculture Technology Transfer Initiative will foster public-private partnerships on regional projects that showcase innovative sustainable practices, jump start private sector investments, and create employment opportunities in coastal communities.

In June, the Department of Commerce and NOAA released national policies that support sustainable marine aquaculture in the United States. Americans import about 84 percent of their seafood, half of which is from aquaculture. The U.S. trade deficit in seafood currently exceeds $10 billion and continues to grow.

As part of this initiative, NOAA will work with partners in the private sector, academia, government and communities to advance technology, monitor performance indicators, and showcase best practices and market-based standards. The initiative will be implemented with the active involvement of NOAA’s regional offices and science centers, Sea Grant Extension, and other federal, state, local and non-governmental partners.

The domestic aquaculture industry, both freshwater and marine, currently supplies about five percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. The cultivation of shellfish, such as oysters, clams, and mussels, comprises about two-thirds of U.S. marine aquaculture.

Salmon and shrimp aquaculture contribute about 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Current production takes place mainly on land, in ponds, and in coastal state waters.

source: NOAA

Friday, July 15, 2011

New England Sustainable Fish

According to the latest report to Congress from NOAA’s Fisheries Service, 21 U.S. fisheries have been rebuilt or have made improvements since 2000, including some of New England's best known groundfish.

In the northeast, Georges Bank haddock, Atlantic pollock and spiny dogfish have now been rebuilt to healthy levels.

In addition to the three rebuilt northeastern stocks, four stocks were removed from the low-population list, all from the Northeast: Gulf of Maine haddock, American plaice, Gulf of Maine cod and southern New England windowpane.

Two stocks were removed from the list of stocks being fished at too high a level: Georges Bank yellowtail flounder and Southern Atlantic Coast black grouper.

Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank Atlantic wolffish was found to have a low population.

A handful of other stocks were moved onto the overfishing and overfished lists this year:

Added to the list of stocks experiencing fishing at too high a level were Northwestern Atlantic witch flounder, Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank windowpane flounder, and Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic windowpane flounder.

Added to the list of low-population stocks were Northwestern Atlantic Coast witch flounder, Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank windowpane flounder, Georges Bank winter flounder, Southern Atlantic Coast red grouper, California Central Valley Sacramento (fall) chinook salmon, and Bering Sea southern Tanner crab.

Although it is often assumed that a stock has a low population due to too much fishing, other factors influence the health and abundance of fish stocks, including environmental changes, disease, and habitat degradation.

Scientists believe that one of the stocks added to the overfished list, the Tanner crab in Alaska, may have been affected by environmental factors.

The report, which has been issued annually since 1997, summarizes the best available science for the 528 federally-managed fish stocks. Since not all stocks are targeted by commercial and recreational fishermen, NOAA prioritizes collecting information on the commercially and recreationally important species that constitute most of the domestic fishing activity in the country.

Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, NOAA and the eight regional fishery management councils are required to end overfishing, use annual catch limits and accountability measures to prevent future overfishing, and rebuild stocks to levels that can provide the maximum sustainable yield.

To complete the annual report, NOAA examines a variety of sources, including landings data and log books, and conducts its own surveys. The 2010 Status of U.S. Fisheries, which contains data and analysis nationally and by region, is available online at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/stories/2011/07/docs/report.pdf.

source: NOAA

Friday, July 8, 2011

Angler's Cookbook To Be Published

The New Jersey chapter of Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA-NJ) will be publishing an Anglers' Cookbook. The book will include a variety of recipes submitted by RFA members and staff.

While the creation of the cookbook is being managed by the RFA-NJ chapter, funds raised from the sale of the book will go toward the national organization's efforts to continue to fight for the rights of anglers nationwide.

Even though RFA members most likely have treasured seafood recipes, contributors can submit recipes in the categories of Appetizers and Beverages, Soups and Salads, Vegetables and Side Dishes, Main Dishes, Breads and Rolls, Desserts, Cookies and Candy, and This and That.

The deadline for the submission of recipes is July 10, 2011. Members may also submit high quality digital photos for consideration for the cover of the cookbook.

The cookbook will be published by Morris Press Cookbooks, which has published millions of cookbooks for organizations since 1933.

source: RFA - NJ

2011 Texas Shrimping Season

Consumers in search of fresh locally sourced gulf shrimp in Texas will soon have plenty of  product to choose from.

Federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, from 9 to 200 nautical miles off Texas, will open to commercial shrimping on July 15, 2011.

The shrimp fishery is closed annually off Texas to allow brown shrimp to reach a larger and more valuable size prior to harvest, and to prevent waste of brown shrimp that might otherwise be discarded because of their small size.

Texas opens state waters based on projections of when the mean size of brown shrimp leaving the estuaries is 112 mm total length, during a period of maximum duration ebb tides.

source: GMFMC

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How to Cook Blue Mussels


Blue mussels are popular around the world. These small shellfish are farm raised in the USA, Canada, Scandanavia and throughout Europe.

There are many ways to prepare and serve blue mussels. Some of the most common methods include steaming, baking, grilling or cooked in soups, stews, chowders or other meals.

In addition to serving mussels as a main course, they are a good choice as an appetizer. They can baked on the half shell, topped with a small slice of cheddar, Mozzarella, Feta, or other cheese and served before a main course.

Blue mussels are also popular as an ingredient in pasta dishes. They can be boiled (in the shell) with sauces and then served over pasta noodles.

Blue Mussel Recipes

Sicilian Fisherman's Stew

Italian Style Mussels

BristolBaySockeye.org Launched by Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) has launched a new website (BristolBaySockeye.org) which provides extensive information to consumers about the Bristol Bay wild sockeye salmon fishery.

According to the Association, Bristol Bay salmon is naturally rich in heart-healthy Omega 3s, lends itself to a wide variety of culinary preparations and hails from some of the most pristine waters on earth.

The website focuses on Bristol Bay itself, the personalities of the fishing fleet, and the abundant and sustainable salmon runs of the region.

The site is organized around the themes of Bristol Bay, Sustainability, Nutrition, the Faces of Bristol Bay and Recipes.

The website also provides a history of the fishery, and emphasizes the "Faces of the Fleet," through beautiful photography, a series of fisherman profiles, and a video of the 2010 season shot by Bristol Bay commercial fishermen.

For more information, visit: www.bristolbaysockeye.org

source: Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association

GAA Completes Salmon Aquaculture Best Aquaculture Practices Certification Standards

The Global Aquaculture Alliance recently announced the completion of BAP standards for salmon farms. The new salmon aquaculture standards component becomes an important addition to the Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices certification program.

