UMass Dartmouth marine scientists say they have documented a major increase in the scallop population on Georges Bank.
A video-based survey conducted by the School for Marine Science and Technology over nine weeks showed a 32 percent increase in the scallop population since 2012. That's an increase in scallop meat weight from 243 million pounds two years ago to 320 million pounds this summer.
"We are really excited about this," said Department of Fisheries Oceanography Chair Kevin Stokesbury.
On average, U.S. scallop stock is made up of 8 billion individual shellfish. This study discovered 20 billion additional juvenile scallops in the Nantucket Lightship and along the Southern flank of Georges Bank.
The scallops have not yet matured to commercial size, something Stokesbury said will help sustain the fishery for the next decade.
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Film fest in Florida
Florida Sea Grant and Beneath the Waves is hosting an entirely ocean-related film festival titled “Living on the Edge: Striking a Balance Between the Economy and the Environment.”
The film festival consists of three short films, each portraying different aspects of the coastal environment. After each film, faculty from the University of Florida and Stetson University will provide commentary and answer audience questions about issues raised in the films. Local filmmaker Sami Kattan, the producer of the evening’s film finale, will be on hand to discuss his film-making process.
If you are interested in learning more about Florida’s densely populated coasts and the difficult task of balancing tourism, fishing, economics and the environment, these films are for you.
Saturday, July 16
6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
J.W. Reitz Union Auditorium
University of Florida
655 Reitz Union Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611
Information on the films can be found on the event’s website.
Sea-Tac is salmon-safe
The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport recently became the first U.S. airport to achieve Salmon-Safe certification, earning the designation for its environmental practices that protect Puget Sound water quality and salmon habitat.
The designation means that Sea-Tac passed Salmon-Safe’s comprehensive third-party evaluation of the airport’s land and water management practices, is adopting practices that go above and beyond regulatory requirements, and is committing to further reducing its environmental impact over time. Sea-Tac joins Vancouver International Airport in receiving this award.
“We are proud that Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is a national leader when it comes to environmental sustainability and it truly is an honor to be the first airport in the country to receive the Salmon-Safe Certification,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Courtney Gregoire. “From our innovative approach to reducing carbon emissions, increasing recycling or treating runoff water, protecting the environment is a pillar of our Century Agenda.”
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I recently stumbled across a recipe I posted years ago for halibut with spring vegetables and risotto. Before kids, my husband and I cooked together most nights. And when I read this recipe, I got a craving not only for fresh halibut but for a chance to prove to myself that we could make something like this on a weekday with two children crowding the kitchen. The reason being that timing on this recipe is best if one person is grilling while the other is stirring the risotto.
I got lucky one beautiful spring night and jumped on making my risotto while the kids played outside. I also had a bunch of Swiss chard that had overwintered in the garden. My husband hopped on the grill and helped me pull this all together in less than 45 minutes.
This simple risotto is easy to make but does require attention. It’s worth it, though, to treat yourself to a grown-up version of macaroni and cheese — comforting, creamy and satisfying — that your kids will love, too.
I used Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), the largest of all the flatfish. A properly cooked fillet of Atlantic halibut is up there with the best steak I’ve ever had. There’s something about the ribbons of fat in these East Coast flatties that could turn a cowboy into a fish lover. If you’re not lucky enough to be able to find fresh halibut, feel free to substitute anything local that can stand up to the grill.
1 1/2 pounds of halibut fillet
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
Optional garnishes: parsley, lemon, chive, thyme and parmesan
Brush your halibut in olive oil to coat, then sprinkle with salt and set aside. Pour the broth into a pan and warm over medium-high heat, then keep warm on low.
In a large sauté pan, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onion and sauté until lightly browned. Add a little more olive oil and the arborio, turning the heat down to medium. Stir and cook until the rice is just starting to get translucent at the edges of the grain.
Add a ladle of broth and cook, stirring, until the rice mixture absorbs the liquid. Add another ladle of broth and repeat until the rice is cooked through. In a pinch, you can cook the risotto until it’s almost done and set it aside, partially covered. Then rewarm to serve with another splash of broth within 20 minutes. I discovered this is just enough time to clean the slugs off of my garden chard, then chop and steam it.
Start grilling your halibut when you’re about 25 minutes away from serving. After your grill is heated on high, oil the grill itself and cook the fish, top side down for 3-4 minutes to get a nice sear (skip this step if you’re not feeling confident in your grill maneuvering). Then turn the heat to low, flip the fillet to skin side down, close the cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes. This was a 3-inch-thick piece and took a good 20 minutes on low. You can check for doneness by peeking between the flakes.
When the risotto is cooked through, add the parmesan and stir to incorporate, then add the butter and serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon, some fresh herbs and more parmesan. I like to put my fish right on top.
I love the contrast of vinegar-dressed greens with the grilled fish and cheesy risotto.
What’s on your list for summer reading? Well, let me suggest “A Mariner’s Miscellany” by Peter Spectre. It’s a collection of all things relevant and irrelevant concerning the sea, the whimsical and the serious; it’s about boats, ships, anchors, knots and ballast, the lore, poetry and language of the ocean and those who have traveled it.
Spectre has written several marine related books and did the yearly “Mariner’s Book of Days,” a nautical desk diary and calendar. He was also editor at International Marine, Wooden Boat and currently Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors. Those years spent writing about boats and correcting author’s notions of boats and the sea have endowed him with an eclectic mix of nautical knowledge.
For instance, does anybody know what “dogs running before their master” means? It’s a heavy swell in advance of a hurricane. That’s in the chapter “The Language of the Sea.”
In the same chapter is a listing of the “Different kinds of dead.”
Included is “dead horse” — a cash advance for wages to be earned, and “dead marine” — an empty beer bottle.
In the chapter “Bread is the staff of life; rum is life itself” is a recipe for Serpent’s Breath (a note says it’s enough for the entire crew):
1 bottle dark rum
1 bottle light rum
1 bottle Cognac
7 cups tea
3 cups lemon juice
1 ½ cups sugar
Stir the sugar and the lemon juice into the tea, then add the hard stuff. Allow the ingredients to meld for two hours — if you can wait that long.
If you are dumb enough to be at the wheel after sharing in that concoction, it won’t be long before you’re aground. But Spectre’s book tells you how to handle that situation in the chapter “Time and tide wait for no man.”
“If you should run aground on a falling tide and can’t get her off, climb over the side and scrub the bottom while you wait for the tide to return. Your friends will think you went aground on purpose.”
In the book’s 289 pages there’s a whole lot more, some of which you might know, most of which you never heard of. Check it out.
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