For Immediate Release - October 04, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Celebrates Local Seafood at Boston Food Festival

Officials celebrate the state's first community supported fishery

BOSTON - October 2, 2010 - Alongside chefs, fishermen, and culinary enthusiasts, Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner Mary Griffin today celebrated locally caught fish and the local fishing industry at a day-long food festival held on the Boston waterfront.

Commissioner Griffin served as one of four judges rating the seafood cooking skills of two Boston-area celebrity chefs during a Seafood Throwdown at the Boston Local Food Festival.

During the event, Commissioner Griffin encouraged residents and visitors to buy fresh, local and nutritious seafood caught by fishermen and shellfish harvesters up and down the Massachusetts coast.

"Buying local fish supports the local fishing industry, creates local jobs and just makes for a tastier meal," said Commissioner Griffin.

The state's first community supported fishery was established on Cape Ann a year ago. Known as the Cape Ann Fresh Catch Community Supported Fishery, this organization works the same way as community supported agriculture, which requires members to pay for a season's worth of produce at the beginning of the year and get a share of the farmer's harvest each week. Cape Ann Fresh Catch, which provided the seafood for the throwdown event, supplies fresh seafood caught by Gloucester fishermen to 14 communities in Greater Boston and the North Shore.

The top ten species of fish caught in Massachusetts in order of value are sea scallop, American lobster, Atlantic cod, haddock, clam (Northern Quahog), Goosefish, Eastern oyster, Atlantic Pollock, winter flounder and sea herring.

At the cook-off event, Didi Emmons of Haley House Bakery Café in South Boston faced off against Jason Bond, formerly of the Beacon Hill Bistro and No. 9 Park, who will soon be opening his own restaurant, Bondir Restaurant in Cambridge. Joining Commissioner Griffin as judges were Edith Murnane, Director of Food Initiatives from Boston Mayor Menino's Office, Leigh Vincola from Edible Boston Magazine, and Gina Nistico from America's Test Kitchen. The emcee for the event was Peter Van Ness of Legal Music.

State Representative James Cantwell, who worked with State Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante on the creation of a commission to market local seafood, praised the Seafood Throwdown and Cape Ann Fresh Catch as successful models for their use of creative and effective tools to promote local seafood and garner community support.

"The Seafood Throwdown is a great manner to promote expanded consumption of locally harvested seafood in Massachusetts," Cantwell said. "I applaud Cape Ann Fresh Catch and the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game for their private-public partnership in making this event a success."

Cape Ann Fresh Catch is based in Gloucester and is run by the Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Association in partnership with the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance and MIT SeaGrant. 

DFG is responsible for promoting the enjoyment and conservation of the Commonwealth's natural resources. DFG, with its divisions including the Division of Marine Fisheries, carries out this mission through land preservation and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and marine fish and game species, and enforcement of the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. DFG promotes enjoyment of the Massachusetts environment through outdoor skills workshops, fishing festivals and other educational programs, and by enhancing access to the Commonwealth's lakes and ponds.