Steelhead on the menu?

Yadwick

Active Member
Maybe we should all call. I recall when i saw that Herbfarm had steelhead on one of their seasonal menus. I called them up to ask about their sourcing. I was told that the chef (or whomever orders the goods) wouldn't talk over the phone but i could come down on a wednesday at around 11am and they would chat with me.....the jackwagons at Monterrey Bay Seafood Watch still have wild steelhead listed as a "good alternative"....

 

guy_fly

Active Member
My guess is these are farmed fish, and they are confusing (obfuscating?) "wild" with the marketing term "native" (the later obvious in response to recent concerns over pen-reared Atlantic salmon). Below are links appropriate to this discussion:



 

13.robb

Member
As a professional chef myself, I can say that generally, most chefs are pretty ignorant and/or apathetic about the environmental impact of food production, wild or cultivated.
When it comes to fish, anything that’s not from a net pen will be labelled “wild”. I would be surprised if anybody in my kitchen at work knew what an adipose fin is, or the difference between hatchery and truly wild genetics. Most of these people just think it’s some fancy salmon with a cool name they can overcharge other morons for. The “wild” steelhead that I have encountered at work are generally hook&line caught by native fisherman. All of this being said, it breaks my heart every time to see these increasingly rare fish turned in to thursday night supper for rubes, out of towners, and other assholes.
 

winxp_man

Steelhead Bum
As a professional chef myself, I can say that generally, most chefs are pretty ignorant and/or apathetic about the environmental impact of food production, wild or cultivated.
When it comes to fish, anything that’s not from a net pen will be labelled “wild”. I would be surprised if anybody in my kitchen at work knew what an adipose fin is, or the difference between hatchery and truly wild genetics. Most of these people just think it’s some fancy salmon with a cool name they can overcharge other morons for. The “wild” steelhead that I have encountered at work are generally hook&line caught by native fisherman. All of this being said, it breaks my heart every time to see these increasingly rare fish turned in to thursday night supper for rubes, out of towners, and other assholes.
There are many articles about sting ops to bust natives selling to the black market in SF it’s not even funny! I know it’s not rubbish because I have known some that do that! Until they get busted. But until they get busted how much damage do they do? Especially if they are netters. The system needs to be changed. But will it ever change? Doubt it.
 

Chromer J

Active Member
Thought I was having deja vu. This thread has a twin due to an initial duplicate post. I posted the below entry on the twin post. Maybe it's worthwhile, maybe not:
----------------
Are there lessons we could learn and strategies to adapt from the tunafish industry? Years ago they pursued campaigns to educate consumers and promote line caught and dolphin friendly harvest with product labeling to clearly identify if it met those standards. Who initiated that effort within the tuna industry? Where did the money to promote awareness come from?

For salmon and steelhead, it seems there should be a coalition to promote public awareness about ecological impacts of fish farms placed near river mouths of drainages containing anadromous species. Ideally this would raise public awareness of the increased risks of disease and sea lice mortality presented to out-migrating juvenile anadromous fishes, not to mention any impact farms have should that school of smolt inadvertently pass through the nets and into the bellies of penned fish.

Additional goals of a consumer awareness initiative should be educating consumers about the difference between hatchery fish (hatcheries could be given a 1-5 star rating based on how ecologically friendly they are considering a checklist of criteria), "native" fish, and the more global label of "wild."

Of course there's a lot more to consider, but hopefully the dolphin-friendly tuna example cultivates more thought.
 
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