Tag Archives: fish

Have you tried opah? A sustainable, locally caught fish

My new favorite locally caught fish, the opah (also called moonfish), is a mystery. We know they weight 100+ pounds, are beautiful, and are becoming very popular. From Mike Lee:

Opah have something of a cult following partly because of their tasty meat and partly because of their odd appearance.

But, they are such a rare catch for fishermen that little is known about them, again from Mike Lee:

What little scientists know about opah suggests they are a highly migratory species that can quickly travel long distances. Research also shows opah dive hundreds of meters deep during the day, then come closer to the surface at night. Various opah species are found in the world’s oceans, and Owyn Snodgrass said they may live off California’s coast year round.

They are fascinating and, for now, a sustainable source of seafood. To try it stop by your local sustainable seafood store.

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National Geographic: thousands fish (and eat) from the extremely toxic Anacostia River

In case you thought no one fished (and ate the fish) in the Anacostia River, here is an article from National Geographic:

Fishermen were casting their lines into the urban waters of Washington, D.C., into a river notorious as one of the dirtiest in the nation. What’s more, according to a recent study, they represented a small fraction of the 17,000 or more residents of this metropolitan area who are consuming fish from a river that has all the markings of a Superfund site.

Sometimes you just can’t believe it, the article even says that a sewer line directly dumps a billion gallons of human waste every year.

Yeah, the river really needs help.

 

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Wooden surfboards are on the rise – interview with Spirare Surfboards: Kevin Cunningham

Just a few questions from the Liquid Salt interview:

 

Tell us a little about yourself. What is your background?
I was born in Baltimore and spent summers growing up in Ocean City Maryland. I moved to Rhode Island to attend the Rhode Island School of Design in 2000. I started shaping boards while I was still a student in 2002 and was hooked on the experience of shaping and riding my own boards. I kept shaping more and more boards for myself and eventually friends were asking for them too. I was turned off by the negative environmental aspects of the polyurethane foam and resin though. I began to look for more sustainable means to shape boards while maintaining a high performance standard, and being an artist the aesthetics of the boards is important to me too.

What’s next for Kevin Cunningham and Spirare?
I’ve been working with reclaimed found marine debris lately. I am currently using fishing nets and lines that wash up on the beach to make fins and accessories. It’s amazing how much trash you can find on the beach when you start to look for it. I hope to develop more uses for this material in the coming months too. Other than that I’m going to keep shaping as many boards as I can and push the performance of my shapes as far as possible.

 

Keep reading: Liquid Salt - Spirare: Kevin Cunningham

 

You had me at Baltimore…and the wealth of ocean trash. So far I’ve found a kayak paddle, three leashes, wetsuit, several sand-toy sets, and a nail file – Ocean Recycling!

 

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After surfing treats – from the 50s-60s to today

Every week I read the surf column from local surf legend, Corky Carroll, and this week I was delighted to find him musing about the ideal after-surf food. For young whippersnappers, like me, these stories let you know how long surfers have been catching waves and scarfing afterwards.

Enjoy Corky’s stories and afterwards I’ll share my modern-day favorites.

Whenever the subject turns to hanging out at the Huntington Beach Pier in the ’50s and ’60s, somebody always mentions “strips.” I mentioned them right here not long ago myself.

Strips were these fairly soggy and extremely greasy tortilla pieces that were drowned in some sort of cheese substitute and a kind of catsup with a hint of Tabasco. We all loved them for an after-surfing snack. I am not sure what kind of nutritional value they had, but at that time nobody cared about that stuff.

I was sitting at the Sugar Shack not long ago woofing down a stack of their amazing pancakes and thinking that there just is not a much tastier after-surf breakfast than that, especially with a side of bacon to go along with it.

There have always been those certain little taste treats that stick out in your taste-bud memory banks. I remember the Helms bread truck that came down our street every afternoon at about 4 o’clock. It had the most amazing cream puffs known to man. I would beg my mom for the 12 cents. They also had a good glazed donut for a nickel and chocolate and maple bars for a dime. But the ultimate was the cream puff.

Before the Sugar Shack, there was Poor Richards around the corner on Pacific Coast Highway…

 

Keep readingIf not for surfing, it might be called Scarf City

 

For the best seafood, like fish tacos, burritos, tuna tartare, even a grilled artichoke – check out Bear Flag Fish Company.

