Editorial commentaries on the domestic and global seafood industry.
Last year's well-documented string of tainted Chinese products put tremendous pressure on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to protect the nation's imported foods. Before then, food safety received scant attention from consumers (and lawmakers, given the cash-starved FDA), excepting the latest product recall on the evening news. Ever since, food safety news has become hard to ignore - just look at this week's headlines.
First, the… Read More
Gas prices eclipsed the $4 a gallon mark nationwide this weekend. But it didn't discourage droves of chowder lovers from exercising their seafood palates at the 27th annual Schweppes Great Chowder Cook-Off at the Newport, R.I., Yachting Center on Saturday. Seafood festivals are a summer tradition, and if the Great Chowder Cook-Off is any indication, escalating gas prices - which are projected to reach $4.50 by the Fourth of July - won't prevent… Read More
Many times before we've pondered these questions: Do lobsters feel pain? Is dropping them into a pot of boiling water cruelty? Is there a more humane approach to the current practices of distributing, storing and cooking live lobsters? We rehashed these issues this week when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals submitted a bid to lease an old Maine prison to establish a "Lobster Empathy Center" devoted to the ongoing plight of Homarus… Read More
Underrated and overlooked, coho, or silver, salmon often takes a backseat to king salmon, which steals the spotlight when the coveted Copper River salmon harvest initiates Alaska's summer salmon fishery in mid-May. The coho harvest doesn't kick into high gear until July, and coho landings are spread fairly evenly throughout Alaska - no single coho run really stands out.
But supplies of king salmon will be tighter this season, and prices… Read More
If you've attended the International Boston Seafood Show over the past four years, chances are you've passed by James Hook & Co. and thought, "They don't make 'em like that anymore." The family-run lobster business on Northern Avenue, about a stone's throw from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, was a true landmark - a time capsule of sorts that characterized not only the gritty, blue-collar working Boston waterfront, but the… Read More
The future of U.S. aquaculture production will greatly depend on the work being done at the National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center (NCWMAC), a gleaming new research facility that was officially dedicated yesterday in Franklin, Maine. For years, the United States has lagged behind other nations in developing and refining finfish culture technology due to a lack of resources and an uncertain regulatory framework. According to the speakers… Read More
While President Bush and Congress scuffled over the bloated $290 billion Farm Bill and the 34 pages inadvertently missing from the copy Bush vetoed Wednesday, pangasius importers agonized over a measure in the bill authorizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect and grade domestic and imported catfish, particularly language in it leaving the definition of the term "catfish" up in the air.
Congress overrode Bush's veto after a… Read More
One aspect of today's omnipresent sustainable-seafood movement that often gets short shrift is the sustainability of the industry itself - by that, I mean the fishermen and the processors that make seafood available to us all. Indeed, science should guide fishery-management decisions; but if key stakeholders are eliminated from the process, then we're missing the boat.
During the week of June 9, the Pacific Fishery Management Council will… Read More
I didn't realize until yesterday that I had a pretty narrow definition of sustainability. Up until now my take on it has been, if you take too much fish from the sea, that's unsustainable. But after listening to several seminars at the Cooking for Solutions seminar at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California, I discovered how unrealistic that definition is.
Gene Kahn's keynote, In Search of Sustainability, put several things into… Read More
My family's federal tax rebate check arrived late last week. It'll help, but I'm afraid we won't be stimulating the economy like the federal government hoped we would by buying a couple of iPhones (though I really want one) or the Alaska king crab special at The Oceanaire Seafood Room (though I drool at the thought). The money will sit in our savings account until it's needed, which is what a lot of folks plan to do while waiting for the U.S.… Read More