Salarius means "of salt" in Latin. 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 pas, present, and (hopefully) future. For the authors of this blog, Salarius encompasses all things related to the ocean, the Maine Coast, and the people who live, work, and play here.
The Salarius blog has been running for nearly three years. In that time, I’ve covered the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico; the Boston Seafood Show; restaurants and festivals that serve Maine seafood; Sea Grant-funded research on seafood; lobster, oysters, shrimp, scallops, alewives, smelt, sardines, crab, eel, salmon, and sea vegetables; and the ever-elusive notion of “sustainable seafood.”
As saltwater fishing season gets underway, anglers may want to check on any changes to the rules about size and catch limits, and gear restrictions.
The National Marine Fisheries Service made no changes to Gulf of Maine species in their latest update on the status of federally-managed fisheries.
Today's post comes from marine extension associate Chris Bartlett. Chris is based in Eastport, and for the past few years he helped monitor populations of rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax), which is considered a species of special concern. As a result, Chris has learned a lot about these little fish. --CS
10. We can't trust our food. An estimated 10% of seafood is not the species it is sold or marketed as, and certain species are more likely to be false than others.
9. People are paying for more than they get - maybe 40% of the time.
8. Faking it is easy. Most of the seafood most of us buy and eat is in skinless, boneless, sometimes coated or breaded or otherwise concealed pieces, rather than whole. Processed fish is harder to evaluate "organoleptically."
As I prepare to head south to the Boston Seafood Show, where I'll be reporting for The Working Waterfront, I’ve been catching up on the latest national media stories on “sustainable seafood.” I don’t want to take an incredible bite only to find out that the fish I just sampled is not caught or raised “sustainably.”
Feeling the scallop season get a way from me, I’ve been in pursuit of fresh Placopectin magellenicus harvested from Maine waters by dayboat draggers and divers. But fresh, local seafood can be hard to find where I live in Bangor, within reach of the tide but 30+ miles from saltwater. Since I had a meeting Tuesday in South Portland, I knew I’d have the opportunity. But where to go?
Scallop season began on Sunday December 2 and runs through March 20. With new management measures in place, including closed areas, limited access to other areas, and reduced fishing days, the harvest may be lower this year and prices may be higher. Neither factor should be a deterrent to seeking out Maine scallops this season; it just means they are extra special.