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Geoduck - Hard to Say, but Big Business!

Here in the Pacific Northwest a clam called a geoduck – pronounced “gooey duck” – is the butt of many lewd comments because of its unusual shape. Actually, it’s just a case of outgrowing that way-too-small shell! Geoducks are the largest burrowing clam in the world, and Washington shellfish growers have only been raising them since 1991. And now nearly 800,000 pounds of them seem to be missing.
Read more: Geoduck – Hard to Say, but Big Business!

Breakup of Farms into 5-acre Farmettes Puts Shellfish at Risk

Shellfish production is a $100 million business in Washington, and Samish Bay contains many thousands of acres of shellfish farms. Nonpoint pollution, most often caused by agricultural runoff, has closed the shellfish beds repeatedly over the last several years. Now both Skagit County and the state of Washington are focusing on the problem.
Read more: Breakup of Farms into 5-acre Farmettes Puts Shellfish at Risk

Guess What Kind of Fish You're Eating?

Recent studies have found that seafood may be mislabeled as often as 25% to 70% of the time for fish like red snapper, wild salmon, and Atlantic cod, disguising species that are less desirable, cheaper or more readily available. There are more than 1,700 different species of seafood from all over the world now available for sale in the U.S. Could you tell what kind of fish is on your plate? Or, even harder, what’s in that fish stick or burger?
Read more: Guess What Kind of Fish You’re Eating?

Have We Seen the End of Overfishing in US Waters?

Steve Murawski, recently retired chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service, has happily announced that, for the first time in the documented history of commercial fishing, we have seen the end of overfishing in US waters.
Read more: Have We Seen the End of Overfishing in US Waters?

A Tale of Two Fish - Which Would You Rather Eat?

We are just beginning to understand that we may soon reach the end of the line – pun intended – for some of our “keystone” fish species: salmon, sea bass, cod and tuna. Top chefs in the US and Europe are pushing for sustainable seafood; “sustainable sushi” bars are popping up in cities across the country; and food service giants are offering sustainable seafood. But how is a discerning consumer going to find good quality, sustainable fish to purchase for his or her own table?
Read more: A Tale of Two Fish – Which Would You Rather Eat?

Frozen Fish Help Cool the Climate

The need for speed with perishable foods makes air cargo the only practical way to get fresh fish to customers an ocean away. But once the seafood is frozen, there’s no rush, and it can take a slow boat trip to market. Mile for mile, ton for ton, air cargo puts out at least 20 times more carbon dioxide than shipping at sea does. “Frozen-at-Sea” processing delivers perfect fish to retailers, restaurateurs, and consumers.
Read more: Frozen Fish Help Cool the Climate

Doing Business with a Handshake to Market Perfect Fish – Triad Fisheries

Even perfect fish don’t easily get from boat to table, there are stops along the supply chain. Mark Tupper, Triad Fisheries, does business the old-fashioned way: “I pay the fishermen as I sell the fish. Business is done with honor and with a handshake.” While no money is exchanged up front, Tupper is responsible to get the best price possible for the catch.
Read more: Doing Business with a Handshake to Market Perfect Fish – Triad Fisheries

Catching the Perfect Fish

Alive with shimmering color, a king salmon or lingcod is a beautiful fish as it comes out of the water. Keeping that freshness from the boat to the table is a skill that fishermen like Krist Martinsen and his sons, Olin and Karl, have learned.
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Fishing Vessel Constance, Sitka AK

Krist Martinsen and his sons, Olin and Karl, are troll fishermen on the Fishing Vessel Constance out of Sitka Alaska. Once you’ve seen the salmon or ling cod come off the F/V Constance, you’ll never look at seined or netted fish again.
Read more: Fishing Vessel Constance, Sitka AK

Clamming Up in Washington

Forget high tech, forget “Big Ag;” there are still hunter/gatherers at work on Washington’s Pacific coast. Pacific razor clams (Liliqua patula) grow wild on ocean beaches; they can’t be commercially grown in Puget Sound like oysters and other clams including geoducks. They are harvested with a bucket and a shovel, by hand.
Read more: Clamming Up in Washington