In just one short week MARINA Master's student, Jack Cheney will be presenting his talk entitled, "One Person's Trash is Another Person's Dinner: niche seafood species making a splash in American seafood systems" at the Association of American Geographer's (AAG) Annual Meeting in Chicago. Originally inspired by a class taught by Dr. Allison called Fish in the Global Food System, Jack's presentation will provide a first look at the paper he and Dr. Allison have co-authored on the topic. Jack will present within a session titled, "Taste of the Sea: an exploration of seafood and place in three courses" and for a 'taste' of what he'll be sharing, check out their abstract below.
Approximately 90% of seafood consumed in the US is imported, and in 2012 the average American ate nearly 14% less seafood per year than was eaten in 2006. Despite recent economic and biological improvement in domestic fish stocks, commentators, like bestselling author Paul Greenberg, consider the US seafood system to be 'broken' and lament that Americans have lost touch with their marine resources. However industry testimony suggests that while seafood consumption at home is decreasing, Americans still love to eat seafood at restaurants. A recent trend in the fine-dining sector called the "Trash Fish Movement" (TFM) offers a means to explore this consumption paradox. A merger of chefs and fishermen, the TFM utilizes underappreciated, niche marine species to create new conceptions of haute cuisine. This presentation will review the progress the TFM has seen in recent years and evaluate its ability to ripple through the seafood supply chain. A review of the original trash fish: lobster, and recent trends in food television as well as the notion of the "citizen-consumer hybrid" suggest that if properly informed, Americans can be eager and adventurous seafood consumers. The TFM may encourage a return to more adventurous home consumption as well as having broader implications for sustainability of domestic fisheries.
Photo of bycatch care of seachoice.org.