San Francisco is known for its fresh seafood, such as Dungeness crab, oysters, and local fish. We’re featuring small-scale fisheries and farmers in your local farmers markets this month because the United Nations General Assembly has declared 2022 as the International Year of Small-Scale Fisheries and Aquaculture.
The year “will draw attention to the role of small-scale fisheries and aquaculturists in reducing food insecurity and poverty and promoting sustainable small-scale fisheries,” according to the United Nations.
So what exactly is aquaculture? Without getting too complicated, aquaculture is the rearing of plants or animals in water. Most of the production is for human consumption, while some aquaculture products are used as animal feed, thereby improving wild fish stocks and creating biofuels.
There are many projects underway in California aimed at restoring and protecting endangered fish species such as abalone and native Olympia oysters. Bodega Bay Oyster Co., a participant in local farmers’ markets, is one of many fisheries that pride themselves on sustainable fishing practices. Oyster farming is healthy for the environment as the shellfish are able to filter the surrounding water, remove nitrogen, recycle carbon and build natural habitats in the waters of the region.
Overfishing is a major global problem when commercial trawlers are used as they collect all living things in their wake. The gillnets used by small-scale fisheries do not overfish local waters, which helps the environment to replenish and sustain itself. Participating Farmers’ Market fisheries pride themselves on the conservation of the waters they fish. These small-scale fisheries like Pham’s Fish and North Bay Seafood come out every day and only catch what they can sell in the market, without overfishing.
Please support your local farmer’s market and our participating California small fisheries as we celebrate this year of aquaculture. On Saturdays, you’ll find Hayward’s Dayrit Seafood and Santa Cruz’s From the Sea to You at the Pinole Farmers’ Market. The Martinez Sunday Farmer’s Market features fish from Roseville-based Freshway Fish, and the Vallejo Saturday Market features freshly caught oysters from Bodega Bay Oyster Co.
Debra morris is Promotions Coordinator for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association and writes the Time Is Ripe column. Contact her at [email protected]
Recipe: Fresh Seafood Ceviche
a pound of bay scallops, shrimp or other sweet seafood
¼ to ½ cup cilantro, chopped
one or two jalapenos, without seeds
one or two stalks of celery, diced
¼ to ½ cup green onion, chopped
juice of eight to 10 limes, enough to cover the seafood
¼ cup olive oil
one to two tomatoes, chopped
an avocado, chopped last
salt and pepper to taste
Lime juice in a bowl. Add raw scallops or other seafood. Make sure the lime juice covers the fish. Refrigerate overnight. Lime juice “cooks” seafood, and it will turn cloudy the next day. Pour out half of the lime juice, let the other half mix with the rest of the ingredients. Prepare the vegetables, except the avocado.
Mix all the ingredients with the seafood, adding the chopped avocado last to prevent browning. Mix gently and place in the refrigerator to cool. Serve in chilled bowls or mugs with tortilla chips. Substitute your favorite fish or mix in scallops and shrimp, tilapia pieces or cod.