Invasive seafood on the dinner menu

Invasive species spread like a plague on nonnative habitats, disrupting ecosystems, jeopardizing native wildlife, and in extreme cases endangering human lives. Most control efforts have been fraught with difficulty due to the prolific nature of the pests.

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One proposed solution to curtailing the spread of particularly populous invasive species, purported to be an economic incentive to their eradication, would be to put them on the dinner menu. Many invasive aquatic species in North America, such as Asian green crabs, lionfish, and red swamp crayfish, are in fact edible, and proponents suggest fostering a high demand for them as food.

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At first glance, fishing for invaders might seem a good way to solve two problems at once. Most invasive species lack any natural predators in areas where they have been introduced; actively eating invasive species supplements and bolsters active control efforts, keeping their numbers in check or, in the best cases, outright extirpating them from a locality.

The method is not spared criticisms. Critics argue that sufficient demand would encourage the maintenance of a sustainable population of the invasive species, defeating their conservation purpose.

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Regardless of the outcome, invasive species have found themselves on the dinner plate more than once. Time will tell if lionfish would still be here to stay if they were entrees.

Headed by Brian Eliason, Northern Fisheries is a wholesale and retail distributor that imports and exports quality seafood. Visit this website for more on the company and its selection of fish and shellfish.

REPOST: 4 Reasons Fish Should Be a Staple in Your Diet

Fish is a common food around the world and is one of the most nutritious. Shape.com discusses the health benefits of including fish in your daily diet the article below:

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Scared you’ll ruin it? Afraid the house will smell? Is it just too…fishy? It’s time to let go of the excuses and start cooking fish in your kitchen. There are so many healthy reasons this food should be a staple in your diet.

It supports a healthy heart. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are high in omega-3s, an unsaturated fatty acid that may reduce inflammation throughout the body, lower your blood pressure, and reduce irregular heartbeats. According to the Mayo Clinic, just one to two servings of fish each week has been linked a decreased risk of heart disease.

It’s packed with protein. Doubling your protein consumption might help you lose weight, and if you’re not a lover of poultry, beef, or pork, it can be tough to hit that sky-high number every day. Eating a pescatarian diet can help you get more low-calorie and lean protein into your diet that can support your weight-loss goals and keep you satisfied.

It keeps your skin looking young. Tired, dry, and dull skin can get a big reboot from regular fish consumption. Eating fish high in omega-3s (such as salmon and tuna) can help keep your skin-cell membranes strong and elastic; eating omega-3s can also be beneficial for people with sensitivity to the sun—a second bonus for your skin!

It eases depression. Multiple studies with adults have suggested that regular fish consumption may also help treat mild to moderate depression. One study even showed that eating high levels of omega-3s in the third trimester of pregnancy can help women avoid postpartum depression. If you’re dealing with some Winter blues this season, it’s worth a shot.

Brian Eliason is the CEO of Northern Fisheries, a Rhode Island-based company that imports high quality frozen fish fillets from around the world. Check out quality seafood for retail and wholesale on this website.

Seafood safety: A guide to proper handling and storing fresh seafood

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There is a compulsory need to be properly educated about fish and shellfish consumption to ensure that these are safe to eat. Studies have shown that the most common food-borne illnesses are caused by bacteria present in the environment and in food handling errors committed in commercial settings, food service institutions, and even at home.

Seafood is highly perishable and so should be purchased last when doing the groceries. To further avoid cross-contaminating other food products in the shopping cart, enclose individual packages of seafood in Ziploc or plastic bags. This way, the bacteria in raw fish juice is contained and won’t drip on other foods.

freezer meatImage source: Reddit.com

When the seafood arrives home from the market or mail-order, store it immediately in the coldest part of the refrigerator at temperature close to 32 °F or 0 °C as possible. This is if it is not to be consumed within the day. Any degree higher than that will take away fish quality faster.

carpcare03Image source: Anglersnet.co.uk

In handling fish, lift it whole with both hands and avoid holding it by the tail since it bruises easily. Seal fish fillets or steaks in plastic bags and cover them with ice in trays or pans. Fresh fish that is not prepackaged should be thoroughly washed under cold running water and patted dry with paper towel. Wrap it in Ziploc or plastic wrap and store it in an air-tight container before putting in the refrigerator until ready for cooking. Shelf life of fish is quick so it is best consumed within one to two days.

