Congratulations for making the choice to help the environment. All of the seafood used in our menu is sustainable to the very best of our abilities.
We live In a world where over a billion people are malnourished, and the fact that delicious, nutritious fish such as anchovies, smelt and herring are reduced to fish feed is wasteful. Currently, over a third of wild caught fish is converted into fish feed for aquaculture. Farming carnivorous fish is an inefficient and impractical method of producing food for humans.
Eating bivalves, other animals that are lower on the marine food chain, herbivorous fish like catfish, tilapia and carp is a better approach to eating seafood. 51
The following is a list of seafood that we work with, when they are available:
ABALONE (U.S. PACIFIC FARMED)
The farming of this giant sea snail is well managed; it is a BEST CHOICE in the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guide.
ARCTIC CHAR (CANADIAN FARMED)
The farmed salmon industry is horrendous for the environment. Antibiotic, hormone and pesticide use are serious issues. Escapees and pollution are other serious issues. Atlantic wild salmon is critically endangered. Wherever salmon farms have operated, in nets/pens offshore, there has been a precipitous decline in the population of wild salmon. Arctic Char is raised in closed cycle systems in inland ponds and tanks in Iceland and British Columbia. Feed is still an issue since char, like salmon, are carnivorous. But the amount of wild fish going into the production of feed is improving and char remains an affordable alternative to tremendously popular and inexpensive farmed salmon. We use Arctic Char from British Columbia, and it is the only carnivorous farmed fish that we use.
BARRAMUNDI (MASSACHUSETT/VIETNAM FARMED)
Barramundi is native to Australia. They are considered environmentally friendly compared to farmed salmon, which depend largely on fishmeal for their diet. Barramundi feed on high protein grain diets and are farmed in close containment re-circulating systems.
BLUEGILL SUNFISH (CONNECTICUT WILD)
Rowledge pond aquaculture is a private hatchery facility located on the border of Monroe and Newtown, Connecticut. The Bluegills live in a large lake where the Trout are grown. Bluegill are among the tastiest freshwater fish and are locally not used commercially. My friend Todd runs his third generation family fish farm. He is also a fisheries scientist who works for the USDA.
CAPELIN (ICELAND WILD)
Capelin is used primarily for its roe, which is similar to flying fish roe. We do not use flying fish since very little is known about their populations. Capelin reproduce prolifically and grow fast.
CARP (CHINA FARMED)
One of the major challenges in the sustainability movement is to convince consumers to expand their palates. Nobody eats carp in America. Yet, in China, it is loved. In China, this herbivorous fish is grown in tens of thousands of farm ponds that are more ecologically sophisticated than any aquaculture system in the world.
CATFISH (U.S. FARMED)
Catfish is the leading aquaculture industry in the United States. Catfish feed is grains centered but often includes fish and animal fats too. Grow out feed for catfish usually contains 2-4% fishmeal and 2% fish oil. Poultry byproducts are sometimes used but only marginally, depending on affordability (the farmers have to compete with the pet food sector for the feathers, skin, bone and blood). The grains are surely not organic, probably GMO and Monsanto affiliated. Hormones and antibiotics are not an issue with US farmed catfish. Our catfish comes to you from Mississippi and Alabama.
CLAM, CHERRYSTONE (U.S. FARMED)
Connecticut produces more clams than its official shellfish, the oyster. A filter feeder, that requires no man made feed, it also cleans the seawater that it lives in!
CRAB, ASIAN SHORE (U.S. WILD)
Hand caught invasive species of crab that is destructive to the native shellfish populations in the northeast. Asian shore crabs migrated on the ballasts of ships in the 1980’s. They are aggressive predators and disliked by fisherman for eating up the larvae of shellfish. There are no known recipes that exist that use these foreign invaders.
CRAB, DUNGENESS (PACIFIC WILD)
The Dungeness crab fishery has been an example of a superbly run one for the last 50 years. Only males of a specific size (large enough to have mated for two years) are harvested and the fishery closes during molting season. We use Canadian or domestic Dungeness crab for our recipes.
CRAYFISH, RED SWAMP (LOUISIANA FARMED)
Crayfish are farmed in either ponds or in rotation with crops such as rice. Aquatic plants provide food for the crayfish so feed is not used. Domestic crayfish farming is highly sustainable. Native Americans have been eating crayfish for over 40,000 years.
DOGFISH (CONNECTICUT WILD)
Are abundant on the Long Island Sound, worldwide, and are locally considered a junk fish and are thrown back by fisherman. Dogfish have delicate white flakey flesh. I just spoke to a few scientists at NOAA about Dogfish and at this point it’s a matter of sourcing Dogfish that is sustainably caught.
JELLYFISH (AUSTRALIAN/USA WILD)
Due to concerns about by-catch, harvesting jellyfish in Australia is limited to dip-netting which allows fishers to selectively target large jellyfish. There is a proliferation of jellyfish due to the over-fishing of apex species like shark and turtles. Also, global warming has made more of the oceans favorable to jellyfish reproduction. We need to begin eating more jellyfish, so long as it is sustainably fished.
LIONFISH (ATLANTIC WILD)
Native to the Indian Pacific Ocean, lionfish are voracious. Recently, they have been introduced into the Atlantic Ocean where they have no predators. These tropical fish have been found in the Long Island Sound where they were not expected to survive.
