New England Fisheries

Happy National Seafood Month!

Diversifying your seafood choices can help promote healthy ocean ecosystems. Why not give dogfish a taste? Image via NOAA Fisheries.

October is National Seafood Month – have you celebrated yet?

National Seafood Month gives us the opportunity to recognize U.S. sustainable seafood as well as the hard work that goes into bringing delicious sustainable seafood to your plate. Thanks to a strong federal fisheries law, the U.S. has made significant strides in building sustainable fisheries. As of 2017, only 15 percent of stocks are overfished – the lowest number ever – and only 9 percent of stocks are subject to overfishing.

We need to keep our eye on the prize though because there is plenty of room for improvement, particularly in New England where we have more overfished stocks than all other regions combined. But there are still local seafood options that you can feel good about eating, and thanks to resources like the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and NOAA FishWatch, choosing sustainable seafood is easier than ever.

In honor of National Seafood Month, here are some recommendations and recipes for New England sustainable seafood:

Bluefish: A favorite summer fish, Seafood Watch lists bluefish caught by handline or hand pole-and-line as a “best choice” seafood, meaning it is well managed and has minimal impact on habitat and other wildlife. We can’t wait to try this recipe from NOAA FishWatch for Blackened Bluefish with Tropical Salsa.

Dogfish: Looking to expand your palate? Dogfish, also known as Cape Shark, is an underutilized species in the U.S. that is not overfished nor subject to overfishing. Many local groups and chefs have worked to increase dogfish marketability and have created many delicious recipes such as Grilled Dogfish Kebabs with Couscous and Salsa Verde and Roasted Dogfish with Red Curry and Bok Choy.

Haddock: A classic New England species, Seafood Watch lists haddock as a “good alternative.” The stock is healthy but there are concerns about the impact of fishing practices on other species. Haddock is a great option for fish tacos, which you can personalize with any combination of your favorite toppings. If you need some inspiration, check out this recipe for Easy Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime and Slaw.

So, Happy National Seafood Month to all – and remember, you can make sustainable seafood choices all year round!


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