As for shellfish, store it in a shallow dish with damp towels. Never submerge live shellfish in water or air-tight containers since they could suffocate and die. Squid and shrimp should be stored in plastic containers and have a shelf life of one to two days. Live lobsters and crabs should be cooked the same day they are purchased. Once cooked, lobster or crab meat may be stored in an air-tight plastic container and have an extended shelf life of three to four days.

Owner of Northern Fisheries, Ltd. Brian Eliason ensures high quality seafood products brought to you shipped from around the world. Connect to the seafoood supplier through this Facebook page to learn more about its products.

REPOST: Rare footage shows Black Seadevil, perhaps the deep sea’s freakiest looking fish

Scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute caught a rare glimpse of the elusive Black Seadevil reeling in its natural habitat 1,900 feet below surface. Read more about the surprising discovery in the article below.

angler On November 17, 2014, researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) used a type of undersea robot called a remotely operated vehicle to videotape this rare deep-sea anglerfish in Monterey Canyon, about 580 meters (1,900 feet) below the ocean surface. | Image source: Cbsnews.com

Scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, Calif., have produced what they believe to be the only video footage of the bizarre and scary looking anglerfish in its natural habitat 1,900 feet below the surface of the bay.

Also known, fittingly, as the Black Seadevil, the anglerfish is extremely elusive. It’s only been caught on film — still or video — half a dozen times.

Camera shyness notwithstanding, there’s no questioning the identity of this freaky fish, with the telltale protrusion extending from its head. The fish uses the bioluminescent lure at the end of the fishing pole appendage to attract prey in the dark waters of the two-mile-deep Monterey Canyon. As prey approaches, the anglerfish inhales it and traps it behind its teeth.

Only females boast the clever apparatus. This female specimen, terrifying as she is, measures in at just 9 cm long.

The video was captured by a remotely operated robotic vehicle launched from a research ship on Nov. 17.

Brian Eliason’s Northern Fisheries is the home of the freshest and finest seafood products ranging from snow crab, king crab, tuna, and swordfish to high-quality frozen fish fillets sourced from around the world. Visit this website to learn more about the company’s seafood products and its innovative approach to retail and wholesale distribution.

REPOST: Seafood Proves Sweet Spot in Japan’s Exports on Weak Yen

Bloomberg’s median of estimates suggests that yen could drop to 114 per dollar by the end of 2015. Despite the bleak forecast, experts call the weak yen as a “golden chance” for Japan’s seafood export which is expected to exceed last year’s all-time high of 436 billion yen.

Seafood is a sweet spot in Japanese exports this year that’s pushing sales of food abroad to a record and gaining strength as the yen weakens.

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Food shipments increased every month this year through September as the currency fell 4 percent, putting them on course to exceed the all-time high of 436 billion yen ($4.1 billion) in 2013. That contrasts with total exports from Japan, which haven’t recovered to their 2008 peak, even as data yesterday showed increases for motor vehicles, ships and steel.

Demand in Asia and the Middle East for everything from Japanese scallops to the finest cuts of tuna for sashimi is spurring seafood sales that account for about 40 percent of food exports. While cars, machinery and electronics remain powerhouses for Japan, food shipments mean jobs in rural areas and are vital to the Abe administration’s regional revitalization.

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“There is no doubt that we’re getting a tailwind from the weaker yen,” said Tatsuya Fujishiro, a director of Koyo Trading Ltd., a Tokyo-based exporter of more than 200 food products including soybean paste, sake and about 60 varieties of fish. Overseas sales, accounting for 60 percent of Koyo’s revenue, rose to a record in the fiscal year through March, he said.

The yen dropped to 110.09 per dollar this month, the weakest point since August 2008, intensifying debate about its impact. It traded at 107.18 at 9:35 a.m. in Tokyo.

The currency is forecast to weaken to 114 to the dollar by the end of 2015, according to the median of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

‘Golden Chance’

Many manufacturers including automakers Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. have already moved a large amount of production overseas, reducing some of the positive effect of exchange rates on exports.

That’s not the case for fishing and farming, notes Masahiko Ariji, an associate professor from Kinki University’s agriculture faculty in Nara, western Japan. The weak yen is a “golden chance” for exports and jobs for regional and rural economies that face aging and declining populations, according to Ariji.

While agriculture, forestry and fisheries account for less than 2 percent of gross domestic product, they employ about 4 percent of the nation’s workforce, data from labor ministry shows.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set goal increasing the value of Japan’s annual food exports to 1 trillion yen by 2020 as he seeks to arrest a demographic decline across the country.

