Welcome, seafood lovers! Whether you live in Boston or are just visiting for the 2014 Seafood Expo North America, if you love seafood, you’ll be right in the swim!
Fish is sacred to Massachusetts. Although the cod—Gadus morrhua, to be specific—has only officially been our state fish since 1974, it’s been a symbol of our economy for over 200 years. In fact, we’ve got a sculpture of a cod fish hanging in our State House. Sadly, however, the Atlantic cod is listed as threatened.
Seafood dining is booming in Boston. As Boston Globe food critic Devra First recently observed, seafood dining has expanded well beyond the ubiquitous (but tasty and reliable) Legal Seafoods chain to include some fantastic new restaurants, such as Row 34 (named after the location where they are raising a particular oyster at Island Creek Oyster Farm), Mare Oyster Bar, Ostra, as well as old standards like Summer Shack and The Daily Catch.
In fact Row 34, where I recently spotted Food Network chef Geoffrey Zakarian as I was eating lunch, is generously offering free oysters to SENA show attendees at a tailgate party on Sunday, March 16 and Monday 17 from 1-6pm.
On a more serious note, the 2011 Boston Globe investigation of seafood mislabeling turned this dirty industry secret into a widespread concern. In response, Boston entreprenuers like Red’s Best’s Jared Auerbach are developing software and systems to ensure that every fish is labeled with a QR code linking to complete catch information. Red’s Best is also one of several local seafood companies that sell fresh fish at Boston farmers markets and is selling seafood to local schools.
Boston is also the home to the New England Aquarium. In addition to exposing 1.3 visitors a year to marine animals, the Aquarium is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation.and runs an extensive sustainable seafood program.
For the next few days, I’ll be covering the Seafood Expo, hoping to win the 4th Annual iPura Tweet & Blogfest contest for the second time. You can follow the coverage on Twitter using the hashtag #SENA14. Or just stay tuned to The PescoVegetarian Times.
Please enjoy your stay in Boston – and if you see me, say hi!
Photo of sacred cod, Creative Commons license, Office of Governor Patrick