Why is imported seafood so cheap? – July 17, 2016

Why is 90% of all seafood consumed in the United States imported?
Because it’s cheap.

Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated fishing is rampant around the globe, with estimates as high as 25% of all worldwide catch. This means that fish is illegally harvested without cost to the pirates. These same vessels are often actually crewed by slaves. Stealing all raw material and having no labor cost is a brilliant business model for cheap seafood. But who would ever knowingly buy such a thing?

The way to stop such heinous crimes is to demand traceability. Michael Dimin was in Washington, DC last week with a team briefing Congress on the importance of the new U.S. rules to be implemented later this year on seafood traceability. A study performed by James E. Griffin, professor of culinary studies at Johnson and Wales University, surveyed 90 chefs and 86 deemed seafood sustainability either “important” or “extremely important.” However, the survey found that chefs don’t always check if the seafood they order is sustainable. “I was really startled by the data on Asia. It held up across the study that chefs have a strong aversion to Asian seafood,” Griffin said. Mexico recently suspended shrimp imports from Indonesia following the finding of Myonecrosis Infectious Virus (IMNV) while Indonesian shrimp freely pass into the U.S. Not asking means not knowing, means being part of a supply chain supporting dreadful practices. Know where your fish comes from.


Bluefish on ice in Wellfleet, MA


Red Grouper, Mutton Snapper, and Black Grouper on the dock at Cudjoe Key


We are hearing of large schools of both Bluefish and Yellowfin Tuna from the Montauk to the Gulf of Maine. In Beaufort, Vermillion and Pink Snapper are now jumping, while the boys at Cudjoe in the Florida Keys are landing beautiful Black Grouper and Mangrove Snapper. Shaping up as a beautiful summer season up and down the east coast.

All the best,

from the Dimin Family and the Sea to Table team

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