Thursday, November 10, 2005

The new seafood magazine: "Wild Catch"

This new seafood magazine has been a long time coming. I was wondering when some news was going to show up on it. I agree with their thesis, that the information getting to the retail sector is all over the truth and honesty scale. This mag. has a chance to finally put to rest a ton of bad information on wild seafood. And why should the Monterey Bay Aquarium be the only authoritative voice, if it is one, that address chefs' and consumers' questions about wild caught seafood.

This picture of the glacier behind a Juneau suburb is an example of what Wild Catch magazine is trying to do. Reveal little known facts that can make the experience so much better.

The Food and Drug Administration doesn't make much of an attempt to inform anybody of anything except to let fish processors know they are being watched like a hawk. So, if you want to do a good job of selling seafood, here's a dynamite source of information. The editorial board is impressive too. More blue blood there than Buckingham Palace.

I have a feeling that a young man might do just about as well memorizing this magazine as memorizing course material on the seafood supply chain at the University of Alaska. And save all that money. One reason I say this is because a Regional Vice President we had at a fish company told me he didn't think the President even knew he had a degree. That President was a legend, and built up the largest fish company Alaska had at the time. Go figure.

I know from experience that "it's who you know" that packs water in this industry. And the best way to get to know folks is to just get to work in the business, and that means starting at the bottom. In the machinery of the seafood industry, folks were always valued who had experience AND a natural aptitude for it. It's a big industry and there's definitely room for people that know their stuff. Rest assured that modern communications will now be able to sniff out when someone "has risen to their level of incompetence."

"Every issue of Wild Catch will contain important and useful information on the entire wild seafood supply chain, including species and industry education; marketing insights; wild seafood business analysis; stats, trends and forecasts; chef and retailer profiles; distribution logistics; value-adding strategies; and, wild seafood processing and technology. Backed by some of the industry's biggest players, founding partners of Wild Catch include Ocean Beauty, AquaStar and Alaska Airlines; while leading industry professionals from the Chef's Collaborative, Seafood Choices Alliance, Marine Stewardship Council, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Southeastern Fisheries Association, Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, among others, serve on the editorial advisory board."

If that doesn't sound impressive, I don't know what does. They even asked yours truely if they could use some of my material. I appreciate them asking, because they could have just used 10% max. anyway. Well, we'll see if they quote me. If they include, in every issue, sources of more information, then they will really have something. If they make out like they are the end-all and be-all, then there is bound to be some suspicion. The main thesis, and I hope they have a firm grip on it, is to simply ratchet up the conversation.

Ratcheting up the conversation pulls the gear groups together, pulls the processors and fishermen together as business partners, pulls the economic development folks to the table, and gets everyone on the same page, all the way down to the bus boy in the restaurant. This is one of the reasons I started to blog last spring. There just needs to be more conversation about what counts, and less fishing "war stories."


Anonymous Bill said...

Why slam the Monterey Aquarium? They were one of the first to start the ball rolling in educating consumers about sustainable fisheries which is turning around our dock prices. How about thanking Monterey and Audubon for being over a decade ahead of the rest of us? Aside from that, I think this magazine is a fantastic idea, which should help out the entire industry and keep our foward momentum.
Good Job

4:08 PM  

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