Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on October 3rd, 2013, in Announcements, Seafood Education, Selecting Seafood
Ian Said posted a useful article over at FohBoh.com the other day entitled “7 Tips for Selecting the Best Wine for Your Restaurant”. We thought the wine info was great, but it also inspired us to offer you our take, featuring seafood!
Here are Ian’s 7 tips, with a bit of a “fishy twist”, we hope you find them useful!
- Know your concept – great point! If your menu is pretty casual, then you’re seafood offerings should be too – fish tacos, po’boys, rustic seafood soups and chowders – there are plenty of ways to work easy, fun seafood into your menu – no matter what the concept.
- Choose your supplier carefully - we could not agree more! Santa Monica Seafood is an industry leader in food safety, quality and responsible sourcing. We have no doubt that we’re your best bet when navigating the sometimes confusing world of seafood sourcing.
- Involve your Staff – this is why we started handing out our popular “Seafood Pocket Guides”! We thought they’d be an easy way to help waitstaff stay on top of all the fish and shellfish we sell… We’re big on education, and we’re always happy to help you keep your entire staff engaged with whatever seafood you are offering on the menu.
- Offer Variety – We like to say there is a seafood choice for everyone – even people that don’t like seafood! Offer something mild and easy like dover sole or tilapia for less adventurous palates, something a little more challenging like hamachi or urchin for diners that want to try something new…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on September 25th, 2013, in Announcements, Sustainability
Fall has officially arrived, and with it a chance to look back and see all the great work the project’s we’ve helped support with RSVP funding are doing! Here are some of the highlights:
The PIER Deep-Set buoy gear development for California’s Swordfish fishery has conducted their first field research expedition to conduct trials and tagging within the Pacific Leatherback Conservation Area (PLCA). Over the course of a week, they were able to tag 5 swordfish using harpoon methods – some of the first swordfish ever tagged within the conservation area! Each of these fish was implanted with a pop-off satellite archival tag (PSAT) and a long-term depth logger, which were provided courtesy of the RSVP program’s funds. The information collected by these tags will help inform the design of the gear types that will ultimately used to selectively take fish from this area with minimal interaction to the endangered Leatherback sea turtles. The PIER team is analyzing this first round of information and getting ready to go out for a second cruise in the middle of September.
The Trygg Mat Foundation’s Combined IUU vessel list is increasingly being used as a tool in investigations and prosecution of pirate fishing. Most recently, Interpol released a “Purple Notice” cautioning that some IUU vessels are trying to get ahold of “untainted” International Maritime Organization (IMO) numbers. This is precisely what the Combined IUU-Vessel list is working to prevent through providing ongoing tracking and monitoring of vessels in violation.
The California Collaborative Fisheries Research Project (CCFRP) has been hard at work catching, tagging, and releasing fish, as their sampling season started at the beginning of August…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on September 10th, 2013, in Announcements, Product Alerts, Seafood & Health, Seafood Education, Selecting Seafood, Sustainability
We’ve been talking a lot about Open Blue Cobia (Rachycentron canadum), one of the newest additions to our inventory. We talk about it a lot because there is a lot to say about this innovative aquaculture option… Open Blue Cobia is more than just delicious, it is rich in omega-3s and it is extremely versatile; it can be eaten raw as sushi, sashimi or ceviche or it can be grilled, broiled, pan-seared or barbecued.
And those are just a few of its attributes! We’d like to touch a bit on what happens before the Cobia leaves Panama and arrives at Santa Monica Seafood, and introduce you to Open Blue’s unique process.
Open Blue Cobia is raised from egg in an integrated farming platform giving the farm have complete traceability into the life of the fish. Open Blue does not genetically engineer its cobia in any way; it is carefully and humanely cultivated in deep, pristine ocean waters. According to Open Blue,
“We put great emphasis on the well-being of Open Blue Cobia ensuring that our fish are raised and handled as humanely as possible. At Open Blue, we are dedicated to improving the standards of the aquaculture industry through safe and sustainable innovation and ensure that our Cobia is raised at the highest standards…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on August 21st, 2013, in Announcements
Here at Santa Monica Seafood, our Social Media strategy continues to grow and develop. We enjoy Twitter, Facebook and Flickr and see them as a great way to connect with customers of all kinds, as well as an opportunity to stay on top of what’s happening in our industry.
We’ve also really enjoyed upping our video engagement strategy on Youtube the past 6 months, we hope you’ve had a chance to check out our weekly video updates (and we encourage you to pass along photos or video clips to your sales rep – we’re always looking for new content)!
We’re curious if you’re using Social Media and what your engagement strategy looks like…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on August 16th, 2013, in Announcements, Seafood Education, Sustainability
It sounds like a great plot for a horror movie… Visit a remote Alaska island only to find that 13,000 cannibalistic creatures have been let out of their cages and released into the world! (Insert sounds of screaming here…) Luckily for us, it’s not zombies making the headlines on Kodiak Island, it’s king crab. Thousands of baby king crab, about the size of a fingernail, who are about to be released into the wild as part of the Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology (AKCRRB) Program’s efforts.
