March 10, 2017
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Sashimi-Grade Groundfish
Gulf of Maine Research Institute
The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), one of FishChoice's Sustainable Seafood Affiliates, just completed four workshops designed to build sashimi-grade markets for the region's seafood, much of which is groundfish. With funding support from the Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program, the goal of this work is to maximize the value of the seafood being harvested so fishermen can earn more money and consumers are offered higher quality seafood.

Although there are no official standards in the U.S. to apply the term 'sashimi-grade' to seafood, it is most commonly used to identify fish that has been killed and handled using the ike jime method. The GRMI workshop brought in experts to teach the various techniques of the ike jime method on how to properly paralyze, and kill fish in a way that preserves them best for raw seafood consumption later. 

The processing steps necessary for seafod to be consumed of raw seafood (either flash-frozen for 15 hours at -31F or 15 hours or frozen at -4F for seven days) in the U.S. require some expensive steps. However, the potential value increase justifies this step as an estimate for sashimi-grade mackerel is about $23/lb., compared to the $.14-$.20/lb. fishermen in the Gulf of Maine received for their catch last year. 

Several of FishChoice's Supplier Members also participated in these workshops, including Bristol Seafood, Downeast DayboatRed's Best, and Sea to Table. We currently don't identify any seafood on as sashimi-grade, but with the help of our supplier members, GMRI, and others, we wil explore this opportunity and share updates with you as they develop. 
Seafood Spotlight: Haddock
Seafood Spotlight: Haddock
Haddock is sold year-round; fresh whole, head-on, and headed and gutted; frozen whole headed and gutted, as skin-on fillets, and as blocks. Value-added haddock that’s breaded or smoked is also available.  Haddock’s thin connective tissue layer and finer flake differentiates it from cod. Haddock size differentiations are usually identified as snapper haddock (( 1.5lbs), scrod (1.5-2lbs.), and large(>2.5lbs). Haddock has a slightly sweet taste and lean, white meat that becomes whiter when cooked. Haddock Haddock can be used as a substitute for Atlantic cod, monkfish, or sea bass.

Key sustainability sourcing notes for haddock based on combining landings data from 2012-2016 and the most recent 2016 Seafood Watch assessments and MSC certifications:
  • ~90% of global haddock landings are from four countries (~35% Norway, ~30% Russia, ~15% Iceland, and ~10% U.K.) and Canada and U.S. make up ~3% and ~1% of global landings respectively
  • ~20% of global landings are MSC-certified
  • ~100% of U.S. landings are both MSC-certified and meet a Seafood Watch "Good Alternative (yellow)" rating
  • More than 95% of U.S. landings come through Massachusetts and ~90% of current landings are from Georges Bank stock and ~10% from Gulf of Maine stock
  • From 2012 to 2014, U.S. landings increased more than 200%, while global landings decreased ~33%
  • In 2015, U.S. landings of the combined haddock stocks was only ~20% of the total allowable catch (TAC)
Learn more details with our updated haddock sustainable seafood guide
Lotus Seafood Inc. - San Diego, California
Lotus Seafood Inc.
Lotus Seafood Inc. is a globally recognized seafood trader founded in 2006 in San Diego, California. Supplying a wide range of fresh and frozen seafood products to more than 20 countries worldwide, Lotus Seafood Inc. is committed to supporting global seafood sustainability with products that are fully traceable from sustainable sources. Lotus Seafood Inc. prides itself on products that are not just environmentally responsible, but are unique as well! Working with buyers to develop and design new value-added products, as well as to source harder to find species for them, their products include a diverse lineup of products that range from Nile perch and New Zealand hoki, to Japanese flying squid and red mullet. Beyond being committed to sustainable sourcing, Lotus Seafood Inc. has partnerships with a number of sustainability organizations and participates in a yellowfin tuna fishery improvement project. Read more...
Sustainable Seafood News of the Week
Ultra Low Opening Trawl Net Avoids Cod
(Foodtank, 3/11/17) 

Towards Sustainable Fishery Management for Peruvian Anchovy Fishery
(Feed Navigator, 3/17/2017)

Public May Have Say on Plan for Future of Maine Shrimp
(U.S. News & World Report, 3/15/2017)

Trump Proposal to Slash Sea Grant Would Hurt Seafood Industry Nationwide
(National Fisherman, 3/13/2017)

More Than 2,000 Acres of North Carolina’s Coast Closed to Shellfish Harvesting
(Port City Daily, 3/11/2017)

New Funding for Innovations in Aquaculture
(BBC News, 3/13/2017)

Investors Lose Millions in Spanish Tuna Farms
(Fish Farming Expert, 3/13/2017)

Subsea Salmon Farming Project Hits Snag
(Maritime Executive, 3/13/2017)

Replacing Farms With Fish Farms: The Odd Solution To Both Hunger And Climate Change
(Fast Company, 3/13/2017)

Whole Foods Market Announces New Sourcing Policy for Sustainable, Traceable Canned Tuna​
(Yahoo Finance, 3/15/2017)

Slavery at Sea Prompts Calls for New Ethical Seafood Labeling
(Food Navigator, 3/15/2017)

Canada Invests $325 Million in the Fish and Seafood Sector
(Government of Canada, 3/13/2017)

GSSI Steering Board Recognizes the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for the Scope of Fisheries Certification
(GSSI, 3/14/2017)

Seafood Organizations Around the Globe Urge Tokyo 2020 Olympics to go for “Sustainable Seafood Gold”
(Seafood Watch Blog, 3/10/2017)

I Want To Eat Fish Responsibly. But The Seafood Guides Are So Confusing!
(NPR, 3/15/2017)

Fishermen, Managers, Award-Winning Chefs, Council Members and Enviros Celebrate a Fishery’s Comeback
(West Coast Trawler's Network, 3/13/2017)
FishChoice creates solutions that accelerate sustainability in the global seafood industry. Our vision is a thriving and sustainable global seafood industry. 
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