The BAP standards for salmon farms apply to the cage and net pen production of salmon and rainbow trout. They join BAP's standards for shrimp, tilapia, Pangasius and channel catfish.

The BAP program also includes standards for feed mills, hatcheries and processing plants. Over 1.5 billion pounds (700,000 metric tons) of seafood are processed under the BAP program annually.

The BAP standards are based on current best practices, but continuously evolve with advancing technology. BAP strives to set standards at an achievable level to encourage a broad cross section of producers to participate and effect positive changes within the industry.

The standards can be viewed at www.gaalliance.org/cmsAdmin/uploads/BAP-SalmonF-611.pdf

Public comments and responses are also available at www.gaalliance.org/bap/comments.php

For more information on BAP, visit www.gaalliance.org/bap/

source: GAA

Thursday, June 9, 2011

McDonalds to Offer MSC Certified Fish in Europe

McDonald’s has announced that over 13 million customers every day across Europe will be able to buy Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable fish in McDonald’s restaurants from October this year.

The news comes as 7,000 McDonald’s restaurants across 39 European countries achieve certification to the MSC Chain of Custody traceability standard, as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to enhance its sustainable sourcing practices.

The MSC is an independent global organisation set up to tackle the problem of overfishing by recognising and rewarding sustainable fisheries through its certification and eco-labelling programme. McDonald’s will be the first company in its sector to introduce MSC certified white fish throughout Europe. Last year, the company sold approximately 100 million Filet-o-Fish portions across Europe.

The certification is a result of a long term commitment made by McDonald’s to work with suppliers to improve sustainable fishing practices through its global Sustainable Fisheries Policy.

source: MSC

Canadian Seafood Consumption

A new survey reveals 88 percent of Canadians have eaten seafood over the past three months. However, only 15 percent of fish consumers and 5 percent of shellfish consumers are meeting Canada Food Guide recommendations of two seafood servings per week (see note 1) .

Commissioned by the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA), the Canadian Seafood Survey found that more men than women like the taste of fish (73 vs. 66 percent, respectively), and that men have a more positive impression of farmed seafood than women. Nearly three-quarters of Canadians eat salmon (74 percent), followed by trout (45 percent) and shellfish (43 percent).

“The good news is that Canadians are eating seafood,” said Ruth Salmon, CAIA’s Executive Director. “Unfortunately, our seafood consumption frequency is far below national dietary guidelines of eight servings per month. Seafood is one of nature’s best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and Alzheimer’s Disease, guard against Rheumatoid Arthritis, and reduce depression.”

Canadians eat finfish an average of 3.7 times per month, and our average shellfish consumption frequency is 1.9 times per month. The survey found salmon to be the most popular fish among Canadian consumers.

The complete survey, which also includes Canadians’ opinions towards creating a national Aquaculture Act, is available online: http://www.aquaculture.ca/files/CAIA-PUBLIC-REPORT-May-2011.pdf

Note 1: Canada Food Guide: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/food-guide-aliment/view_eatwell_vue_bienmang-eng.pdf

source: Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance

Scottish Salmon Industry Celebrates 40 Years of Production

Scotland's salmon sector is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first commercial farms in Scotland.

"The first commercial harvest of Scottish salmon was 14 tonnes back in 1971. Now, farmers grow 144,000 tonnes and it has become Scotland’s single largest food export." according to Professor Phil Thomas, Chairman of the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO).

Scotland Salmon Farming Information:

The first commercial Scottish farmed salmon were harvested in Loch Ailort, near Fort William in 1971.

Fresh Scottish salmon exports reached record levels in 2010

The Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation represents 95% of salmon production.

Scotland’s salmon farmers injected in excess of £500 million into the economy in 2009.

SSPO members have invested over £113.5 million in capital projects over the last four years.

The Highlands and Islands continue to be the most significant beneficiaries.

1 million fresh salmon meals are eaten in the UK every day.

Salmon is the largest food export from Scotland.

For further information, visit www.scottishsalmon.co.uk

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Seafood Mis-labeling, Fraud

On June 8, 2011, Americans were shocked as CBS news aired a report on U.S. seafood, suggesting that large numbers of fish are mis-labeled in American markets.The report is one of many seafood fraud stories that have appeared in the media in recent years.

The CBS report presented information from the environmental group Oceana and other sources to households across the USA.

Oceana recently launched a new campaign aimed at stopping seafood fraud. At a recent press briefing, Oceana and other experts explained how seafood fraud can come in many different forms, from mislabeling fish and falsifying documents to adding too much ice to packaging.

"We can track organic bananas back to packing stations on farms in Central and Latin America, yet consumers are given little to no information about one of the most popular foods in the United States – seafood," said Dr. Michael Hirshfield, senior vice president for North America and chief scientist for Oceana. "With imports representing the vast majority of the seafood eaten in the United States, it’s more important than ever to know what we are eating and where, when and how it was caught."

The organization has also released a new report entitled Bait and Switch: How Seafood Fraud Hurts Our Oceans, Our Wallets and Our Health.

The report found that while 84 percent of the seafood eaten in the United States is imported, only two percent is currently inspected and less than 0.001 percent specifically for fraud.

According to Oceana, recent studies have found that seafood may be mislabeled as often as 25 to 70 percent of the time for fish like red snapper, wild salmon and Atlantic cod, disguising species that are less desirable, cheaper or more readily available.

“We’ve tested well over 1,000 fish fillet samples over the past four years, from more than 50 cities across the country,” said William Gergits, co-founder and managing member of Therion International, LLC, (Saratoga Springs, NY), a worldwide leader in DNA testing of seafood. "Results from our DNA lab show that about half the time (an average of 50 percent) the fish you are eating is not the species listed on the menu."

Despite growing concern about where food comes from, consumers are frequently served a completely different species than the one they paid for. With about 1,700 different species of seafood from all over the world now available in the U.S., it is unrealistic to expect consumers to be able to independently and accurately determine what fish is really being served.

"Seafood fraud puts consumers and restaurants trying to make honest, eco-friendly choices at a disadvantage," said Ellen Kassoff Gray, general manager and co-owner of top-tier D.C. restaurants Watershed and Equinox. “We need the U.S. government to provide us with the tools to make good decisions for our oceans, our pocketbooks and our health. It’s just good business."

Oceana stated that the organization is calling on the federal government to make combating seafood fraud a priority, including implementing existing laws, increasing inspections, and improving coordination and information sharing among federal agencies.

