This Week’s Obsession, and really my This Year’s Obsession, is sustainable seafood.
You’ve heard all the buzz, but perhaps aren’t quite sure of the issues involved and are confused about what you should or should not be eating.
Sustainable seafood is seafood from either fished or farmed sources that can maintain or increase production in the future without jeopardizing the ecosystems from which it was acquired. The sustainable seafood movement has gained momentum as more people become aware about both overfishing and environmentally-destructive fishing methods. That’s the short version.
The long version is what I learned last week when I attended The Seafood Summit at Bluewater Grill in Tustin where Logan Kock of Santa Monica Seafood, in partnership with Monterey Bay Aquarium, discussed Seafood Sourcing and Sustainability and Marine Stewardship and Aquaculture; and David Anderson, biologist at the Aquarium of the Pacific, followed up with A Vision of Seafood Sustainability in the Future.
Talking points included:
* the Seafood Watch rating system that Santa Monica Seafood and Monterey Bay Aquarium are developing specifically for foodservice establishments
* ratings are based on not just species, but specific area and method of catch as well as seasonality
* better fish farm systems have been developed
* how farming takes the pressure off the wild salmon species
* many of the environmental issues surrounding fish farm systems are decades old and have been resolved with better practices yet continue to influence consumer choices, specifically choosing wild salmon over farmed
* responsible farming is what’s going to save wild species
* monitoring agencies have led to better feed conversion ratios, rotating pens, etc.
And so much more….
Mind boggling, but let’s get to why Bluewater Grill is This Week’s Obsession!
David Anderson, Aquarium of the Pacific, mentioned that “Bluewater Grill is the only restaurant that offers full sourcing disclosure on its extensive selection of fish and is committed toward solutions for our oceans.”
During the talks we sampled Bluewater Grill’s Manhattan and New England Clam Chowder and a cedar plank selection of 4 different kinds of salmon: Wild Sockeye, Wild King Salmon, Farm Raised Atlantic Salmon, and Farm Raised British Columbian King Salmon.
We moved to the oyster bar where Chef Brian Hirsty advised us on what to look for when selecting fish and ways to cook fish. (Video and post coming next week)
Jimmy Ulcickas, co-founder of Bluewater Grill discussed oyster species and sourcing and showed us how easy it is to shuck an oyster. We sampled Blue Points, Malpaque, Fanny Bay, Hammersley, and Kumomoto oysters. I’ll have an entire post dedicated to oysters next week; until then – do you like oysters, if so, what’s your favorite (s)?
With Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, why not make a commitment to sustainable seafood!
Photos courtesy of Sophia’s Choice