By SeafoodSource staff
Published on 18 September, 2012
A number of Maine restaurants will be adding whiting to their menus for a special promotion to introduce diners to underutilized species from the Gulf of Maine.
The third Out of the Blue promotion by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute runs from 21 to 30 September at 21 of the state’s well-known restaurants. GRMI hopes to cultivate healthy markets for a greater diversity of seafood products from the region.
Previous Out of the Blue promotions took place in June and July, focusing on Acadian redfish and Atlantic mackerel.
“Out of the Blue presents an opportunity to give our students, who come to the college from all over the country and the world, a taste for and familiarity with the Gulf of Maine’s underutilized species,” said Ken Cardone, director of dining services at Bowdoin College, whose participation marks the first from a college or university.
A group of fishermen and chefs collaborated with GMRI to select the four Out of the Blue species based on taste, availability and sustainability. Whiting, a low-fat fish with delicate flavor, is historically very popular but suffered from overfishing in the 1960s. The implementation of catch limits has helped rebuild the stock to high levels of abundance; however, its consumer awareness and market price remain low.
“Although whiting is considered a delicacy in southern Europe and has a similar flavor to cod and haddock, it doesn’t get the same attention as many other seafood items,” said fisherman David Goethel of Hampton, N.H., a member of the effort’s steering team. “Regaining local appreciation for this abundant and healthy product is important to us as local fishermen, and it provides seafood consumers with more options in the marketplace.”