Spring is officially here and it’s time to start transitioning from warm soups to cooler, fresher dishes. There is nothing better than a spring ceviche to get the season started off right. Check out the Pacific rockfish ceviche recipe below, meet the fisherman who reels in that catch and learn about the sustainable fishery helping to produce your tasty, traditional, South American meal.
Meet a fisherman: Rob Seitz
Rob Seitz first began fishing as a teenager with his grandfather, for halibut and salmon in the icy waters of Alaska. Several times Rob thought about leaving the fishing industry due to the many regulations and instability but his love for “the catch” and providing Americans with fresh and sustainable seafood made him reconsider. Two years ago, he moved to Morro Bay to participate in the West Coast Groundfish IFQ program. The flexibility of the catch share program has given Rob the ability to trawl year-round and deliver a fresh and 'live' product to consumers. Under the new program, Rob also has more time to innovate. He and his wife are working on marketing their own seafood products.
The Pacific IFQ Groundfishery:
Fishermen and fishing communities in California, Washington and Oregon have been operating under the IFQ system for 60 commercially important species of groundfish since 2011. In the first year of this program, West Coast fishermen discarded 80% fewer fish than in the previous year, and their revenues reached $54 million—42% higher than the previous five-year average (2011 NOAA Report).
Environmental Defense Fund has worked for years alongside fishermen, fishery managers and leaders at NOAA Fisheries to develop solutions that reduce costs for the trawl fleet while maintaining critical program components like 100% catch monitoring. The West Coast IFQ fishery is the most accountable fishery in the contiguous United States today. A new seafood label developed by EDF and Central Coast Seafood in California recognizes the commitment of the West Coast groundfish fleet to full accountability. The label, which reads “100% Federal At-Sea Monitoring: No Overfishing – Guaranteed”, distinguishes 100% monitored products. This label recognizes the commitment that West Coast fishermen have made to sustainable fishing, and gives consumers the ability to choose a catch share fish over a less sustainable product. Currently, a grocery store can’t distinguish catch share-caught rockfish, sole, cod, sablefish, or other groundfish from fish from less well-regulated fisheries. The new label gives vendors, restaurants, and individuals the power to vote for catch shares and accountability, by purchasing 100% monitored products.
Pacific rockfish are generally found in the north Pacific and are the most common near-shore fish on North America’s West Coast. These fish are mild, nutty and sweet in flavor. Their meat is lean and medium to firm in texture, with a fine flake. From crispy-frying these fish whole, to steaming and serving with vegetables, rockfish can be cooked and enjoyed using just about any method. In fact, these fish are also popular served raw in sushi, ceviche and tartare. Check out the recipe below, adapted from "Jo's" Nutty Kitchen Blog, to enjoy your rockfish South American style.