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