Shipments in this category reached 336 billion yen in the nine months through September, 9 percent higher than the same period in 2013, data from the Finance Ministry yesterday show.

Global Rivals

Without enough land to compete with farmers on the plains of the U.S., Brazil and Australia, and pressure to roll back its agricultural tariffs, Japan is looking to fisheries, and niche markets ranging from premium beef to fruits and sake.

As overfishing reduces catches on the open seas, Japan is also increasing efforts to farm tuna and other fish.

Kinki University has succeeded in raising tuna from eggs spawned by farmed fish and has entered a venture with the Toyota Tsusho Corp. trading company to start mass farming of blue-fin tuna hatchlings.

The university has sold farmed fish to the U.S. and is considering opening a sushi restaurant in New York to promote its tuna. It already has a shop in Osaka and another in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district.

The Azuma-Cho Fishery Cooperative, based in Kagoshima on the southern island of Kyushu, said demand for its farmed Japanese amberjack is increasing, particularly in Southeast Asia.

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Tsukiji Market

The cooperative, which started exporting farmed amberjack to the U.S. in 1982, has expanded its shipments to more than 20 countries, including Germany, China and Saudi Arabia, said deputy director Katsuhisa Kane.

Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, the nation’s biggest seafood-trading hub, is considering acting as an export agent for its members as they pursue sales overseas.

Trial shipments are planned to start next year, with Vietnam as the first destination, said Naohide Kametani, an executive director at the Wholesales Co-Operative of Tokyo Fish Market, which represents about 700 traders at Tsukiji.

Hiroshige Seko, Abe’s deputy chief cabinet secretary and the grandson of Kinki University’s founder, is one of the strongest advocates of seafood and agriculture shipments abroad.

“The weakening yen is definitely providing a boost,” said Seko. “We have good chance right now with Japan’s food exports.”

Brian Eliason owns Northern Fisheries Ltd., a leading supplier of fine seafood products such as high-quality lobsters, frozen fish fillets, tuna, and king crab. Visit this website for more information about the Rhode Island-based seafood importer and exporter.

REPOST: Pacific salmon migrate with a ‘magnetic map’

A salmon’s migration is one of nature’s many wonders. The ability of a salmon to travel back to where they were originally hatched to spawn has had many scientists wondering how they do it. Researchers have previously speculated that they have an extraordinary memory. Recently, however, a study revealed that salmons most probably have built-in magnetic maps. Rebecca Morelle of BBC discusses this idea further in the article below.

Image Source: bbc.com

There is more evidence that salmon use the Earth’s magnetic field to perform extraordinary feats of navigation.

 

A study suggests that Pacific salmon are born with an in-built “magnetic map” that helps them to migrate over thousands of kilometres.

 

US researchers believe the fish are sensing changes in the intensity and angle of the Earth’s magnetic field to establish their position in the ocean.

 

The study is published in the journal Current Biology.

 

The epic journey of the Pacific salmon is one of nature’s greatest migrations.

 

The fish hatch inland in rivers and streams, before swimming for hundreds or even thousands of kilometres to reach the open ocean.

 

After several years of foraging at sea, they make their way back to the same freshwater sites where they spawn and then die.

 

Lead author Dr Nathan Putman, from Oregon State University, said: “The migration is a lot of effort and it is definitely challenging, and looking at it from the outside, it doesn’t seem necessarily intuitive how they could manage that.”

 

Turn north

 

Previous research has suggested that the fish use the Earth’s magnetic field to find their way, with an earlier study led by Dr Putman revealing that Sockeye salmon may possess a memory of the magnetic field where they first entered the sea to find their way back home to their spawning ground.

 

But now the team says that the fish may also have an innate sense of the world’s magnetic field.

 

Image Source: bbc.com

 

To investigate, they looked at Chinook salmon hatchlings, which had not yet made a migration out to sea.

 

Because the intensity and inclination of the Earth’s magnetic field change depending on where you are on the globe, the researchers exposed the fish to the sorts of magnetic fields they might experience on their journey through the ocean.

 

“We put the fish in buckets, we change the magnetic field around them, and the fish change direction in response to the field,” explained Dr Putman.

 

For example, if they altered the magnetic field so it mimicked the northern extreme of the salmon’s range, the fish oriented south. If they changed the field so it was the same as that experienced by salmon at the very southern end of their range, the fish turned around and pointed north.

