Here we answer all your searing questions about fish, from the mundane to the metaphysical, from recipes to randoms. We’ll dispense guidance and advice to help you navigate the piscine part of your existence just like Dear Abby, if Abby were obsessed with fish.
Speaking of obsessed with fish, FQA is dished out by Helen Stonhill, our Marketing Deckhand. Helen splits her time between Sea to Table and her duties as a real deckhand on the F/V Mabel out of Charleston, Oregon. If you would like to have Helen answer a question in this column, just send her an email at email@example.com.
How Did the Fish Get Out of the Ocean and Onto My Plate?
Dear Helen, I just recieved my order of Gulf of Maine Redfish. I love the label telling the origins of the fish, as well as the method of catch. But what does trawl caught mean? Is that the same as troll caught?
— Confused in Connecticut
Dear Confused, Trolling and trawling are both phonetically and grammatically confusing. And when you factor in their applications in commercial fishing it gets even more complicated. Trawl typically means to 'sift through as part of a search', as in “he trawled the Sea to Table website for fish recipes”; troll means to 'carefully and systematically search an area for something', as in “they spent hours trolling through the kitchen for the missing fish spatula”. So when it comes to fishing, trawl refers to the method of catch where a net (known as a trawl, natch) is drawn through the water, targeting schools of fish like sole and hake. Our Gulf of Maine Redfish are caught with a mid-water trawl that causes minimal impact to the marine environment and is considered sustainable. Most species of commercially available fish are caught by trawl. Trolling, on the other hand, refers to fishing by dragging single lines through the water with baited hooks or lures, which is generally a more targeted, fish-by-fish approach used for larger species such as salmon and tuna. Both methods are stringently regulated by US fisheries management, so you can be assured that each Sea to Table fish, no matter the method of catch, is responsibly harvested.
Can I Really Afford to Eat Sustainable Seafood?
Dear Helen, Why is sustainable fish so expensive? I’d eat it more often if it were affordable.
—Tight Fisted in Texas
Dear Tight Fisted, What if I told you that Sea to Table fish costs, on average, the same or even less per serving than pizza… and is a lot better for you! Most people don’t think twice about ordering pizza. A large, plain cheese pie to carry out at an average pizza chain will feed 2-3 people at about $6 per serving. Add toppings and delivery and you are looking at a cost per serving of about $10 or more. Now look at the cost per serving of Sea to Table fish, with most varieties, including Alaska Coho Salmon, around $9 or less per serving. Even a generous serving of sweet, plump, wild-caught, peeled, deveined and chemical-free shrimp clocks in at $8.50, or $1.50 less per serving than that pizza. And we deliver!