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National Restaurant Association - 12 fish species to add to your menus

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12 fish species to add to your menus

The National Restaurant Association’s Conserve sustainability program is working with the Environmental Defense Fund to spread the word about seafood sustainability. 
 “We want to raise awareness of sustainable seafood among restaurateurs and help them understand the reason more of these fish are again available,” said Laura Abshire, sustainability director, NRA. 
EDF’s Eat These Fish campaign, which kicks off Wednesday, champions work to replenish once-endangered species. The campaign falls during National Seafood Month, which is in October.
The campaign recognizes several industry breakthroughs, such as sustainable fishing practices and rebuilding fish stock through better fishery management. It promotes 12 species of American fish that have recovered from near-extinction. Those that have benefited are red snapper, red grouper, ocean perch, pollock, monkfish and whiting.
"These are fish that have undergone great transformations in the way they’d been managed,” said Tim Fitzgerald, director of the EDF’s Fishery Solutions Center. “They were really in bad shape, but that has been reversed thanks to better, smarter management practices.”
In the past 10 years, the fishing industry has worked to overcome management issues at fisheries and overfishing of endangered species, EDF says. Since then, improved fishing schedules mean fish are available year-round at consistent quality and prices. For chefs and restaurateurs, that’s good for business, Fitzgerald said.
“The chefs, restaurants and other folks we’ve talked to are realizing they’re seeing these fish available year-round,” he noted. “The reason is the innovation in gear and equipment fishermen are using now, like better freezing and storage techniques. Because of this, the prices have stabilized.”
Now that customers ask for more varieties of fish when dining out, this is a perfect time to inform restaurateurs about what’s plentiful and available, he said. 
“More chefs and restaurants want to branch out from just offering shrimp, salmon and tuna,” he said, noting that those fish represent almost 60 percent of the fish consumed in the United States. “We’ve been hearing from restaurateurs that they’d like other fish to be more readily available. That’s one of the goals of this campaign: to get more suppliers and distributors to carry other types of fish and make them more available to the restaurant industry.”
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