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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Today in Fishes

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 1:16 PM

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To begin with, we need to address this tidbit from the O regarding Monteray Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, and their new rating of “Oregon Salmon”:

The Monterey Bay Aquarium's popular "Seafood Watch" guide is advising shoppers and commercial fish buyers to avoid wild-caught salmon from Oregon and California, saying the population of salmon that originates in the Sacramento River and migrates into Oregon waters is too depleted to eat.

Oh no! There’s just one teensy problem: Oregon fisheries support salmon that run north from the Sacramento river (these are depleted) as well as fish originating from points north of the Sacramento river, including the Klamath, Rogue, and Columbia rivers (these are not depleted).

Considering how much influence the yearly Seafood Watch report and wallet cards have on consumers and major seafood buyers alike, the lack of distinction between Sacramento and non-Sacramento salmon has cheesed-off many a fisherman. It’s a problem that Seafood Watch director Ed Cassano is planning to address… Kind of:

Cassano said the aquarium will modify its advice for commercial fish buyers to clearly distinguish between the Columbia and Sacramento catches. The cards are too small for that distinction, he said, but the aquarium encourages consumers to question retailers and restaurant servers on the nuances.

And we all know there’s nothing more pleasant than questioning retailers and servers “on the nuances.”

MEANWHILE in Louisiana

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The continuing devastation of the BP oil spill isn’t just wreaking havoc on marine habitat; it’s wreaking havoc on the nation’s hearts, minds, and stomachs as far as Gulf seafood is concerned. Great food minds of our times! Assemble! (Or at least some of the most visible and famous.) From KATC.com:

They are James Beard award winners, Food Network stars, Top Chef consultants, and providers of some of some of the most prized dishes in the country, and they had a single message - stop worrying about Gulf of Mexico seafood, and buy it.

Among the food gang there assembled was Chef Tom Colicchio, who made a promise to begin buying Gulf seafood instead of the Atlantic seafood he usually serves in his restaurants. Also present were members of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, who said 70 percent of Gulf fisheries remain safe and open.

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