Get Used To Farm-Raised Fish

[Above: wild local salmon at Farallon in San Francisco]

Another depressing bit of seafood news: Following on the heels of our general freakout over the likely shut-down of the West Coast salmon season, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a follow-up article today insinuating that the entire California and Oregon salmon fishing industry is on the verge of collapse. From the Chronicle:

Barbara Emley, 64, who has run a commercial fishing boat with her husband out of Fisherman’s Wharf since 1985, said salmon makes up about 70 percent of her annual income.

“We’ll probably try crabbing longer, but if everyone shifts from salmon to crab, there will be more competition,” she said. “I think we can survive the year, but I’m afraid it will go on.”

If the crisis continues, she said, it could spell the end of a unique, nomadic culture of people who love the sea.

The basic point of this article and various other general hand-wringing in the blogosphere, is that we’re going to have to get used to farm-raised salmon this year, and possibly for many years to come. Depressing.

But the Chronicle also quoted a chef who simply wouldn’t use farm-raised.

“We’ll stay away from salmon for a while,” said Ryan Simas, the head chef atFarallon restaurant on Union Square. “I will definitely not use farmed salmon.”

Paul Johnson, the president of Monterey Fish Market, a high-end seafood wholesaler at Pier 33 in San Francisco, with a retail market in Berkeley, said things won’t be the same without local salmon.

“Oh man, I’m telling you the king (chinook) salmon is the icon in the Bay Area; this is going to be devastating to the economy,” he said. “It’s put everyone on edge. A lot of small-boat fishermen are going to go out of business.”

Okay, we promise to lay off this topic for a while, but it seems like a very big deal, even if you don’t live on the West Coast. Farm-raised salmon made headlines last year when the Washington Post reported that some fish food may have been tainted with the same chemical that caused that massive pet-food recall. And since the farmed stuff may be all you get soon enough, well, maybe you should develop a taste for tuna. Oh, wait.

Threat of closing jolts fishing industry [SF Chronicle]
So Long and Thanks for all the Fishing [The Grinder]
The King Of Sushi [CBS]
Farm-Raised Fish Given Tainted Food [Washington Post]
Farallon [MenuPages]
Farallon [Official Site]

Photo credit: Passionate Eater

Get Used To Farm-Raised Fish