The group is also working to ensure that the seafood sold in the U.S. is safe, legal and honestly labeled, including requiring a traceability scheme where information such as when, where, and how a fish is caught follows it throughout the supply chain – from boat to plate – allowing consumers to make more informed decisions about the food they eat.

For more information about Oceana's seafood fraud campaign, visit www.oceana.org/fraud

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2011 National Oyster Cook-off

Seafood cooks can compete for a $1,300 cash prize and a silver tray by entering their original oyster recipe in the 32nd Annual National Oyster Cook-off.

Contestants must enter an original recipe by Aug. 31, 2011. Nine contestants will be chosen to compete at the cook-off on Sat., Oct. 15th in Leonardtown, Maryland.

Cash prizes of $300, $200 and $150 will by awarded to the top three finalists in each of the categories:  Hors d’oeuvres, Soups and Stews, and Main Dish.

The Grand Prize Winner will be selected from the first place winners of each category and will receive an additional $1,000 and a silver tray.

There will also be awards for Best Presentation of dish and People’s Choice.  In addition to cash prizes, contestants receive one night of hotel accommodations, and an invitation to a welcome reception.

The National Oyster Cook-off is held in conjunction with the St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival and the world-famous National Oyster Shucking Contest.

To enter, see: www.marylandseafood.org

source: Maryland Department of Agriculture

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2010 North Carolina Seafood Landings

According to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, North Carolina commercial seafood harvests increased during 2010 to the highest level since 2005.

North Carolina commercial fishermen brought in 72 million pounds of fish and shellfish, with a dockside value of $80 million in 2010, according to the division’s Commercial Trip Ticket Program. That was a 3 percent increase from the previous five-year landings average of 70 million pounds.

The increased harvest came with a 3 percent decrease in the number of commercial fishing trips. Commercial fishermen took 152,084 fishing trips in 2010.

Included in the commercial gains was an 8 percent increase in shellfish, shrimp and crab landings, bolstered by an 81 percent jump in oyster landings.

Oystermen sold more than 1 million pounds of oyster meats (196,661 bushels), with a dockside value of about $5 million, to North Carolina seafood dealers in 2010. The landings were 125 percent higher than the previous five-year average and corresponded to a 139-percent increase in the use of oyster dredges.

Division sampling indicates that disease-related oyster mortalities have been significantly reduced, compared to the past 20 years, and spat fall has been good, said division Central District Manager Mike Marshall.

“The oyster resource in western Pamlico Sound has rebounded at an amazing rate,” Marshall said. “Oysters are being caught in areas where they have not been found in thirty years. Every fisherman you talk to goes on about how fast the oysters are growing, which is key to getting the type of production we are seeing.”

Blue crab landings increased in 2010, as well. Fishermen sold 30.7 million pounds of blue crabs at the docks, a 2 percent increase from 2009. The landings had a dockside value of $26.5 million.

Blue crabs remained the state’s top commercial seafood in both pounds harvested and dockside value, followed by Atlantic croaker (7.3 million pounds), shrimp (6 million pounds), summer flounder (3.3 million pounds) and bluefish (3.2 million pounds).

A full report of 2010 commercial and recreational landings statistics can be found on the division website at http://www.ncfisheries.net/download/2010_Annual_NC_Fisheries_Bulletin.pdf

source: N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baked Lobster with Pesto Recipe

This baked lobster recipe is incredibly simple and delicious. The basic recipe also works well with crab meat or other seafood.

Ingredients

8 oz cooked lobster meat
2 red potatoes (skin-on), cut into 1 inch cubes
4 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic-basil pesto, canned or fresh
1/2 cup chicken stock or fresh broth from lobsters
salt and red pepper to taste

Instructions

In a medium casserole dish, add olive oil and potatoes and stock/broth. Bake 10 minutes @ 350 degrees or until potato sections begin to soften.

Remove from oven. Add lobster meat and stir.

Coat with pesto, adding extra if desired. Sprinkle with flaked Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and return to oven.

Cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Serving Suggestion

Serve hot with a green salad, Pino Gricio and hot, Italian bread, either buttered or brushed with a light pesto-olive oil mix.

International Salmon Farmers Association Launches Salmon Farming Website

The International Salmon Farmers Association (ISFA) has unvealed its new website, www.salmonfarming.org, in a co-operative launch by its members around the world. Representatives from countries such as Norway, Scotland, Chile, United States and Canada have all contributed to the project.

According to ISFA, the site will help to educate the public about the benefits of salmon farming and bring together salmon farmers from around the world.

The website includes information about ISFA, salmon producing countries, the life cycle of farmed salmon and the shared vision for sustainable growth.

source: International Salmon Farmers Association

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easy Smoked Fish Recipe

smoked sockeye salmon
Smoked fish is a delicious way to prepare a fishermen's catch. Smoking fish is actually fairly simple to do and greatly enhances the flavor of many fish. When selecting fish to be smoked, its usually best to choose fish that have a high oil content.

The best types of fish for smoking include fish from several well known families. Salmon, trout and char are the most well known fish for smoking. These fish contain high amounts of omega-3 fish oil, which is widely acclaimed for its nutritional value.

Several members of the cod family are also popular for smoking, especially Atlantic cod and Atlantic haddock. Other choices include bluefish, tuna, mackerel, and herring.

Basic smoked fish recipes usually start with cleaning the fish. Whole, scaled skin-on fillets are the easiest to work with. Other options include cutting the headed and gutted fish into cross-sectional steaks. Either option should produce portions that are no more than one inch in thickness.

After cleaning, fish should be rinsed well and immersed in a refrigerated brine solution for 30-60 minutes. A simple fish brine can be made from 1 quart of water, approximately 1/3 cup of brown sugar and 1/3 cup of kosher salt or pickling salt.

After brining, the fish should be spread out to drain on a rack and returned to the refrigerator. After most of the brine has dripped off the fish, it should begin to form a glaze. Some cooks prefer to lay the fillets in a shallow, covered baking dish and allow them to continue drying overnight in the refrigerator.

When the fish is dried and glazed, it can be smoked. A wide range of smokers are available for smoking fish. Elaborate models offer precise control of temperature and smoke, while basic units require a bit more supervision.

Fish are often smoked at cool temperatures, ranging from 150 - 250 degrees. Smoking time depends on the smoker design, temperature, thickness of meat, type of wood, desired amount of smoke flavor, and other factors.

