Like many others in the Northeast, fishermen are feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy and struggling to get back on their feet. As you might imagine, our east coast fishermen friends suffered substantial damage to docks, boats, and waterfront infrastructure from the storm. In addition, the restaurants and customers that these fishermen typically sell their fish to have also been affected, so fishermen are seeing a lack of demand for what they are now able to catch.
We encourage you to buy and eat fish from the Northeast and New England. As Massachusetts fisherman and dock owner Jared Auerbach explains, "If people could change their tastes for even one weekend and put [Northeast and New England] fish on their menu in place of the imported fish they're serving, it would really go a long way." Chefs such as Michel Nischan and Jon Vaast at The Dressing Room in Connecticut, Lonnie Zoeller of Vinoteca in Washington, DC, and Amos Watts of Jax Fish House in Denver were some of the first to menu New England fish to help fishermen affected by Hurricane Sandy. Look for Northeastern fish species like hake, pollock, redfish, monkfish, or scallops, and, as always, remember to ask who caught your fish. Now, more than ever, is the time for the food community to come together to help local fishermen and producers.
Fishermen off the coast of British Columbia have been finding sick looking wild salmon in their catches and reporting it to the Canadian government. Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) is an extremely infectious virus common to pens of farmed salmon worldwide. Assured by the farmed salmon industry of the impossibility of ISA transfer from farmed fish to wild fish the government failed to act. With increasing reports of sick salmon, the media uncovered flawed testing by the farmed salmon industry and a widespread cover up. The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) who oversees both farmed and wild salmon reacted with a full scale investigation. Last week’s Cohen Report calls for an 8-year salmon farming ban. “I urge the federal government, in the interests of conserving this iconic species of salmon,” said Justice Bruce Cohen, “to heed my findings and to implement these recommendations”.
Last week’s Global Aquaculture Alliance meeting in Bangkok confirmed that a new shrimp virus, Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS), has had a significant impact on Asian shrimp production. Right now the causative agent has not been identified, but the leading theory is a bacteria that is itself infected. “Another year, another shrimp disease” reports seafoodnews’s John Sackton. “Diseases are an inevitable part of aquaculture.”
Wild, sustainable seafood from traditional small-scale fisheries is healthy and delicious.