In the United States:
Washington, DC – (November 12, 2004) Several of the nation’s top restaurants are teaming up with Seafood Choices Alliance and Caviar Emptor to celebrate Seafood Greetings, a holiday collection of luxurious, great-tasting seafood recipes that are good for us and the oceans.
Participating restaurants in 14 U.S. cities will be promoting ocean-friendly choices this holiday season, beginning right after Thanksgiving. The choices include American caviars, spot prawns, stone crabs, oysters, bay scallops and Alaskan Winter King salmon. Wild Edibles, the famed New York seafood marketplace and supplier, will also promote these excellent holiday seafood choices to all its customers, both chefs and consumers.
Participating restaurants include Restaurant rm (New York City), Restaurant Jean-Louis (Greenwich, CT), Restaurant Nora (Washington, DC), The Hayes Street Grill (San Francisco), The Rattlesnake Club (Detroit), Richmond Hill Inn (Asheville, NC), The Little Nell (Aspen), East West Bistro (Athens, GA), McCrady's Restaurant (Charleston, SC), Emily's Restaurant (Northville, MI), Opah Grille (Gladstone, NJ), The Herbfarm (Woodinville, WA), Rivers Restaurant (Portland, OR), Lark (Seattle), Higgins (Portland, OR).
Participants in Seafood Greetings agree: the holidays are the perfect time to draw attention to the plight of our oceans, and the decline of seafood populations around the world. Concerns about overfishing and habitat destruction have prompted many purveyors of seafood, both chefs and retailers, to seek sustainable seafood products for their customers to enjoy. Driving this environmentally conscious policy is a recent finding that only 10% of big fish are left in the world’s oceans. Often the most popular species are affected, including several varieties of tuna and swordfish. The rapid decline means that species like the threatened beluga sturgeon, source of beluga caviar, have seen their numbers decline by 90% in just the past 20 years.
“We’ve learned that our ocean’s resources are exhaustible, and that when a fish becomes overwhelmingly popular, it can cause that species’ population to collapse,” says Dawn M. Martin, executive director of SeaWeb. “By making better seafood choices today, we can help ensure that the bounty of the ocean can be enjoyed for generations to come.”
According to Chef Rick Moonen of Restaurant rm in New York City, “Quality, freshness, flavor, and sustainability are the criteria I use when choosing seafood. Often, these are inextricably linked. I've witnessed the quality of North Atlantic swordfish and beluga sturgeon caviar diminish, for instance, as these fish became scarce. To me, making choices that ensure a healthy supply of seafood makes the utmost business sense. That is why I choose ocean-friendly seafood like American caviar, stone crab and wild Alaskan salmon.”
Following are more details on the selected offerings for Seafood Greetings:
Spot prawns — The West Coast fisheries use traps,
which are less damaging than trawls to the seafloor and are associated
with less by-catch than other shrimp fisheries.
American caviars —Caviars from farmed white sturgeon, farmed paddlefish, farmed rainbow trout and wild Alaska salmon are produced via environmentally responsible methods and are popular alternatives to caviars from endangered Caspian Sea sturgeons. This year, CITES has reduced trade of Caspian caviar due to continued concerns about poaching and overfishing. A ruling from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that could further restrict the beluga caviar trade is expected in the coming months.
Stone crab — The stone crab fishery in Florida (or
South Atlantic) removes only one crab claw at a time, leaving the crab
able to regenerate a new one. Selective traps are used, which take little
bycatch and leave seafloor habitats unaffected.
Bay Scallops – Farmed scallops are harvested on suspended ocean lines that avoid much more destructive bottom-dredging practices.
Seafood Choices Alliance (www.seafoodchoices.org) seeks to bring ocean conservation to the table by providing the seafood sector—fishermen, chefs and other purveyors—with the information they need to make sound choices about seafood and provide the best options to their customers. Caviar Emptor (www.caviaremptor.org) is a program of SeaWeb, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Pew Institute for Ocean Science that seeks to protect and restore Caspian Sea sturgeon and to point consumers toward better caviar choices.
A complete listing of restaurant and retail contact information is included here. For interviews with chefs or spokespeople, please contact Stephanie Crane at 914-793-9400 or [email protected].
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