For skin-on fillets under one inch thick, 30-45 minutes is usually enough to cook and flavor the fish. If the fish is to be served right away as an entree with a sauce, short smoking times may be suitable. Longer smoking times will produce a dryer, firmer product, which is useful for presentations such as smoked fish dips or fish chowder recipes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011 Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Abundance

Around the Chesapeake Bay, fishermen and seafood processors are gearing up for the 2011 season. Despite a serious winter kill, scientists believe that there will be good numbers of crabs for harvest this year.

The 2011 Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey found that the Chesapeake Bay’s overall blue crab abundance has declined due to cold winter weather that killed as many as 31 percent of Maryland’s adult crabs.

According to the survey, 254 million adult crabs survived the bitter cold winter, with populations remaining above target for the third year in a row.

This is the first time since the early 1990s that the Bay has seen three consecutive years with the adult population was above the target (200 million crabs) and the harvest was below the target of 46 percent.

The primary assessment of the Bay’s blue crab population is conducted annually by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Faroese Mackerel Looses MSC Certification

As expected, the Faroese Mackerel fishery has lost its MSC Certification. The move comes following a bitter battle among North Atlantic nations over mackeral quotas.

Independent certifier, Det Norske veritas (DNV) recently confirmed the Independent Adjudicator’s decision to uphold an objection to the certification of the Faroese Pelagic Organisation North East Atlantic mackerel fishery to the MSC standard.

The action is one of a string of events which began when Iceland and the Faroe Islands increased their fishing quotas for Atlantic Mackerel. Norway and Scotland have been critical of increased fishing efforts by the 2 island nations, claiming historical rights to the fish.

Icelandic and Faroese political leaders dispute the opposing views, noting that, as a result of global warming,  mackerel have shifted their ranges northward into their territorial waters. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Denmark Eastern Baltic Cod Certification

The DFPO Denmark Eastern Baltic cod fishery was recently certified as a sustainable and well-managed fishery against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) environmental standard.

The fishery operates year-round using demersal trawls and long lines to catch cod in the Baltic Sea east of Bornholm.

Baltic cod is an iconic food fish in both Sweden and Denmark and has been a commercially important species in the Baltic region since the 15th century. Consumers across Europe will now be able to buy Baltic cod bearing the distinctive blue MSC ecolabel.

source: MSC

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pacific Whiting Fishermen Form Co-op

On the U.S. West Coast, the American offshore mothership pacific whiting fleet recently formed a cooperative to pool their federally allocated shares of whiting.   

Whiting, worth about $27 million to U.S. fishermen last year, is processed both at sea and at traditional land-based plants, where it is converted into fillets and surimi, the basis for imitation crab and similar products popular in Asia.

In the mothership fishery, fishermen deliver their fish at sea directly to mothership processors. The whiting fishery also supports a shore-based fleet that delivers its harvest to shore-based plants, and an at-sea catcher-processor fleet that both harvests and processes whiting at sea.

According to NOAA, the pacific whiting catcher-processor fleet has operated under a voluntary co-op since 1997.

Pacific whiting (or hake, Merluccius productus) comprises the largest fishery off the West Coast of North America.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Simple Clam Dip Recipe

Clams are readily available to most consumers. Types of clams vary by region, but most coastal areas have local clam fisheries. Fresh clams are an excellent ingredient in dips or spreads. For cooks that don't have access to fresh clams, there are canned products.

The simplest clam dips are made from sour cream, powdered ranch dressing mix and diced, cooked clam meat.

More complex dips might contain only sour cream, clams, fresh herbs, vegetables and spices.

Regardless of the recipe, nearly all clam dips will benefit from a few simple preparation steps.

For surf clams, quahogs or similar species, it is best to remove the stomach and other inedible parts of the body. Next, the clam meat is diced into pieces.

Once diced, clams should be simmered for 2-3 minutes. Do NOT overcook! After cooking, the meat is rinsed and allowed to chill.

When possible, clam dips should be assembled and chilled for several hours before serving. Home made clam dips get better after chilling overnight and usually are at peak flavor for 2-3 days.

Of course clam dips are delicious and rarely last more than a few minutes when served to hungry guests.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where Do Soft Crabs Come From?

From May through September commercial fishermen of the Mid Atlantic and Gulf coasts harvest soft shelled blue crabs. These delicious crabs are considered a delicacy around the world.

During molting, the crab increases its size by roughly one-third. A blue crab may shed its hard outer shell many times during its life span. When a crab sheds, it must be removed from the water immediately in order to prevent the shell from becoming hard.

Soft crabs that are purchased live should be kept moist and stored in a drip-proof tray, between wet newspapers or paper towels in a refrigerator.

Preparing a fresh soft crab for cooking is simple to do. Using sharp scissors, cut off the mouth and eyes. Cut off the apron. Lift the top shell and snip out the gills on each side. Rinse under cold water and drain. They are now ready to cook. After cooking, the entire soft crab is edible.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oyster Soup Recipe

Oysters are delicious, full of nutrients and widely available in most areas. This easy oyster soup recipe is perfect to serve for lunch or light dinner for 2:

Oyster Soup for 2

Ingredients:

18-24 fresh oysters, shucked, with juice (liquor)
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water

sea salt and red pepper to taste

Directions:

In a saucepan, bring water and stock to boil.

Add vegetables, simmering until potatoes are tender (10-15 minutes).

Add oysters and liquor, simmering an additional 5 minutes.

Serve hot with crackers or fresh bread.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gulf of Mexico Seafood Testing Continues

NOAA has announced that it is continuing to re-test seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, with re-testing scheduled to run into the summer.

Before waters were opened to fishing, NOAA and FDA performed extensive tests on seafood from those waters, and NOAA has now completed two additional rounds of sampling and testing from reopened areas. According to NOAA, thousands of test results have indicated that Gulf seafood is safe from oil and dispersant contamination. 

In June 2010, NOAA, FDA and the Gulf states agreed upon an extensive sampling and testing procedure. Areas closed to fishing were reopened only when all seafood sampled in the area passed both the established sensory and chemical testing for oil and dispersants.

source: NOAA press release

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wild Alaska Salmon Certification

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has announced that Alaska Salmon is the first of Alaska's major commercial fisheries to be awarded the independent, third-party Responsible Fisheries Management Certification.  

The certification is based on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the FAO Guidelines for Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries.  

The certification includes Alaskan king, sockeye, coho, keta, and pink salmon. The Full Assessment and Certification Report (250 pages) will be available on April 1, 2011 at  http://sustainability.alaskaseafood.org/salmon-certification and www.gtcert.com

source: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute

Monday, March 21, 2011

Crescent City California Harbor Tsunami Damage

Crescent City California’s fishing harbor has been nearly totally lost to the tsunami that originated from Japan’s 8.9 earthquake. Fortunately, the majority of the harbor's commercial fishing boats had sailed to safety, warned that waves could reach heights rivaling the 1964 tsunami, which killed 11, destroyed the harbor and leveled a large swath of downtown. By Saturday morning, the remaining vessels listed in the harbor. At least eight vessels sunk following the tsunami, leaving a sheen of oil in the harbor.

