As the east coast is blanketed by two feet of snow, after a Christmas of seventy degrees, one can’t help think about changing weather patterns as scientists declare 2015 exceeding 2014 as the hottest year ever recorded. Waters off Cape Cod are warming at twice the predicted rate, and fish populations are changing rapidly as well.
2015 also saw salmon pass shrimp as the world’s most traded seafood. Farmed shrimp, farmed salmon plus canned tuna and farmed tilapia make up more than two thirds of all seafood consumed in the US. As American consumers grow in appreciation of wild seafood as a healthier protein, our seafood choices need to expand.
In New England waters once teeming with cod, fishermen are finding different species. Boston Mackerel have been abundant far later than normal this winter, in such great numbers that our friends at the Cape Cod Fisherman’s Alliance have been donating locally-caught mackerel to local families in need. Chatham Fisherman Willie Ligenza said he was proud to be a part of the program. “It means everything, it’s my freedom to be able to provide fish to people,” said Ligenza. “It’s what I do. It’s why I do, what I do.” We have been processing and freezing these as well as MSC certified Atlantic Spiny Dogfish that have become the largest volume catch landed in these waters. There is a concerted effort to build demand for these underloved species. Sustainable, affordable, healthy and delicious fish supporting an iconic fishing community; a win for fishermen, chefs, and diners.
Fishing is America’s most dangerous profession, something that Oregon’s Port Orford community is experiencing first hand. Tuesday night, the F/V Eagle III capsized, and all but one crew member lost their lives. Aaron Longton, one of the fishermen of Port Orford, has set up a GoFundMe campaign to support the families impacted.
We received the following email on Friday:
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Aaron Longton <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 1:34 PM
Subject: Eagle III Memorial Fund
It is with a heavy heart we share news of this loss to our community. Commercial fishing is inherently dangerous. Fisherfolk traverse the ocean in a quest for adventure and a paycheck to support their family. It is in their blood. Please join us in thoughts and prayers for the families of the lost.
In response to many of you reaching out offering your help and generosity we have set up the Eagle III Memorial Fund to aid the families affected by this tragic accident.
There will certainly be tough times ahead.
Thank You, May peace and grace rule the days ahead.
Wishing all safe passage on land and at sea,
from the Dimin Family and the Sea to Table team