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Careers on the ocean

A post from Aaron Hartmann, a marine biologist, describes some of diverse of ocean-related jobs out there:

Fisheries observers: Want to improve your sea legs? Fisheries observers live aboard fishing boats and ensure that the animals being harvested are big enough and not in numbers exceeding legal catch limits. Their work is critical for managing ocean harvesting in order to ensure that we don’t drive species to extinction.

Oceanographer: Open-ocean ecosystems, deep-sea communities, hydrothermal vents, oxygen minimum zones, garbage patches, currents, winds, and global seawater circulation—oceanographers do it all (not surprising given their title).

Engineers: Submarines, remote sensing buoy systems, remotely operated underwater vehicles and ocean-scanning satellites—engineers make them all. Thanks to their work, we are constantly going deeper and farther, discovering more about the ocean’s unknowns.

Aquarist: The survival of animals that live in public aquariums worldwide depends on professional aquarists. These people know more about what makes marine critters happy than anyone else, and I know this from experience. Working alongside aquarists at Birch Aquarium, I’ve learned an incredible amount about corals over the past few years.

via Science Minded (w/ 4 more careers)

The case of the missing fish – why local seafood doesn’t exist

San Diego’s famous spiny lobsters are disappearing from…San Diego.

It’s partially a simple case of supply and demand. Lobster lovers in other markets—from L.A. to China—have a bigger demand, and they’re willing to pay for it.

“Our home consumer is getting priced out,” explains Catalina Offshore Products fishmonger Tommy Gomes. “A couple years ago, lobsters were $7 per pound. Now it’s $17 to $19. I’ve never seen such high prices.”

America’s high sustainability standards also drive up prices. Fishing is limited to specified areas, during specified months. Quotas are tight. Spiny lobster can only be harvested using one trap on one fishing line. “In some parts of the world,” says Paddy Glennon, vice president of sales at Santa Monica Seafood, “you can find 100 traps on one line across three miles.”

The goal of such restrictions—long-term survival of a crucial food source—is both admirable and necessary.

Lobster isn’t the first local delicacy to hop a red-eye out of San Diego.

“San Diego used to be the tuna capital of the world, but the exodus of the tuna fleet occurred when it became dolphin safe,” says American Tuna’s Natalie Webster. “Now 84 percent of the fish the U.S. consumes is imported; we can’t compete with tuna processed in Thailand or third-world countries since we don’t pay people 25 cents a day.”

Ultimately, the consumer will decide whether keeping local food in town is worth the cost. It’s not an easy sell, especially to Americans, who only spend 9.8 percent of their income on food—the lowest, globally.

“We are a culture that relishes cheap products, including seafood,” says Gomes. “To save money, Americans are eating third-world frozen fish with phosphates and glazed with chemicals.”

via San Diego Magazine

At the market – in season – March the beginning of Spring

I found a fantastic column from writer Carol Golden in San Diego Magazine. “At the Market – what to watch for this month:”

March is a transitional month, like pubescence for produce. We’re tired of root veg, but strawberries haven’t come of age. Thanks be to peas—the hint of light, sweet green we crave as days grow warmer. Eat whole sugar snaps raw, chop into salad, or lightly steam. For English peas, channel your inner grandma and sit with a bowl to shell them. Add the peas and a little water to a skillet, cook until the water evaporates. Or live dangerously with a knob of butter and sea salt. Sauté briefly, eat, and smile. Spring is almost here.

Keep reading for a CSA from Poppa’s Fresh Fish company – $25 for a box (25% off retail)  of local fish, mixed fish, shelled fish, or simply wild salmon.

And, Claravale Farm is bringing their raw milk to the dairy desert of Southern California. Did you know that it is near impossible to find milk, cheese, ice cream, or butter at farmers markets in Orange County and San Diego?

Well the milk man is back, at least at one farmers market in San Diego!

Have you heard of the California Delta? – A summary of the issues and politics

86% of Southern Californians are unaware of the Delta

Nearly four out of five Californians do not know what the Delta is, despite the fact that the estuary of 1,000 square miles provides drinking water for cities from San Jose to San Diego.