Crescent City rebuilt after the 1964 tsunami, but in 2006, a tsunami generated by a different earthquake in Japan damaged the harbor again. A $20-million reconstruction was in the works when the latest disaster hit, wiping out what Young called the "bridge" harbor that had allowed the fishing industry to continue over the last five years.

The Friends of the Coast Guard Auxiliary have agreed to accept any donations for the Crescent City fishermen that have been hurt by the tsunami and to disburse the funds to best help them.

Please send checks to:

Friends of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Inc.
484 Meridian St
Crescent City, Ca 95531

source: FishLink Sublegals

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sustainable Seafood Sales Increase in the U.K. - Netherlands

British and Dutch consumers are increasingly committed to buying sustainable seafood products even in difficult financial times. Independent research shows a 154% increase in consumer spend on sustainable seafood in the UK, and a 50% increase in the Netherlands.

U.K. Sustainable Seafood

Despite just 1% growth in overall household expenditure between 2007 and 2009, the sustainable seafood sector flourished, with UK spend on sustainable seafood reaching £178 million over the same period.

The UK’s Co-operative Bank Ethical Consumerism 2010 Reportshows that overall and throughout the recession, there has been growing support by British consumers for green goods and services, including an 18% increase in total spend between 2007 and 2009.

Ethical and environmentally friendly food and drinks is one of the fastest growing sectors within the category (27% over the last two years) but across all services and goods the market for sustainable seafood is one of the key drivers of the overall growth.

Netherlands Sustainable Seafood

In a separate survey on food and sustainability in the Netherlands, researchers found that spend on sustainable-labelled wild-caught seafood increased by 50% in the first six months of 2010, compared to the same period in 2009. Of that expenditure, over two-thirds comes from products carrying the MSC ecolabel for certified sustainable seafood.

In the first half of 2010, overall food expenditure in the Netherlands increased by just 1.4% while consumer expenditure on sustainable and ecolabelled food increased by 25.5%. However, the leap in revenue from sustainable seafood – from €39 to 59 million, makes it one of the fastest moving sectors in the Netherlands.

source: MSC

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

2011 Maryland Seafood Festivals

Dozens of seafood festivals will be held throughout Maryland this summer, continuing into November. Maryland seafood festivals vary in size and diversity, occurring in Annapolis, Leonardtown, Crisfield, Havre De Grace, Solomons Island and other locations.

Several Maryland festivals specialize in certain seafood such as crabs, oysters or fish, while others have a taste of it all.  Festivals include entertainment and educational activities for the entire family.

Of interest to many seafood enthusiasts are festivals that host to cooking contests.  The National Hard Crab Derby and Fair plays host to the Annual Crab Cooking Contest, the Maryland Seafood Festival boasts the Crab Soup Challenge and the St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival is the home of the National Oyster Cook-off.

The 2011 Maryland Seafood Festival List is available online at www.marylandseafood.org or by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

2011 Seafood Festival List
Maryland Department of Agriculture, Seafood Marketing Program
50 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, Maryland 21401.

Festival contacts should be contacted directly for information on individual events.

Included in the list is a directory of fee fishing farms where anglers can catch their own fish.

source: Maryland Department of Agriculture

Fish Tales Wins Best Sustainable Food Book World Award

For their book entitled Fish Tales, Bart van Olphen and Tom Kime have been awarded the top prize for ‘Best Sustainable Food Book in the World’ at the Gourmand World Cookbook Award in Paris.

The work, published by Kyle Cathie in conjunction with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), highlights sustainable fisheries and the coastal communities they support.  The book also inspires readers to get cooking with sustainable seafood, with Tom Kime’s delicious recipes, beautifully photographed.

The fisheries featured in Fish Tales have all been certified against the MSC environmental standard for sustainable fishing.  Products originating from these fisheries are eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel, telling customers that the seafood they are choosing is traceable to a well-managed, sustainable source.

Bart van Olphen became interested in sourcing sustainable seafood as a seafood entrepreneur in Amsterdam, and, in 2007, his store Fishes became the first retailer in Europe to be certified against the MSC Chain of Custody traceability standard.

Tom Kime is an internationally-renowned chef, with a personal mission to use his love of food and fine cooking to educate consumers about sustainability.

source: MSC

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lynnwood Washington Wild Seafood Exchange

The USA west coast Wild Seafood Exchange conference will be taking place on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 from 9 am - 5 pm at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Lynnwood, WA.


This is a one day conference aimed at the independent commercial fisherman who wants to learn about marketing and direct marketing to restaurants, retailers, brokers and seafood buyers.

The conference will include the following:

Information from restaurants and retailers, brokers and seafood buyers about what is needed from the seller.

Advice from colleagues about their business through small business case studies.

Learn about funding sources for business operations, new equipment, vessel repowers and new construciton. State and federal sources, as well as private lending will be discussed.

Valuable one-on-one round-table discussions with shipyards, direct marketers, funding experts and colleagues.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

2011 San Francisco Ocean Film Festival

The 8th Annual San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, featuring more than 50 films from around the world, begins soon, on 9 – 13 March 2011.

The festival aims to explore the beauty and the challenges facing the ocean, as seen through the eyes of the world’s most innovative filmmakers.

Films will explore the ocean and marine life as well how we as humans interact with it by protecting it, playing in it and studying it.

For more information, visit: www.oceanfilmfest.org.

source: Fishlink Sublegals

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Alaskan Seafood Producers Cooperative (SPC) King and Coho Salmon Certification

King Salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha) and Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), from the Alaskan Seafood Producers Cooperative (SPC) (www.spcsales.com), representing over 575 fishermen and employees, have been certified Friend of the Sea.

SPC King and Coho Salmon are caught by trolling, catching one fish at a time. Non-targeted fish are seldom captured and the seabed is not impacted by trolling methods. The target Alaskan salmon stocks are not over exploited.

The SPC also supports the Marine Debris Cleanup project which aims to remove plastic and marine debris from remote coastal beaches that would have been harmful to local wildlife.

source: FoS

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Danish Saithe Fishery Recieves Certification

The North Sea and Skagerrak Saithe(Pleuronectesplatessa) fishery, jointly managed by the members of the Danish Fishermen’s Producer Organisation (DFPO), has been certified as sustainable against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) environmental standard for sustainable and well managed fisheries.

