Published on September 20th, 2016 | by Reporters Desk0
Sustainable Seafood Expo Returns
By James Preston Allen, Publisher
The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is bringing back the Sustainable Seafood Expo on Oct. 2 to Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles for its third year and the fish tastes delicious.
This year’s event features celebrity keynote speaker Adrian Grenier, star of Entourage and San Pedro’s own celebrity chef Dustin Trani for a special Chef’s Table dinner.
The Sunday expo will showcase seafood samples from a wide range of gourmet seafood providers, fish farming and ranching companies as well as dock-to-table service for sustainable fish caught regionally.
Purveyors of sustainable seafood like Kai Gourmet promote “all natural, wild frozen center cut portions of Chilean Sea bass caught off the coast of Heard Island in Australia’s remote commonwealth Antarctic fishery. They also offer New Zealand’s famed Ora King Salmon that rivals the fish that is as good as the the wild caught.
A growing number of local restaurants are serving sustainable seafood on their menus and diners are often not even aware of the difference. Ports O’ Call, J. Trani’s and the 22nd Street Landing are just a few of the local restaurants that have signed on to the growing awareness of serving seafood that can be responsibly caught or farmed.
This expanding concern has significant relevance in the San Pedro Bay given that this harbor was once homeport to the largest fishing fleet on the West Coast where thousands of workers went to sea or worked in the canneries up until the 1980s.
John Cigliano of Santa Monica Seafood remembers those days as many of his family and friends worked in the heyday of fishing in San Pedro. Yet today his company is one of the leaders providing sustainable seafood to the restaurants of Los Angeles.
Caroline Brady the director of the Friends of CMA and the organizer of the Expo has been a leading proponent for educating the public about how “the fish on your table should be caught and lessening the impact on the marine environment by making savvy seafood choices.” This sentiment is supported by both chef Dustin Trani and Noramae Munster who oversee the menu creations at J. Trani’s Restaurant and Ports O’ Call respectively.
“There’s a lot of variety that is coming on the market and people need to learn more about the choices of sustainable seafood,” said Rex Ito of Prime Time Seafood of the South Bay.
After seeing firsthand the overfishing of wild fish stocks over the past 15 years, Ito, a third generation Japanese–American, was convinced that the future supply of the world’s seafood will come from farming. His experience in both commercial aquaculture in Latin America, plus many years in marketing in the fresh tuna industry he became involved in a Bluefin tuna ranch in Mexico where his company now imports his tuna. It makes for very tasty sushi.
The Sustainable Seafood Expo is an idea that is like the salmon that instinctively return to the river from which they are born– it’s just up the street from San Pedro’s commercial fish market and just around the corner from where the once mighty fleet of American tuna boats berthed at the San Pedro Slip and not far from the AltaSea campus where the next generation of fishermen are exploring sustainable aquaculture.
This Industry insider event gave us a chance to put purveyors in the same room with chefs and restaurant owners. Our goal is to make San Pedro and the surrounding area a 100% sustainable seafood town. We think tourists will flock to this area knowing that the fish they’re eating is top quality and environmentally sound, Brady says.