Spotlight on Maine's lesser-known fish

Published on
October 7, 2016

Maine-based hospitals, schools and restaurants are forging partnerships with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) to feature lesser known Gulf of Maine fish on their menus for the month of October, which is National Seafood Month in the United States.

Over the course of 10 days, from 7 to 16 October, diners at participating locations will be able to try the Gulf’s “underloved” species such as pollock, mackerel, redfish, dogfish and whiting as part of the “Out of the Blue” promotional event.

It is the hope of the promotion’s organizers that “Out of the Blue,” in its fifth year, will serve to build markets for these species, which are responsibly managed but not always harvested due to lack of demand.

“Eating a more diverse range of the many species available in the Gulf of Maine region’s waters is good for all involved,” said GMRI Sustainable Seafood Program Manager Jen Levin, in a news release. “It’s good for a fisherman’s business, good for our health, and much better for the ecosystem than fishermen catching just one or two species because the market demands them.”

GMRI’s Culinary Partners will play a part in leading “Out of the Blue” with help from institutions such as Bowdoin College, University of New England and Central Maine Medical Center for the first time this year.

“Of the 12 participating institutions, nine are participating as part of Sodexo’s Maine Course initiative,” Levin said. “In 2015, Sodexo made a commitment to shifting its Maine college campuses toward Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested seafood. In particular, Sodexo campuses are working to build awareness of underloved seafood from the Gulf of Maine and to facilitate more sustainable sourcing practices through GMRI’s program.”

“’Out of the Blue’ provides us with a great opportunity to shine a light on the under-loved species of fish from the Gulf of Maine,” added Maeve McInnis, director of Sodexo’s Maine Course. “This helps to raise student awareness of our local seafood commitments through our Maine Course program, and most importantly, it gets students excited about eating great seafood from our region.”

For a list of participating restaurants and institutions, click here:

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