Around 7,000 metric tonnes of Danish saithe will now be eligible to display the blue MSC ecolabel in the market place.

The certified DFPO Denmark North Sea and Skagerrak Saithe fishery comprises around 150 vessels using seine, static nets and demersal trawls. The fishery is subject to the 2004 EU-Norway agreement and is managed according to the EU-Norway harvest control rule which was renewed in December 2008. Sea and landings inspections are carried out by EU national enforcement agencies and the Norwegian coastguard service.

The main markets for Danish saithe are Germany, Netherland, France and Spain. A small proportion of the catch is filleted in Denmark for domestic consumption.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Label Rouge Scottish Salmon Exports

Exports of Label Rouge Scottish Salmon increased by 7 percent, rising from 7,251 tonnes in 2009 to 7,743 tonnes in 2010. Exports increased by 19 percent during 2009.

The Label Rouge accolade is awarded by the French Government to products of superior quality, particularly in relation to taste. Scottish salmon was the first non-French food to receive this accolade back in 1992.

Although originally dedicated to the French market, Label Rouge Scottish Salmon is acquiring international recognition for its superior quality and taste.  During the last twelve months interest has developed in new emerging European markets such as Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.  Label Rouge Scottish Salmon is also scheduled to be exhibited in the Middle East for the first time.

Responsibly Harvested Gulf of Maine Seafood Label

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) has announced a new program that makes it easy for seafood shoppers to identify responsibly harvested seafood from the Gulf of Maine region. Seafood suppliers earn the ability to use the Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested seal on products based on criteria that support the long-term health of the regions fisheries and fishing communities.

The seal will initially appear on cod, haddock, lobster, and northern shrimp products from the Gulf of Maine region at Hannaford and other retail stores. GMRI is in the process of assessing additional fisheries, with the goal of adding more seafood products to the program later this year.

In addition to finding the Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested seal in retail stores, consumers may also see the seal displayed at local restaurants and fish markets in Maine and throughout New England in the coming months.

"The seal lets consumers know that an objective science institution has verified responsible harvest and traced the product to the Gulf of Maine," said Jen Levin, GMRI's sustainable seafood program manager.

Scientists, environmental organizations, fishermen, processors, retailers, and restaurants contributed to the development of the requirements for use of the seal. The seal will assure consumers of the following:

 * The product came from the clean, productive waters of the Gulf of Maine.

 * The fishery is managed in a way that contributes to the long-term health of the resource.

 * A portion of the proceeds contributes to GMRIs efforts to motivate and reward progress throughout the supply chain toward increased sustainability of Gulf of Maine fisheries.

Food retailers also benefit from providing information to consumers through an easy-to-spot seal.

For more information, visit www.gmri.org/seafood

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Friend of the Sea Certifies Sharat Industries Limited Whiteleg Shrimp

Whiteleg shrimps (Litopenaeus Vannamei), produced by Sharat Industries Limited have been certified as sustainable by Friend of the Sea.

Sharat Industries Ltd., engages in aquaculture and since 1994 has been an integrated project with a shrimp hatchery, aqua farm, feed mill and processing facilities.

In 2004, Sharat Industries was the first company in India to start the culture of Litopenaeus vannamei shrimp to overcome the problem of white spot disease that is common in P. monodon shrimp, in India. The company produces fresh, frozen and cooked Litopenaeus Vannamei shrimp.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

USA National Aquaculture Policy

On February 9, 2011, the Department of Commerce and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released complementary draft national aquaculture policies. The public is invited to comment on both draft policies for the next 60 days. 

According to the announcement:

 - Aquaculture plays a significant and growing role in global food production

 - Nearly half the fish consumed by people is produced by aquaculture

 - A significant portion of future increases in the global seafood supply will come from aquaculture products.

 -  The domestic aquaculture industry supplies only about 5 percent of the seafood Americans consume.

The draft Commerce Department policy supports the development of sustainable aquaculture within the context of the key Commerce goals of encouraging economic growth and employment opportunities in the United States.

Commerce and NOAA are accepting comments on the draft policies through April 11. Directions for submitting comments online are at http://aquaculture.noaa.gov.

Comments also may be submitted:

 * By fax to 301-713-9108 (Attn: Susan Bunsick)

 * By mail to:

NOAA Aquaculture Program
Attn: Public Comment
1315 East West Highway
SSMC3, Mail Code: F
13th Floor, Room 13152
Silver Spring, MD 20910

After the submitted comments have been reviewed, Commerce and NOAA will issue final national aquaculture policies.

source: NOAA press release

Friday, February 11, 2011

70 Million Americans to Dine Out for Valentine’s Day

A variety of American restaurant chains have announced special menus or other deals especially for Valentine's Day.

According to the National Restaurant Association, seventy million Americans will celebrate Valentine’s Day at a restaurant this year. The Association’s new consumer research shows that about one-third of consumers (31 percent) say they will dine out on February 14.

“There is no better way to celebrate romance than to share a great meal at a restaurant – and millions of Americans will do just that this Valentine’s Day,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Celebration of Maryland Seafood in Annapolis MD

The Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will be co-hosting a “Celebration of Maryland Seafood” at the Boatyard Bar & Grill in Annapolis on Tuesday, Feb. 22 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

The purpose of the dinner is to promote Maryland’s diverse and high quality seafood from the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Coast and aquaculture industry through local restaurants,  grocers and other retail markets. By empowering the local seafood market, Maryland is building a sustainable fishery, reducing the industry’s carbon footprint and creating green jobs.

The evening includes a cocktail hour with raw bar and five-course meal featuring Maryland oysters, crabmeat, striped bass (rockfish) and yellow perch.

The event is hosted by the Boatyard Bar & Grill, Maryland Department of Agriculture and Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance and Natural Resources Secretary  John Griffin will be featured speakers.

