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    Celebrating Seafood During the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture

    By Debra Morris–

    San Francisco is known for its fresh seafood like Dungeness crab, oysters, and other local fish. We’re featuring small fisheries and farmers at your local farmers’ markets this month because theUnited Nations General Assembly has declared 2022 the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022). According to the organizers, the year will “focus attention on the role that small fisheries and aqua-farmers have in minimizing food insecurity and poverty and promoting sustainable fishing on a small scale.”

    What exactly is aquaculture? Without getting too complicated, aquaculture is the raising of plants or animals in water. Most production is for human consumption, while some aquaculture products are used for livestock feed, for enhancing wild fish stock, and for creating biofuels.

    Many ongoing projects in California aim to restore and protect endangered fish species like abalone and native Olympia oysters. Bodega Bay Oyster Company, a participant in local farmers’ markets, is one of several fisheries that boasts sustainable fishing practices. Raising oysters is healthy for the environment because the shellfish are adept at filtering the surrounding water, removing nitrogen, recycling carbon, and building natural habitats in the area’s waters.

    Over-fishing is a major global problem when commercial trawlers are used as they collect every living thing in their wake. Gillnets used by smaller fisheries do not over-fish the local waters, which helps the environment replenish and sustain itself. Farmers’ market participating fisheries take pride in their conservation of the waters they fish. These small-scale fisheries like Pham’s Fish and North Bay Seafood go out each day and only fish for what they can sell at the market, without depleting fish stock.

    Please support your local farmers’ market and our participating California small fisheries as we celebrate this Year of Aquaculture. Your Sunday Divisadero Farmers’ Market offers fish from Dragon Baby Seafood fishing off Half Moon Bay.

    Fresh Seafood Ceviche
    1 pound bay scallops, shrimp, or other mild seafood
    1/4 to 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
    1 to 2 jalapenos, unseeded
    1 to 2 stalks celery, diced
    1/4 to 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
    juice of 8 to 10 limes, enough to cover the seafood
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 to 2 tomatoes, chopped
    1 avocado, chopped last
    salt and pepper, to taste

    Juice limes in a bowl. Add raw scallops or other seafood. Make sure lime juice covers the fish. Refrigerate overnight. This refrigeration step is important because lime juice “cooks” the seafood and it will become opaque the next day. Pour off half the lime juice and leave other half to mix with remaining ingredients. Prepare vegetables, except for avocado. Combine all ingredients with seafood, adding chopped avocado last to avoid browning. Mix gently and place in the refrigerator to chill. Serve in chilled bowls or cups with tortilla chips. Substitute your favorite fish or mix scallops and shrimp, chunks of tilapia, or cod.

    Debra Morris is a spokesperson for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA). Check out the PCFMA website for recipes, information about farmers’ markets throughout the region and for much more:

    Published on January 13, 2022