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New Year, Fresh Choices Opener Monterey Fish Market

The two fish pictured above may appear similar, but their impact on the health of the oceans and those of us who eat them couldn't be further apart.

The fish on the left, a wild steelhead salmon, starts life in a hatchery on the Quinault River on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington. Smolts are released to roam the clean open waters of the Pacific, eating wild food and sometimes being eaten themselves. They are part of the natural order. When they return to the Quinault, three years later, they are rich in heart-healthy omega-3s,
vitamins D and B, and the mineral selenium, which
protects us from mercury toxicity.

The fish are specifically targeted at the mouth of the river with gillnets so there is no by-catch or habitat impact. As soon as wild stocks of steelhead begin to show up in the river, sometime in February, all fishing for these
hatchery-bred fish is stopped so that the indigenous
wild fish may breed without interference.

At Monterey Fish, we encourage our customers to use winter-run steelhead as an alternative to farmed fish.

The fish on the right, an aquacultured Atlantic salmon, is responsible for the death of thousands of marine mammals. It threatens the existence of wild salmon runs and pollutes the ocean.  It has been fed antibiotics and pesticides (the same chemical found in "Raid"), which enter the marine environment. Once introduced, they create antibiotic resistant bacteria and killing organisms from plankton to shrimp, which in turn affects the marine ecosystem from the bottom up. Their food, pellets that look and taste just like dog food, is made from wild anchovies, sardines and
other fish that wild salmon and a
healthy ocean ecosystem are dependent upon.

Choose wisely at the market and in restaurants; the simple act of choosing wild salmon over farmed sends a message to business, industry and government that we want
healthy wild salmon runs and sustainable fisheries.
Vote for legislators who favor water and land use policies that protect salmon rivers and wild salmon and tell your friends how important wild salmon is to the community and how delicious it is.

The greatest threat to healthy wild salmon stocks today is federal and state water policies that favor politically powerful industrial agriculture over independent fishermen, small farmers, jobs and salmon. Subsidized water and subsidized industrial agriculture have led to excess water exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This is the main culprit in the threat to California's iconic wild salmon, the very viability of the Sacramento Delta, and the reason that California's recreational and commercial salmon fleets have been idle for two years.

Monterey Fish Op-ed San Francisco Chronicle,
July 5, 2009

Help stop the water pirates by watching the
video in this link.

"The Water Pirates is the first of many videos that explain why it is critical to defeat the water bond that will be on California's November ballot. The $11 billion dollar measure is a pork-filled, naked power grab that will enrich a small group of wealthy powerful interests at the expense of an already bankrupt California - and that's just for starters. If it passes, it will kill The Delta and be the end for the biggest and most important estuary in North and South America, San Francisco Bay.

Stop the water pirates! They are working hard to make publicly owned water their privately held asset. It's happening now and the pirates need to be stopped! Watch and share this video. Vote NO on the water bond. Together, we can make what is wrong, right again."

- Bruce Tokars - film maker.

Steelhead Simmered with Fines Herbs

Sockeye salmon gently simmered in a simple white wine broth is finished with a generous helping of garden fresh fines herbs.
Quick, easy and delicious, this recipe is best for delicate flavored steelhead or salmon varieties such as Sockeyes and Ketas.

serves 4 as a main course

  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • Juice of 1 meyer lemon
  • Four 5-ounce steelhead fillets
  • 3 Tablespoons finely minced Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons snipped chives
  • 2 Tablespoons finely minced Chervil
  • 1 Tablespoon finely minced Tarragon
  • Grated lemon zest from 1 lemon

1. In a small saucepan, combine the white wine, water, vinegar and minced shallot. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the lemon juice.

2. Place the steelhead fillets in a large sauté pan or skillet. Pour the simmering broth over the fish. While repeatedly spooning the hot liquid over the fillets and without turning, gently cook the fillets over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes to the inch, or until still slightly translucent in the center.

3. Remove the salmon fillets to 4 serving bowls. Stir the parsley, chives, chervil, tarragon and grated lemon zest into the simmering broth and cook for 30 seconds. Spoon the fines herbes broth over the fish and serve.

recipe from Fish Forever by Paul Johnson

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