Tickets are $40, which includes all food, tax and gratuity, and will be limited to the first 125 to reserve their spot. Call the Boatyard Bar & Grill at 410-216-6206 to RSVP and for more information.

source: Maryland Department of Agriculture

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Valentines Day Dinner Ideas - Seafood Dishes

Seafood is always a popular choice for Valentine's Day dinners. Among the most commonly served seafood products are oysters, shrimp, scallops, lobster, crab and salmon. The following list includes several ideas for Valentines Day dinner appetizers and main courses:

Oysters

 - raw oysters on the half shell
 - steamed or roasted oysters
 - oyster stew

Shrimp

 - shrimp cocktail
 - stuffed shrimp
 - grilled shrimp
 - scampi

Lobster

 -  whole boiled lobster
 - grilled rock lobster tails
 - lobster rolls
 - lobster bisque

Crab

 - Alaskan king crab or snow crab legs
 - crab leg assortments; king, snow, Dungeness
 - fresh whole Dungeness crabs
 - Maryland blue crab crabcakes
 - traditional crab soup
 - stone crab claws

Scallops

 - bacon wrapped sea scallops
 - sautéed scallops

Salmon

 - smoked salmon dip (appetizer)
 - planked salmon
 - grilled salmon steaks
 - salmon chowder

Visit this extensive collection of seafood recipes to find the perfect meal for your next holiday dinner. After choosing a favorite recipe, shoppers can visit this seafood directory to find a wide range of fish and shellfish available for online purchase.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fos Certifies Toralla Farm Raised Mussels

Friend of the Sea has certified Toralla, a South American mussels producer. Toralla, S.A. is a family company set up in 2000 based in Chonchi, on the isle of Chiloé, Chile.

Through its subsidiary, Cultivos Toralla, Toralla manages farming of over 250 hectares of sea. Mussels are gathered using long-line farming methods. By applying latest technologies to each stage of the process, Toralla harvests 12 thousand tonnes of mussels per year which are then sold globally.

Toralla is HACCP and PAC certified in strict compliance with the regulations on critical point control and quality assurance. It has also achieved the BRC Global Standards certification for safety and quality.

source: FoS

Faroese Mackerel Fishery to Lose MSC Certification

The Independent Adjudicator, Melanie Carter has upheld an Objection by Marine Scotland in the assessment of the Faroese Pelagic Organization (FPO) North East Atlantic mackerel fishery.

Following the successful objection, the certifier, Det Norske Veritas, will have to amend its Determination taking account of Ms Carter’s decision that the fishery has not met the MSC Standard.

At the time of the objection, the Faroe Islands had not committed to a Coastal States Agreement to manage the combined catch of all nations fishing for mackerel and Ms Carter concluded that it was unreasonable of DNV to describe the fishery as meeting the minimum level required in relation to Performance Indicator 3.1.1.  This requires a fishery’s management to be ‘consistent with international laws or standards aimed at achieving sustainable fisheries’.

The decision follows an oral hearing and further submissions by the certifier, fishery client and the objectors, Marine Scotland.

source: MSC

Thursday, January 27, 2011

U.S. Consumer Seafood Prices Predicted to Increase for 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service has released its 2011 Consumer Price Index analysis for projections on food prices.

According to the index, U.S. consumer seafood prices are likely to rise from 3.5 to 4.5 percent in 2011 while
overall food prices are expected to increase 2% to 3% during the period.

Food purchased from grocery stores as well as food-away-from-home (restaurant) prices are forecasted to increase 2 to 3 percent.

Fishy State of the Union Address

Even American seafood received scrutiny during the 2011 State of Union Address. President Barack Obama joked about American fisheries management complexities, saying, "The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in saltwater.  I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked."

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ireland Seeks To Expand Aquaculture Production

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD and Minister of State, Sean Connick TD, met recently with the CEO of Marine Harvest, one of the world's biggest seafood companies to discuss the potential for significant expansion of the industry in Ireland.

The company's Irish fish farms, in Donegal, Mayo, Cork and Kerry, have been expanding production and hope to produce between 10 and 12,000 tonnes of salmon for export from Ireland this year.

The company has been increasingly moving to the production of premium organic salmon and this year expect that 70% of their Irish production will be sold in prime European markets as organically produced fish.

The company, which currently employs 250 people in Ireland and 5,000 worldwide sees significant potential to double production and employment in Ireland over the next ten years.

source: Ireland Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Food

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tanner Crab Community Supported Fishery in Anchorage Alaska

The Alaska Marine Conservation Council is piloting a Community Supported Fishery (CSF) in the Anchorage area that will offer Kodiak tanner crab harvested by small-boat fishermen to consumers. The program is called “Catch of the Season” and its goal is to empower traditional fishing communities.

The tanner crab CSF is offering 10- or 25-pound boxes of tanner crab to consumers in the Anchorage area. Seafood deliveries will include the story of the catch that tells the who, what, when, where and how of the catch.  Also included is a recipe from the fishermen.

The Council hopes to offer a regular schedule of seafood products throughout the year including salmon, halibut and cod, as well as a greater variety of pickup locations if initial shipments are a success. Local restaurants are also being encouraged to participate in the program and are provided a cost discount for larger volumes. The 10-pound boxes are $125, and the 25-pound boxes are $300.

For more information, visit http://akmarine.org. To subscribe to the CSF, contact Julia Beaty at (907)277-5357 or Julia@akmarine.org

source: Fishlink Sublegals

2011Seafood Summit in Canada

The 9th Annual Seafood Summit is taking place on 31 January - 2 February, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada, with Keynote Speaker Yvon Chouinard. The Seafood Summit brings together global representatives from the seafood industry and conservation community for in-depth discussions, presentations and networking with the goal of making the seafood marketplace environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. The Seafood Summit will take place at the Westin, Bayshore in Vancouver, Canada.

For more information, visit the Seafood Summit website:

www.seafoodchoices.com/seafoodsummit.php.

source: Fishlink Sublegals

Friday, January 21, 2011

2nd Annual Palm Beach Marine Flea Market and Seafood Festival

The 2nd Annual Palm Beach Marine Flea Market and Seafood Festival, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 11-13, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the centrally located South Florida Fairgrounds, West Palm Beach Fl. The event will be held outside in the parking lot facing Southern Blvd, a West Palm Beach main thoroughfare.

Admission $7.00 a day

Senior Citizens $5.00

Children 12 and under FREE

Special three day pass $12.00

for more information, visit: http://www.flnauticalfleamarket.com/

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Study Suggests That Fried Fish Consumption May Be a Factor in Strokes

Researchers at Emory University’s School of Medicine are pointing a finger at fried fish as a key contributor in the cause of strokes in Americans living in the Southeastern part of the United States.

A study published in the Dec. 22 online issue of the journal Neurology finds people living in states commonly called the stroke belt eat more fried fish than people living in the rest of the country.

The stroke belt includes Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, as previous studies have shown people living in this region are more likely to die from a stroke than people living in other parts of the United States. Blacks are more affected than whites.

The study’s author, an Emory neurologist, says the type of fish is just as important as the preference to eating the fish when cooked fried.

