Wild-caught and aquaculture-raised fish on the menu
June 2, 2015
By Moira Harrington
To highlight fish from the Great Lakes region, Wisconsin Sea Grant will serve smoked Lake Michigan whitefish from Susie Q Fish Co. in Two Rivers and farm-raised rainbow trout from Rushing Waters Fisheries in Palmyra at the 40th annual National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fish Fry on June 10 in Washington, D.C. It is believed to be the first time Great Lakes fish have ever made an appearance at the gathering that draws members of Congress, legislative staffers and other federal officials and staff members.
The event promotes public understanding of aquaculture and commercial fisheries. Each year, it attracts up to 1,100 people who pay for a ticket to enjoy seafood samples near the National Mall at the Department of Commerce building, which is home to NOAA.
This year, guest chefs and others such as Kathy Kline, education specialist with Sea Grant, will prepare and serve fish—cod, salmon, crab and more. In all, 17 organizations will be represented from places like Maine, Alaska, Delaware and Louisiana.
“I’m really honored to highlight our Great Lakes and Wisconsin farm-raised fish at this prestigious event,” said Kline. “More than 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported from other countries, and events like the NOAA Fish Fry help spotlight the variety of delicious U.S. seafood available to consumers.”
Wisconsin Sea Grant has developed and is sharing an Eat Wisconsin Fish campaign to inform consumers, restaurateurs and retailers about the local, healthy and delicious fish that are harvested from the Great Lakes and the sustainable aquaculture operations across the state. The campaign provides information through a website, eatwisconsinfish.org, and events and cooking demonstrations.
Wisconsin’s aquaculture industry is worth $21 million annually. According to 2012 numbers (the most recent available) from the Great Lakes Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey, the Great Lakes commercial fishers catch was 18,725,000 pounds with a value of more than $23 million.