Asked in a new statewide poll to share what, if anything, they know about the Delta, 585 of the 750 people surveyed in late January said they hadn’t heard about it or didn’t know about it.

That’s 78 percent.

“I have not heard about it,” one respondent said. “If it is the bill about weapons control, it is (expletive). Every person in the world should have the right to keep and bear arms.”

Said another: “It is the oil line from Canada to the United States,” likely a reference to the Keystone pipeline in the news lately.

Yet another respondent thought the surveyor was talking about a political candidate.

In Southern California, eighty-six percent of southlanders pleaded ignorance when asked about the Delta.

via California’s best kept secret?

 

23 million Californians rely on its drinking water

The California Delta is the largest estuary in the western United States, surpassed nationally only by the Mississippi River Delta. It borders the cities of Stockton and Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. Over 23 million Californians rely on the delta watershed for drinking water, and it’s water diversions sustain the largest agricultural industry in the nation.

Today’s delta faces such challenges as wildlife-habitat restoration, water rights, housing development, and politics. Complicating these issues, aging levees throughout the low-lying region threaten a disaster of national proportions—and with that prospect, the very future of the California Delta.

via California Delta Chamber & Visitors Bureau

 

This November, 2012, voters face a billion dollar ballot for the California Delta

Water, in California, is a fighting word. This week, the war drums are beating louder as regulators rush to present a flurry of water plans to the public.

The cascade of decisions dictating how the state replumbs its water-distribution system, including possible construction of a canal or tunnel to move water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, moves to a new stage Wednesday (Feb 29, 2012). That’s when state officials will unveil thousands of pages of documents on the studied effects of such a canal on the delta ecosystem, on water quality for humans, for fish and farmers (which are all different).

The goal is to balance the needs of the cities, farms and fish and meet legal requirements of five state and federal agencies and the Endangered Species Act.

There is money in the $11.1 billion water bond on the November California ballot for delta restoration, but none for construction of an estimated $23 billion to $54 billion “conveyance.”

The governor’s plan is to have the users of the south-of-the delta exported water – Southern California, as well as some Santa Clara and Alameda counties water agencies, cover the cost. Southern California water agencies are already grumbling that the project envisioned ignores what ratepayers are willing to pay for a reliable water source.

via California Delta water plan requires transparency

 

The U.S. Congress is getting involved as well

The California water wars go to a new battlefield this week (Feb 27, 2012) – the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

On Wednesday, the House is scheduled to vote on a bill authored by Tulare Republican congressman Devin Nunes.

H.R. 1837 would relax water pumping restrictions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. But the Delta groups says the restrictions have been the last line of defense for protecting water quality for Delta farming and urban users.

A coalition of 190 environmental, environmental justice, tribal and fishing organizations from around the state also sent comments in opposition to H.R. 1837 to Mr. Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

via Delta groups urge defeat of water rights revamp

Test your fear of sharks… is it necessary?

 

Do these pictures make your heart beat fast?

Do you feel a terror?

 

 

 

Or, do you feel like getting a closer look?

Like, it’s nothing more than a big fish?

 

For they are just that, and gentle as well, called Basking Sharks – they are 40-foot long docile giants.

Take a look at their mouths to see how they feed, by filtering water.

They are twice as large as Great White Sharks.

 
 

// Photos – jidanchaomiancandichecandiche 2Hermésetee //

Trying to foster a recovery in Basking Sharks – the 40-foot docile giants

An electronic ID tag from a rare shark spotted off the (San Diego) county coast in June has popped to the surface near Hawaii, providing local marine researchers with an unprecedented look into the long-distance movements of the second-largest known fish.

“I would characterize it as an avalanche of data,” said Van Sommeran said Monday.

Basking sharks have almost disappeared from the West Coast, but biologists at the National Marine Fisheries Service in La Jolla found two last year and outfitted them with satellite-based tracking devices in hopes of learning more about where they roam.

Agencies in Canada, Mexico and the United States are trying to safeguard basking sharks, which once gathered near the coastline by the hundreds or thousands. In recent years, however, sightings have dwindled and biologists have speculated that as few as 300 swim along the West Coast.

While basking sharks have gaping mouths and can grow up to 40 feet, they aren’t a threat to people. They are filter feeders that consume large volumes of zooplankton.

via Shark’s journey a first for science