“While all fish contain healthy omega-3 acids, the amount of these essential nutrients varies depending on the type of fish and the cooking methods,” says Fadi Nahab, MD, an assistant professor of neurology in Emory University School of Medicine and medical director of the stroke program at Emory University Hospital.

Previous studies have shown that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish, especially fatty fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel, may reduce the risk of stroke, and the American Heart Association recommends that people eat fish at least two times per week with an emphasis on fatty fish.

Nahab and his fellow researchers used existing data obtained from more than 21,000 people participating in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) project sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. http://regardsstudy.org

Study Details:

* Researchers assessed data from 21,675 people across the United States participating in the REGARDS study between Jan. 2003 and Oct. 2007. Participants were age 45 or older, with an average age of 65.

* Twenty-one percent of participants were from the “stroke buckle” – the coastal plain region of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia where stroke mortality rates are even higher than in the rest of the stroke belt. Thirty-four percent were from the rest of the stroke belt and 44 percent were from the other 40 contiguous states.

* Participants were interviewed by phone and then given an in-home physical examination. They answered questions about how often they ate oysters, shellfish, tuna, fried fish and other fish not fried.

* Fewer than one in four study participants consumed two or more servings of non-fried fish per week. Those in the stroke buckle were 11 percent less likely to meet the recommendations than those in the rest of the country. Those in the rest of the stroke belt were 17 percent less likely than those in the rest of the country.

* Blacks were more than three-and-a-half times more likely to eat two or more servings of fried fish per week than whites, with an overall average of 0.96 servings per week of fried fish for blacks compared to 0.47 servings for whites. Those in the stroke belt were 32 percent more likely to eat two or more servings of fried fish than those in the rest of the country. People in the stroke buckle were 17 percent more likely to eat two or more servings of fried fish.

* Overall, those in the stroke belt ate an average of 0.68 servings of fried fish per week, compared to 0.64 in the stroke buckle and 0.62 in the rest of the country. For non-fried fish, those in the stroke belt ate an average of 1.45 servings per week, compared to 1.52 servings in the stroke buckle and 1.63 servings in the rest of the country.

source: Emory University press release

Thursday, January 13, 2011

FoS Certifies As do Mar Tuna

As do Mar brand of tuna and mackerel has been one of the first in Italy to be certified Friend of the Sea since 2006. Generale Conserve produces AS do MAR and it is the second largest tuna company in Italy.

Generale Conserve has recently moved all of its AS do MAR tuna production site to Olbia, in Italy. The factory has been recognized for its green energy practices. Their production site in Italy uses only energy from renewable sources. Both the production and sales units of General Conserve are certified SA8000 for their high labor and social accountability standards.

General Conserve creates employment for over 500 people in its tuna factory in Italy and mackerel factory in Portugal. It’s one of the few companies in Italy where the tuna arrives whole which places full control of the tuna species and size on Generale Conserve has before they process it.

source: FoS

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bluefin Tuna Sold for Nearly $400,000 at Tokyo Auction

According to numerous media reports, a single bluefin tuna sold for 32.49 million yen (nearly $400,000 US) at Tsukiji market in Tokyo, the highest price paid for a single fish since records began.

The fish's growing popularity across Asia has raised fears it will soon be fished into commercial extinction and several headlines referred to the fish as "endangered", although the species is currently not classified as such by scientists.

"It was an exceptionally large fish," said a Tsukiji spokesman, Yutaka Hasegawa. "But we were all surprised by the price."

The fish was reported to weight 342 kg (roughly 750 pounds).

How To Cook Fish On a Gas Grill

Grilling is a fast and simple way to cook fish. Most types of fish can be grilled whole, as fillets or steaks. Grilling helps retain natural flavors, fish oil and moisture, without adding excess calories. Fish can be cooked on the grill un-seasoned or enhanced with marinades or spices.

According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association nearly 80% of households own an outdoor barbecue grill or smoker. During peak months (May - September), nearly 50% of grill owners grill foods weekly. Grilled fish and seafood is popular due in its flavor, simplicity and appearance.

For cooking fish on the grill, a must-have tools is a grilling sheet, pan or grid. No matter which term is used, these special grill accessories are essential for grilling fish and seafood. These sheets are also useful for grilling vegetables or other foods.

Most sheets or grids come in stainless steel or feature a porcelain coating. Some sheets come with a non-stick surface which helps prevent fish or other foods from breaking apart when transferred to serving dishes. After grilling, sheets, pans and grids can be cleaned up by hand or in the dishwasher.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2009 Maine Red Tide Caused Commercial Fishery Disaster

On December 22, 2010, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke determined that the economic effects of closing shellfish fisheries in Maine in 2009 due to a harmful algal bloom, commonly referred to as red tide, caused a commercial fishery failure.

"The natural disaster, which forced the closing of shellfish beds to protect human health, hurt Maine's commercial shell fishermen and their families," said Locke. "Should Congress appropriate funds for disaster assistance, the Department of Commerce and NOAA will work with Maine to develop an effective program to provide assistance to the fishery."

In October 2009, Maine Governor John Baldacci requested the disaster determination in a letter to the Department of Commerce and provided information detailing how the disaster affected the softshell clam, blue mussel and mahogany quahog fisheries.

The closures due to the harmful algal bloom began in April of 2009 and resulted in closures of 97 percent of the fisheries at the peak. Some areas of the Maine coast were closed to shellfishing until late September. After reviewing this information, the Department of Commerce determined the natural resource disaster met the requirements of a commercial fishery failure under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

source: NOAA press release

Seafood From New England

New England is one of the top seafood producing regions of the USA. Home to several of the nation's oldest fishing ports, New England has a long tradition of harvesting and serving seafood. Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine all have coastal access and support active commercial fisheries.

New England is world famous for its landings of groundfish, coastal species and pelagic saltwater fish. Among the most sought after species are Atlantic cod, Atlantic haddock, Atlantic pollock, hake, whiting, yellowtail flounder, winter flounder, fluke, monkfish, redfish, spiny dogfish, scup, weakfish, black sea bass, bluefish, giant tuna, swordfish, and others.

New England is also an important producer of shellfish, including lobsters, coldwater shrimp, sea scallops, quahog clams, soft-shelled clams, sea clams, oysters, blue mussels, and other delicacies.

A wide range of fish and seafood is available locally (in season), while others are processed and shipped across the USA and worldwide.

In addition to wild caught fish and shellfish, New England is an important state for aquaculture.

The region is known for dishes such as clam chowder, baked cod or haddock, fried soft shelled clams. lobster rolls, clam bakes, and other seafood recipes.