The Gloucester fisherman is an iconic symbol of American culture on par with baseball and the wild west. In fact these ”cowboys of the sea” have been risking life and limb out on the fishing banks since 1623. The romantic (and treacherous) days of the schooner fleet are gone, but Gloucestermen are still fishing! Thanks to the Gloucester Fresh Seafood program, my hometown is poised once again to be a leader in providing fresh, sustainable seafood.
It’s all about getting the fish directly from boat to plate. The only way to get it fresher is to catch it yourself. A growing list of restaurants, processors and fish markets are participating in this program to market our locally caught fish with the ”Gloucester Fresh” brand. Take a look at their videos that showcase the different local markets that support the Gloucester Fresh program.
I for one, don’t have to be convinced about how great our local seafood is. I’ve had the luxury of eating fresh Gloucester fish and shellfish my whole life. Now it’s time once again, for the rest of the country to enjoy our fish just like they did when Gloucester was the greatest fishing port in the Western Hemisphere.
Access to Many Different Types of Fish
There are many delicious local fish that are affordable, plentiful and sustainably harvested beyond the well-known cod and haddock. Gloucester Fresh gives consumers access to species that are in season, and often not seen at the local seafood counter. This works out for both consumer and fisherman alike: consumers get fresh fish for a good price while fishermen can avoid tight quotas and target healthy stocks, earning a living in the process.
Local species like Atlantic pollock, sand dabs, redfish and whiting can all be prepared like their better-known cousins. Pollock and whiting can replace cod, dabs and yellowtail flounder can replace more expensive fluke or sole. Redfish (ocean perch), a very inexpensive local species, can be prepared like a West coast rockfish or red snapper. As seasons change so do the opportunities for subscribers, like day-boat scallops from the Gulf of Maine, Atlantic mackerel or bluefin tuna!
I highly recommend visiting the Gloucester Fresh website and seeing for yourself what it is all about. Take a look at their list of restaurants and seafood dealers (many will ship worldwide) and check out some of the recipes for our lesser-known local fish.