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 Launched by Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) has launched a new website ( 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:

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

Public comments and responses are also available at

For more information on BAP, visit

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:

Note 1: Canada Food Guide:

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

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