 

Dr Putman explained: “To try to observe meaningful behaviour in the lab, we needed to have a good prediction of what the fish should do. Since none of these fish are found north of a certain magnetic field, we assumed that they are happiest to the south of that.

 

“So if they are using the magnetic field to find out where they are, they should think, ‘Oh I am a bit north of where I should be’, and go south. And likewise with the southern magnetic field.”

He added: “It’s like they have a map. They know something about where they are based on what field they are in.”

 

Because the fish that were studied had never before made a migration, the scientists think the fish are born with this magnetic sense rather than it being a skill that is learned.

The team believes other sea creatures such as turtles, sharks and whales may also use the same tactics to roam the oceans.

Brian Eliason leads Northern Fisheries, a leading supplier of quality seafood. Like this Facebook page for more related links on various seafood delicacies.

REPOST: Eating Fish for Heart Health

Fish is more than just an alternative source of protein. The American Heart Association stresses the benefits of eating fish as part of a healthy diet.

Eating fish twice a week is a great way to improve your heart health!

If fish isn’t already a regular part of your diet, do your heart a favor and try a serving once a week, preferably twice.

The benefits come from omega-3 fatty acids. While fish oil supplements are popular, the American Heart Association does not consider them a sufficient replacement for eating fish.

The full benefits of a fish-friendly diet are difficult to quantify, but there is plenty of evidence that people who eat fish regularly are less likely to have cardiovascular disease.

“When we talk about the advantages of eating fish, we’re talking about over the long term – which comes from eating it twice a week,” said Alice Lichtenstein, D.Sc., former chair of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee and Gershoff professor of nutrition science and policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, at Tufts University in Boston.

Plus, Dr. Lichtenstein said, there’s also the simple fact that whenever you eat fish, you are cutting something else from your diet, particularly other protein sources that may be less healthy and higher in saturated fats.

Reeling It In Can Be Easy
Stumped by what kind of fish to eat? How to cook it? Where to buy it?

Relax.

“For someone who is not habitually eating fish, any fish is better than no fish,” Dr. Lichtenstein said.

Here is Dr. Lichtenstein’s advice on easing into a fish-friendly diet:

  • There are many kinds of fish you can choose. Just find one – or several – you like.
  • There are many ways to cook fish provided it’s not battered and fried, or loaded in butter or a cream sauce. Try adding lemon, herbs and spices.
  • Fresh, frozen or canned? From a grocery store or a fish market? Feel free to go with whatever costs less and is something you enjoy.

“I think people need to use common sense,” she said. “The most important thing is they have to enjoy the type of fish they buy or else it’s going to be a one-time thing. That’s why I don’t like to have many hard-and-fast rules.

“The issue really is to eat more fish and not get too concerned about the details.”

If you already regularly eat fish …
Experienced consumers of fish may have more detailed questions, such as wondering which fish have the highest doses of omega-3 fatty acids. Candidates include salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines and bluefish.

“We call those ‘oily fish,’” Dr. Lichtenstein said. “They have a deep-colored flesh.”

What about the question of whether it’s best to eat farm-raised fish or wild-caught fish? “At this point, it really doesn’t matter,” Dr. Lichtenstein she said. “Let affordability and availability come first.”

Remember: Two Fish Meals a Week
Remember the adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away? “Eat fish twice a week” isn’t quite as catchy, but Dr. Lichtenstein believes it could have the same effect.

“This is not new advice,” she adds. “The problem is people don’t seem to embrace it.”

Some of the value of omega-3 fatty acids can be found in flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and canola oils. But it’s really not the same as finding a way to get fish into your diet.

If necessary, consider the twice-a-week challenge akin to the goal of being physically active for 30 minutes, three times a week.

“This is not an antibiotic that you take for five days and you’re finished,” Dr. Lichtenstein said. “This is a long-term change in dietary pattern. Hopefully it goes along with other changes in dietary patterns, like eating more fruits and vegetables or more fiber-rich, whole grains.”

Dr. Lichtenstein admits she has an advantage because she lives in Boston, a haven for all sorts of fresh fish.

Her favorite?
“Salmon,” she said. “Just cook it at a high heat with a few herbs or spices, or drizzle it with lemon juice, and you can do pretty well.”

Brian Eliason helms Northern Fisheries, Ltd., a company committed to importing fresh quality fish and other seafood from around the world. Visit this website for more on what it has on stock.