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Seafood project feedback
Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:38 pmNewbie "Fry Cook" Poster
I'm thinking about engaging in a project, and I'd like some feedback on whether, as seafood lovers, you think this would be useful.
I spent three years at sea in both Alaska and Hawaii as a federal scientist monitoring and sampling commercial fisheries, including cod, flatfish, pollock, tuna, mahi mahi etc, etc. As I climbed the NOAA fish ladder (sorry, couldn't resist), I spent a large portion of my professional life creating conservation and management programs for most of the fisheries off Alaska. For the last five years, I've managed a trade group, helping a group of forward-thinking fishermen get the biggest bang for their buck, while addressing many of the conservation issues that have plagued their industry for years.
Even with my experience, I'm confused with the food choices I'm faced with every time I visit the local grocery store or my favorite restaurant. For a consumer that cares about the food I put in my body, I want to know how that food was produced, its effect on the environment, and it's nutritional value. For someone with these concerns, it's not easy to choose between organic, farm raised chicken and wild caught Pacific cod.
For some reason, seafood receives increased public scrutiny, and the seafood consumer gets conflicting advice from all over the place. However, when we weigh the overwhelming positive benefits of seafood consumption and production with the negative aspects of other proteins, the choice is really much simpler than we've been led to believe.
I'm thinking about writing a book that will simplify the issue for seafood consumers. Some of the topics I'm thinking about covering include:
-A broad look at fishing, with a focus United States fisheries and the successes we've achieved in domestic waters.
-A brief description of the nutritional value of seafood. Lots has been written about this topic, so I'd probably just summarize much of this information.
-The business of environmentalism, the business of commercial scale fisheries, and the balance achieved in how fisheries are conducted.
-The real environmental impacts of large scale fishing versus other land-based protein sources such as beef or chicken.
-Explanation for what so many of eco-lable programs exist, and simplification of these programs. Examples include the Marine Stewardship Council or Friends of the Sea.
-Success stories. Stories of real fishermen and women, some of whom come from a long line of fishing families, and are concerned about their livelihood for generations to come.
-Links to videos showing where your seafood comes from.
As my potential audience, I'm really hoping that you'll take the time to provide me with some feedback. Consider the following few questions:
-Would this information be useful to me as a seafood consumer?
-Are there other resources which you already draw this information from?
-Are there any other topics that you're interested in or confused about and would like clarification?
Thank you in advance for your help and interest!
Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:50 amNewbie "Fry Cook" Poster
Yes it could be very useful project!!!i think it will be innovation in something new way!!!you are thinking certainly out of the box!!!
Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:33 amForum Host
Whyseafood, very, very interesting.
I live in South Africa, and we face the exact same issues.
To comment on the points you mention: I think you range too widely in your topics -- you have 2 books covered in those topics!
One book could be (I cannot see your comments as I write this, so I'm probably leaving out salient points) about the purely commercial and ecological aspects and problems, and the future of the fishing industry, plus the incredible importance of fish as a food source the world over.
I would suggest that the stories of the fisherfolk who have been fishermen for generations, and what they have to tell us, should be a 2nd book! That should be fascinating, especially if it can be illustrated with photos. There's so much history in that!
(I've just read a great article in the June National Geographic Magazine about the "last Viking whalers" on the islands off the coast of Norway. That's just by the way ... )
Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:30 amFood.com Groupie
I wish I've seen this thread earlier. I agree most of us are not very knowledgeable when it comes to seafood. I would like to see comprehensive list of where different fish comes from including their various names. Cod is an example. Depending on where you live or where the fish comes from, they are different.
Since I eat lots of different fish and seafood as my main protein source, the quality and whether farmed or wild is important to me.
Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:22 amFood.com Groupie
I think your ideas are wonderful. But, I do think you are covering too much. 2-3 books could be involved in all the issues.
The problem is. Each area, world wide differs. Varying environmental impacts, Various species, and different cultures.
I'm pretty knowledgeable re fish; and there are many different species within the same family for Cod or Flounder, Grouper, Snapper, etc. This causes many problems when it comes to marketing. The same with salmon, trout, coho, chinook ... and the list goes on.
For marketing purposes, stores may sell it as COD or Salmon, but in reality, it may be in the same family; but not the same species. This happens all around the world.
So, trying to educate people on the types of fish can be very difficult.
Then safety and environmental issues are also difficult. Levels of mercury, safety, toxins in shellfish such as G. breve, common in the gulf; but many other issues. Then, every persons health can be different; so, it is very much a contradiction.
I think your overall idea is great; but, I would find it very difficult to write generically. I think that each area that you addressed can vary depending on the area of the world you are addressing.
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