LOBSTER (U.S. or CANADIAN WILD)
The American lobster is abundant from Labrador to Cape Hatteras. In South of Cape Cod, they are in trouble. For our recipes we use Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank lobsters.
MACKEREL (ATLANTIC WILD)
Atlantic mackerel is abundant worldwide, matures rapidly and produces high numbers of offspring. The U.S. fishery is well managed, using catch quotas. Though not popular with most Americans, it is a favorite with Asian and Island peoples. Mackerel is one of the most nutritious fishes; it is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, selenium and B6 and B12 vitamins. Mackerel is caught using mid trawl gear with low amounts of bycatch. Our mackerel comes from Southern New England, the Mid-Atlantic or the Gulf of Maine.
MUSSEL, GREEN (NEW ZEALAND FARMED)
New Zealand green mussels are grown on ropes in areas where the mussel industry works diligently to keep up high marine water quality. Criticism has been that mussels are in direct competition with native marine animals in the most productive coastal waters. 53
OYSTER (CONNECTICUT FARMED)
Carefully and painstakingly raised by Brendan Smith in cages on a hundred acres of shellfishing grounds that are adjacent to our own. Caged Oyster farming is among the most sustainable types of aqua farming. the cages encourage ecological diversity by creating artificial reefs. over ninety percent of oyster reefs in the world have been destroyed. oysters are the perfect farmed animal; they don’t need to be fed or given water and they filter fifty gallons of water each hour. a couple of centuries ago, before the destruction of the oyster reefs, the water in the long island sound used to be crystal clear because the oysters filtered it. because of climate change and the acidification of the oceans, oysters may disappear in decades because they will not be able to form their shells in warmer acidic waters.
OYSTER, EASTERN (CONNECTICUT WILD)
The official shellfish of Connecticut is the eastern oyster so it would be crazy if we didn’t have a special recipe for it! Native Americans used oysters to make money called wampum. By the 1890’s Connecticut had more oyster steamers than any other place in the world. Connecticut continues to produce thousands of bushels a year.
SALMON (ALASKA WILD)
Net caught sockeye and king salmon is seasonal and subject to availability. Sockeye salmon has a deep red flesh that is among the richest in flavor of all the salmon species. King salmon, the nickname for Alaska’s official fish, chinook salmon, is the largest of all salmon with the fattest flesh. The world record for chinook salmon is 126 pounds.
SALMON, SMOKED (U.S. PACIFIC WILD)
Wild Alaska Smoked Salmon
SARDINE (U.S. PACIFIC WILD)
Sardines are one of the healthiest fish to eat since they are towards the bottom of the food chain where mercury does not concentrate. Currently, due to favorable weather conditions, there is a population explosion of sardines. Purse seining for the small pelagics produces low bycatch and does not impact the seabed.
SCALLOP (JAPAN FARMED)
Most sea scallops are dredged or raked which damages the ecosystem of the sea floor. Japanese and Chinese scallops are the best choice as they are raised in suspended cages or platforms. On the East Coast, the scallop population has fallen precipitously due to pollution and the explosion of rays due to the over-fishing of sharks. However, the Atlantic scallop fishery is at an all time high. Our scallops are hand harvested. No dredging is used so that the ecosystem of the seabed stays unharmed.
SCUP/PORGY (CONNECTICUT WILD)
Porgy, or “Scup”, shortened from the Native American “Scuppaug”, these are a group of deep bodies marine fishes, native to the Atlantic coast, from Maine to the Bahamas. The species “Sparidae” caught in the local Mass/CT/RI/NY waters is the common Northern Porgy.
Porgies are very aggressive eaters, they will take sea worms, squid, conch, snails, crabs, and bloodworms. Caught above rocky bottoms, mid water trawlers do not damage the ocean bottom, as bottom trawlers do. They are very much a schooling variety, traveling miles in large quantity. An excellent tasting white meat fish, very bony, but large fish can be boned. Because of quotas, the porgy population has exploded.54
SEA ROBIN (CONNECTICUT WILD)
Sea Robins are abundant, often caught by fisherman, but are rarely eaten in the United States. Their flesh is reminiscent of lobster and is a popular ingredient to seafood bouillabaisse in Northern France . Pole caught.
SNAPPER BLUES (U.S. WILD ATLANTIC)
This is a fish from my childhood. They are available from July through August, after which time they grow too big and contain too much mercury. Pole caught by my friends and me.
SQUID, LONGFIN (U.S. WILD ATLANTIC)
Longfin squid, aka the common squid is abundant, spawns year round and matures quickly. They are trawled for in the North Atlantic between Southern Georges Bank to Cape Hatteras with a moderate rate of bycatch.
TILAPIA (CONNECTICUT FARMED)
U.S. Tilapia are farmed in closed systems where pollution and escapes are less of a problem. One of the biggest issues with Tilapia is that it is raised on soy based feed so it has a unnaturally high omega 6 profile. It’s an ideal fish for farming because it has very low protein needs.
TROUT (CONNECTICUT FARMED)
Rowledge pond aquaculture is a private hatchery facility located on the border of Monroe and Newtown, Connecticut. The Trout have a 1.2:1 feed conversion ratio. The feed that is used is free of antibiotics, growth hormones and GMO. My friend Todd runs his