We understand that educating our customers on different aspects of the seafood
industry is imperative to the future of this industry as a whole. Today, that education is based
on the underutilized species we carry in our store that are so very underappreciated, whilst
being equally as tasty as other, more popular seafood options.
Underutilized refers to several things, but generally has to do with the health level of a
fish stock as well as current fishing pressure versus price, demand and visibility in the market.
Unfortunately, the common thread that all underutilized species share is the lack of visibility
due to the perception that consumers will not purchase that particular type of fish.
Although fisherman may be able to catch said fish, if the demand is not there, their
catch cannot be sold and unfortunately, without money security these fishermen will not bring
these types of fish in, as it is a matter of economic survival. This factor really determines what
fisherman catch and ultimately bring to the market. Simply put, supply and demand.
That’s where we come in! If we can educate our consumers on these underutilized
species and get rid of the thought that haddock is the be-all and end-all in terms of great fish,
we are really doing the environment some good, our health remains the same because these
fish are equally as healthy, and it gives the fisherman more to work with too. As we see it, it’s
good all around.
In essence, consumers really hold the power to the future of fishing. What you
purchase directly effects what fisherman spend their time fishing on and what fisherman spend
their time fishing on, directly effects the future of our ocean. Of course, having laws that
dictate how much of a certain species of fish can be fished also helps the health levels of fish
stocks too, but understanding that your choices have an impact is important as well.
So, what are some underutilized species that we carry? First off, Atlantic Pollock! We
know it isn’t that bright white flesh, like haddock, which may be why some people steer clear,
but it cooks up white, and is a mild white fish just like haddock. Actually, we find it better in
some respects as the flake is larger, so it doesn’t fall apart as easy.
Monkfish is another underappreciated and underutilized species. It is known for having
a texture similar to lobster or scallops, which makes it useful in terms of mimicking lobster rolls,
or even a special scallop dish, without the price tag. Win-win we would say.
Last but most certainly not least, we would like to highlight skate! Although skate may
look a little odd, it is good eatin’. Perhaps it is underutilized due to its looks. When we can get
fresh skate wings in our store, we do! Some people are frightened by the ridges that the wings
have, but it’s just cartilage and it cooks up to a very nice texture, regardless!
We would love to diminish the negative connotations that seem to surround
underutilized species. Underutilized species do not equate to lack of taste, or health.
Underutilized species are imperative for the future of our ocean. A lot of the same recipes you
use to cook haddock, can be used with a number of underutilized species. We ask that you
please step outside your comfort zone and give some of these options are try, we think you will be
pleasantly surprised with what you find!