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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.