Catherine Schmitt's blog

Scallop Spring

After a lovely meal of diver-harvested Maine sea scallops at The Salt Exchange, I am making a note to myself to eat more scallops before the season in Maine waters ends March 27.

Oysters: Good News, Bad News on the Half-Shell

Within 24 hours of the latest Fathoming feature, about a harmful disease that now threatens Maine’s oyster industry, national news wires sizzled with reports of a study in the February issue of the journal BioScience. A survey of oyster reefs around the world found that 85% of oyster habitat has disappeared.

Sardine Story Sneak Preview

I've been working on a story about sardines since last April, when Bumble Bee Foods announced the closure of the Stinson Seafood factory, the last sardine cannery in the United States. As newspaper headlines across the country announced "the end of an era," I began my own pursuit of the enigmatic sardine. I won't give away the story here--readers will have to wait for its appearance in Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine.

Shrimpin' Season

Maine shrimp made the front page of today’s style section in the Bangor Daily News. Reporter Emily Burnham wrote a nice feature of this native seafood, including a handful of recipes. The timing aligns with Northern shrimp season, which began in December and runs until April.

Fishing Community Resilience: An Interview with Dr. Teresa Johnson

Teresa Johnson is an assistant professor of marine policy in the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine. She is currently working on a research project funded by Maine Sea Grant to evaluate vulnerability and resilience of Maine fishing communities. Salarius spoke with Dr.

Today Show comes clean on contaminated seafood imports

I doubt that NBC's Jeff Rossen read my blog post about the lack of coverage of seafood imports, but his November 17 story on the risks associated with imported seafood--80% of the seafood Americans eat--is a good step toward filling the gap in consumer awareness. Despite the panic-inducing tone to the "investigative report," the reality is that it is getting easier to find out where your seafood comes from.

Is Gulf of Mexico seafood safe to eat? A footnote.

After my latest post about eating Gulf of Mexico seafood, reports surfaced about contamination in shrimp veins. Seafood testing protocols use shelled, deveined shrimp when they analyze for petroleum. One Gulf resident, realizing that local food culture often involves cooking shrimp whole, veins in and shells on, took some whole shrimp for testing which did find petroleum compounds in the veins. The lesson here?

Is Gulf of Mexico seafood safe to eat?

During my trip to the Gulf Coast, I ate a catfish po’boy from Parkway Bakery, oysters Rockefeller, garlic shrimp washed down by Abita ale, pan-fried black drum at Jacques-Imo’s, fried shrimp at the legendary Florabama road house, and a melt-in-your-mouth tapas of red snapper from the

The Beach Gets a Deep Clean

GULF SHORES, AL - Arrived here Wednesday night, after stopping at the legendary Florabama roadhouse. In the morning, on the beach in front of the hotel, was a BP oil cleanup crew. Workers in yellow rubber boots duct-taped to their jeans stood in a line, watching the sand as tractors and sifters graded and sifted the sand. To the side, four-wheelers and carts stood by with plastic bags and nets, in case anyone saw any oil.

A Note on the S Word

I refuse to use the word “spill” when discussing or writing about the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, death of 11 people (now 12, if you include the related suicide of a fisherman), and resulting uncapped, uncontrolled emission of oil from the sea floor.

Sea Grant Response to the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Extension and outreach is a big part of Sea Grant. The very nature of extension is to get information to the people on the coast, and to bring information and research needs from the people on the coast to the researchers and government scientists whose job it is to address the needs of the public. Because Sea Grant isn’t a regulatory agency, we have the flexibility to respond to sudden needs, which is exactly what happened after the hurricanes and the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

Reporting from the Gulf Coast

by Catherine Schmitt

A few months ago I wrote a story (with Heather Deese) about potential effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on the Gulf of Maine. One of the reasons why I wrote this story was to remind people that the seas and gulfs of the world are one big ocean. That’s why Earth is called The Blue Planet. The oceans are connected by currents and jet streams, and the birds, fish, and mammals who travel between them.

Hyper-local Sushi

25 September 2010

by Catherine Schmitt

Rockland, ME: After a round of mojitos and Pemaquid oysters on the deck of The Pearl, we headed for an early dinner at

Suzuki’s Sushi Restaurant

The owner, Keiko Suzuki, is a woman who knows where her fish comes from. The servers will tell you, for example, that the mackerel special is from fish caught by Suzuki’s husband off the Rockland breakwater that morning.

Salarius: a Maine Sea Grant blog about seafood, science, and the sea.

Salarius means "of salt" in Latin. This is a blog about things that are of salt: Maine seafood, science, and the sea. Because salt once constituted a form of currency, Salarius also refers to salt money, an allowance, pay. The ocean pays back, sustains us; it provides food, oxygen, and a livelihood for the people of Maine past, present, and (hopefully) future. The views and opinions expressed here do not represent the views and opinions of NOAA, Sea Grant, or the University of Maine. Corrections, questions, and comments should be directed to Catherine Schmitt.

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