In early spring 2010 we held an Educated Eater panel that brought together some of our fishermen with a regulatory agent, a marine advocate, and a chef to help answer consumer confusion around local seafood and to talk about why it's important to support our local fishing families and communities.
Educated Eater: Off The Hook Why Local Seafood is Sustainable from GrowNYC on Vimeo. Watch one-on-one interviews with the individual panelists here.
Even though overfishing is a serious problem, you can rest assured that our fishermen are subject to some of the strictest regulations in the world, and nothing comes off their boats that shouldn't be caught or sold. Rather than turn to pocket seafood guides and certification labels for help in deciding what to buy at the market, talk to one of our fisherman and ask them how they fish or why they have certain species available that day. Many have been fishing for generations and will be happy to tell you about their practices, what fish are seasonally available and a good value.
A whopping 85% of the fish Americans consume is imported, most of it tuna, shrimp and salmon, which does not come from sustainable sources. Try one of the many plentiful wild local fish that swim in our waters instead like squid, mackerel, and sea bass. You won't regret it! Diversifying the fish you eat eases pressure on overfished species and distributes demand to a wider variety of well-managed stocks. Plus, you'll be supporting small, family fishermen who--like farmers--are disappearing at an alarming rate. Besides, the chefs all know it and so do you, nothing is fresher than just-caught fish at our markets!
Greenmarket's Local Seafood Frequently Asked Questions includes information on various fishing methods, what you should know about mercury levels in seafood and what you can do to support small-scale fishermen.
Want to purchase locally caught seafood at your local Greenmarket?
See our list of Greenmarkets where you can find fish and seafood from the mid-Atlantic region, and check outour Seafood Harvest Calendar for alisting of what times of year certain seafood is available.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fish Watch provides the most accurate and up-to-date information on seafood available in the U.S.
The Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance's Green Seafood Guide gives you general points to keep in mind when choosing which seafood to purchase.