According to a recent article in the Kodiak Daily Press, the first king crab will be released into the ocean in about three weeks…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on August 12th, 2013, in Announcements, Seafood Education, Selecting Seafood
Are you daydreaming about your fall menu? Although summer is still in full swing (despite the Back-to-School ads dominating primetime television), it’s not too early to start thinking about fall menus. Heck, it’s not even too early to start thinking about the Holidays – but we’ll save that for another blog post…
One idea we’d love to see you consider for your fall menu is a whole fish preparation. We’ve got a number of great aquaculture options that will work perfectly. We love responsibly farmed fish because they’re relatively consistent in availability, size and pricing, which makes planning ahead that much easier.
Farmed Striped Bass from Baja, European Sea Bream from Cyprus, Texas Redfish and Rainbow Trout are a few of our favorite farmed fish that lend themselves perfectly to fall produce and preparations…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on July 31st, 2013, in Announcements
As you know, we love Alaska halibut. It’s a well managed resource that we enjoy promoting all year round – fresh and frozen. However, strict management of this resource means that availability has decreased over the years, and with shrinking quotas come higher prices, sourcing issues, and increased economic pressures on small fishermen.
One of concerns of the commercial halibut fleet (and those of us who need access to this product) is the charter sector. We’ve blogged about this issue before, and it’s back on our plate again.
Back in October of 2012, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted a halibut catch sharing plan (CSP) between the commercial and the charter sectors. According to our colleagues at the Halibut Coaltion, this plan ensures a reasonable level of access by both consumers and charter anglers.
We agree with members of the Halibut Coalition who explained to us that “the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s decision reflects careful analysis, considerable public comment, and is the best outcome we could manage and we do not think there would be a better outcome by reopening the debate…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on July 29th, 2013, in Selecting Seafood
Yes, pirate fishing. On the open seas, enforcing rules can be challenging. Unfortunately, not all fishing vessels respect laws in place to prevent overfishing of our precious marine resources. Even worse, these boats often utilize slave labor and commit a host of human rights and labor violations, and may participate in human and drug trafficking. So what’s the best way to deal with this problem?
Enter our RSVP Program’s newest project - the Norwegian-based Trygg Mat Foundation’s Combined IUU Vessel List. The Combined IUU Vessel list is an index of international fishing vessels that are known participants in Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing – pirate fishing, in other words. Trygg Mat compiles the information that is gathered by 8 different Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), including information on ship names, ownership (and changes in ownership), flags and flag changes, International Maritime Organization number, radio call signs, and operating information.
Keeping track of this information is vital, as IUU vessels will frequently change names, flags and ownership to avoid detection…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on July 22nd, 2013, in Announcements, Sustainability
North American seafood suppliers Santa Monica Seafood, Albion Fisheries, Fortune Fish & Gourmet, Ipswich Shellfish Group, Santa Monica Seafood, and Seattle Fish Co. are proud to announce their formation of Sea Pact. Sea Pact is a coalition of seafood industry leaders who strive to advance environmentally sustainable fisheries and aquaculture practices and provide the building blocks of a long term and sustainable seafood industry by financially contributing to improve the fishing and fish farming systems from which they procure.
Logan Kock, Vice President of Strategic Purchasing & Responsible Sourcing at Santa Monica Seafood, said, “Santa Monica Seafood realized that to be able to support the improvement of fishing and aquaculture practices around the world we could not rely on the efforts of our company alone and that we would need support from other like-minded companies in the seafood industry to help create the scale necessary for meaningful improvements to be realized.”
The seafood industry can be a powerful force for improving the environmental sustainability of seafood and ocean ecosystems, particularly when efforts are coordinated to best leverage buying power for positive change…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on July 19th, 2013, in Sustainability
We talk a lot about sustainability here at Santa Monica Seafood. Whether its the ins and outs of our commitment to responsible sourcing, our RSVP Program or our ISO 14001 certification – we’re serious about understanding our impact on our local community and the world around us.
That’s why we found this recent article by Eric Stoessel entitled “6 Steps to Sustainability” on Restaurant-Hospitality.com interesting and we thought you would too. The article highlights a new report from the National Restaurant Association offering insight into how sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand.
The key here is that being sustainable also means being profitable! Too often we that people think sustainability is going to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be, and it can actually be the opposite – a way to save or even make money.
Stoessel pulls out 6 main takeaways that will help you move towards sustainability:
- Be a community catalyst.
- Plan for sustainable design and operations.
- Reducing waste starts with research.
- Recycling and composting can save money..
- Food sustainability has to be profitable
- Social responsibility matters.
You can find the full report, entitled “Bright Ideas” here…