Friday, March 22, 2013

Out of Town!

Hey there! I've been a bit busy with work, but don't worry, I didn't forget about Snow Crab Love! I was out of town for a bit to attend a meeting in Seattle (for a Gulf of Alaska project which is also funded by North Pacific Research Board! Hollah!), so while I was there I made sure to eat lots of crustaceans!

you know you want to throw a fish around!

What was my most invertebrate-filled meal? That would have to be the bowl of Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) and oyster (I don't know which species) chowder with half of an Oregon bay shrimp (Pandalus jordani) sandwich! I went with some friends to Pike Place Chowder in Post Alley (no, we did not put gum on the Gum Wall. I can't believe I missed it!) and was not disappointed. The chowder was warm and delicious - perfect for a sunny spring day in Seattle - and the sandwich was loaded with little pink shrimp!

soup and a shrimpy sammie!

I've shared before that I don't normally eat shrimp because of the overwhelming bycatch that is often caught in trawl fisheries, but the Oregon bay shrimp fishery has its act together. The fishery runs from April 1 - October 31, which avoids the reproductive season of December through March (yay for making shrimp babies!). Best of all is that they use bycatch reduction devices (BRD) which allow fish to escape the net while shrimp are caught!

See how that lingcod and canary rockfish were able to just swim out and on their way instead of being smooshed into the codend with all the shrimp? Totally awesome! The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have a couple other videos of how BRDs work which are worth checking out here. What fishermen end up with is lots and lots of shrimp with few fish to sort out rather than a deckload of fish with a few shrimp scattered around!

catch vs bycatch:
just two small bins of non-targeted fish compared to all those baskets of shrimp!
(this is probably the happiest picture I've seen in terms of shrimp fishery bycatch -
the rest can be just heartbreaking)

This fishery is so good that the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program gave it the "Best Choice" label and the Blue Ocean Institute gave its bycatch a score of 3.75 out of 4! That, my friends, means happy eating for this gal!

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