Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Written by Adrianne Madden
Thursday, 19 August 2010
JHathaway2 If there's one thing the gulf oil spill can stand to teach the American public it's that a lot of seafood is specific and precious to the region in which it's caught.
I was walking between work and my car one evening this week when I got slowed down behind a touristy couple wandering somewhat aimlessly through the streets of downtown Portland, Maine. We see a lot of tourists this time of year, so I was not a bit surprised to be waylaid.
What I overheard is another story. The woman was on the phone apparently with a restaurant asking if they serve any salmon dishes.
First of all, you must really love or have a hankering (or doctor's orders, perhaps) for some salmon to be calling around to restaurants out of town inquiring about one ingredient on their menu.
Had she been asking about scallops, Maine shrimp, haddock, cod or even wild blueberries, I would have smiled and walked on. Perhaps even given a recommendation.
But all I could think was this woman was calling around to practically ensure she was going to get a slab of anemic farmed salmon for supper.
Had she asked about wild salmon, I would have understood. But I still would have wondered why she wouldn't take this opportunity of being in a Northeast fishing port to enjoy some fruit of the North Atlantic.
I love wild salmon. Don't get me wrong. I've had it on both coasts, and it's delicious everywhere.
But I live in a town full of chefs who pride themselves on gathering local produce, meats and seafood to the delight of tourists and locals alike.
And yet I find it hard to believe anyone would be calling around to restaurants asking if they had some Roundup-Ready corn or mass-market tomatoes.
The problem is marketing, plain and simple.
I'm going to guess this couple knows fish is good for them. And they have heard that salmon has lots of Omega-3s. What they haven't heard is that the best source of all that good stuff is wild salmon, not farmed.
Americans are clamoring for fish, and some even know their local species and what's fresh year-round. But if we want to preserve local fishing communities and the unique offerings of wild fisheries, we must educate the public.
If not, we are destined to drown in a sea of tilapia and Asian shrimp.
So while you are yielding to the call to support Gulf Coast fishermen by buying southern shrimp, don't forget to send out a call for your own local fisheries.
National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15
In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.
National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15
In this episode:
March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received
NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.
First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.
Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.Read more...
Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.
Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.Read more...