Well, Legal Sea Foods’s CEO Roger Berkowitz hosted his much-anticipated, hotly debated unsustainable (billed as "blacklisted") seafood dinner last night, the rationale for which you can read all about here. The breakdown? Screw science! Berkowitz says sustainability is in his blood! Research simply cannot compete with this man’s DNA.
Per South Coast Today, Berkowitz declared: "I speak to fishermen and weigh what they say versus the scientists. Sustainability is in my DNA. I wake up and do it every day." Yes, Legal Sea Foods is Berkowitz’s family business. But that’s like saying we come from a long line of cardiologists and are therefore qualified to perform heart surgery.
South Coast Today quotes Berkowitz as previously insisting that environmental groups are basically overreaching. "They’re in existence just to keep themselves in existence," he’s quoted as saying. "They keep pushing limits. It’s just unfair." So basically, the sustainability scientists only really want to sustain … themselves.
Yesterday, the Herald weighed in to frame the brouhaha as a battle that "pits Berkowitz vs. angry bloggers," or a classic town-gown controversy pitting "calloused blue-collar fishermen out at sea vs. pampered white-collar foodies at their keyboards." (We’d like to humbly suggest that the finest food bloggers we know are not white-collar; they usually wear pajamas, thank you very much.)
Many bloggers chimed in on the Herald’s site that Berkowitz refuses to disclose the nature of his own scientific research, but he told Grub Street weeks ago that fishing legislation should be influenced by cutting-edge sonar technology developed by MIT and Northeastern for the Department of Homeland Security, which he says allows scientists to more accurately track fish populations.
The thing is, this might make even sense (and when Grub Street talked to Berkowitz, he explained his point clearly and fairly), but then the guy mentions his superior DNA and throws around words like "blacklisted," making the whole debate devolve into a war of semantics. Is there a research method by which to measure ego?
Berkowitz vs. Bloggers [Herald]
Legal Sea Foods Serves Up Protest Dinner [South Coast Today]