I Think I’ll Have the Jellyfish
It’s interesting to read the local papers when you’re traveling. When we were driving up the west coast a few days ago, the front page story in the local papers was the salmon disaster. The number of salmon off the coast of northern California, Oregon, and southern Washington, is so low this year that the governors of these states have applied for disaster relief for coastal fishing communities. The plummeting populations have been linked to overuse of coastal river water for irrigation as well as deterioration of ocean habitat.
This year’s failure stems from the sudden collapse of California’s Sacramento River Chinook salmon run. That’s being blamed in part on a gauntlet of irrigation pumps that young fish have to swim past in the Sacramento Delta plus starvation conditions once they reach the ocean.
I’ve often heard tips on how to improve the sustainability of your seafood eating habits, but because of the salmon disaster, I was in a particularly receptive mood when KUOW’s Weekday show focused on seafood and the Puget Sound habitat. With the price of salmon expected to go above 30 dollars a pound, and the prospect of a complete collapse of salmon populations, I think I’ve finally got it through my thick head: lay off the salmon.
Taras Grescoe, the author of Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood, was the guest on the program, and he recommends trying some jellyfish. Unlike large fish species, the jellyfish population has increased to problematic levels with the disappearance of cod and other fish that feed on them. So I looked around a bit, and found a great recipe on The Melting Wok. I’ve never had jelly fish before, but this looks delicious. I’ll try it some time soon and let you know how it tastes.
Here’s audio from the interview: