Here we all are in a new year! I hope everyone had a relaxing and celebratory holiday break. It’s time now to get back to eating local, fresh, sustainable seafood! Below are the share options for the week.
1) Pt. Reyes Miyagi Oysters
Each package contains 18 oysters. Farmed locally, these are among the best oysters on the West Coast. Miyagis are small with a deep cup and full meat. They strike a great balance between briny and sweet.
Oysters are crucial to our marine ecosystem. Not only do they gobble up lots of algae (think of your back bay becoming a dirty fish tank without them), but they are also natural filter feeders. Oysters filter approximately 30 to 50 gallons of water a day removing excess nutrients and allowing shrimp, clams, crabs, and snails to flourish. The cleaner water also enables more seagrass to grow, thus creating more habitat for rockfish and other aquatic species.
As I’ve said before, I think these oysters are excellent on their own. I’ll include a few recipes for those of you who would like to spice it up a bit, but I think you will be entirely satisfied – and likely begging for more – with nothing but a simple mignonette.
2) Live Manila Clams from Dabob Bay, Washington
Your share will include 2 pounds of live clams. If any clams are open, tap the shell and discard if the shells do not close.
Manila clams are native to the western Pacific, from southern Siberia to China. All Manila clams sold commercially are farmed. Cultivation begins in hatcheries where clam larvae are set on fine mesh screens. When seeds form, they are placed in containers that allow plankton-rich water to submerge and feed the clam seeds. Once the seeds have reached a sufficient size, they are put in mesh-bottomed trays and placed in nursery rafts in bays, where they feed naturally off the nutrients in the water. From there, they are laid on mesh sheets set on beaches, where the clams burrow through the mesh into the sand to grow to maturity. Once mature, they are dug out of the sand by hand or tractor and bagged for market.
3) Black Cod (refreshed), caught in Bodega Bay
Due to stormy winter weather, fishermen have not been able to get out frequently, so the black cod this week was caught and frozen earlier in the year (wait…I mean last year!) and then thawed just before delivery. Thanks to state-of-the-art freezing technology, the flesh maintains near-fresh quality.
Your Weekly Seafood News Briefing
Non-Californians lose commercial fishing license case. “A divided federal appeals court on Wednesday reinstated a California law allowing the state to charge nonresidents much higher fees than residents for commercial fishing licenses.”
And for a different angle on the same issue, see this article from Ballard News-Tribune (a Washington State-based paper). “A decision made in a California court case may change the trajectory of a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife initiative…which would essentially not differentiate fees for resident and non-resident commercial fishers, something the WDFW has called ‘equalizing the fees.'”
Fish Seek Cooler Waters, Leaving Some Fishermen’s Nets Empty. “Studies have found that two-thirds of marine species in the Northeast United States have shifted or extended their range as a result of ocean warming, migrating northward or outward into deeper and cooler water.” Similar changes are being noticed on the West Coast as well.
Climate change threatens wild oysters in SF Bay. “A new study describes how a series of atmospheric rivers [‘long stretches of water vapor that ‘flow’ from the tropics up to the West Coast’] in the winter of 2010-11 contributed to a die-off in the San Francisco Bay’s struggling oyster population.