Riverhead, NY – Earlier this month, the Cornell Cooperative Extension Fisheries Department of the Suffolk County Marine Program began its latest collaboration with the commercial fishing industry, industry organizations and the seafood program coordinator. Sea Food Export-Northeast, Colleen Coyne, to increase consumption and demand for local seafood throughout the Northeast. Region. Funding provided by the Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants Program enables this project to focus on increasing domestic demand for monkfish (aka goosefish) through product development and audience growth.
Monkfish (Lophius americanus) is a groundfish species that inhabits the waters of the Greater Atlantic region and is targeted by commercial fishing fleets from Maine to North Carolina. Monkfish have firm, white flesh with a sweet taste similar to that of lobster. Its flavor has made monkfish a popular substitute for traditional lobster dishes, such as bisques and rolls. Plus, monkfish is considerably cheaper than lobster, making it a great option for those who want to enjoy the latter and don’t want to break the bank. Monkfish is a great candidate for slow-cooked recipes, like stews and chowders, but it’s also great grilled, baked, broiled, or fried.
Weak overseas markets and lack of domestic demand for anglerfish have resulted in a largely underutilized fishery. As a result, the number of Northeast anglers landing anglerfish has declined in recent years, despite the population exceeding target levels. This new project aims to rejuvenate the Northeast Monkfish fishery by raising awareness and encouraging consumption of this delicious but misunderstood fish.
Currently, this species is above target population levels and highly sustainable, making it an environmentally friendly seafood choice. Additionally, due to its wide range throughout the northeast, anglerfish may be targeted by commercial fishers near their homeport. This eliminates the need for these anglers to travel the coast in pursuit of their catch, significantly reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
Over the next two years, CCE Suffolk will be working closely with many commercial fishers and seafood traders/processors throughout the Greater Atlantic region to develop an effective way to promote and market Monkfish. Additionally, CCE Suffolk will host public awareness events such as information booths and local seafood tastings to both educate and encourage people to learn about eating burbot. CCE Suffolk will also host three workshops throughout this project with commercial fishing and seafood industry partners to capitalize on progress and maintain a strong working relationship across the industry. .
Upon completion of this project, CCE and its partners hope to make monkfish a popular and desirable staple of any seafood market or dinner table. Region-wide success in this regard will not only revive a once lucrative fishery, but will also support local fishers and businesses, reduce the carbon footprint and reduce commercial fishing pressure on other species. highly sought after. With so many potential benefits attached to anglerfish, this could very well be the goose that the Northeast commercial fishery needs.