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


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


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 and

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 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:

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) (, 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