PORTLAND, Maine - October 22, 2012 - Eateries from Bar Harbor to Boston will highlight Atlantic pollock Oct. 26-Nov. 4 as part of a Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) effort to cultivate markets for lesser-known seafood. This is the final and largest 10-day Out of the Blue promotion as well as the first to include participants from Massachusetts.
"Strong consumer response to Out of the Blue has steadily increased participation by restaurants and retailers," said Sam Grimley, GMRI Sustainable Seafood Project Manager. "With 29 participants and the high availability of pollock in the marketplace, we expect this to be one of our strongest promotions."
Eight new establishments joined the program this round, including Boston University, Bates College and the L.L.Bean Executive Dining Hall. Each will serve pollock throughout the promotional period to raise awareness of this abundant yet unfamiliar fish.
Often confused with the ubiquitous Alaskan pollock found in fish sticks and imitation crab meat, Atlantic pollock is a different species in the cod family with darker meat and a sweet, delicate flavor. Despite its commercial viability, only 26 percent of the allowable catch was harvested from the Gulf of Maine in recent years.
"Pollock is a species of fish that, I like to say, doesn't get a lot of respect," said fisherman Rob Odlin of Scarborough. "You don't want to get fish from Mexico when you can buy it at the local market, and it was caught by a local fisherman. It's so unnecessary when there is so much abundant seafood right out our back door."
A group of fishermen and chefs collaborated with GMRI to select pollock and the three other Out of the Blue species based on taste, availability and sustainability. Previous promotions took place throughout the summer and featured whiting, Acadian redfish and Atlantic mackerel.
"By increasing consumer awareness, Out of the Blue helps develop healthy markets for a greater diversity of Gulf of Maine seafood," said Jen Levin, GMRI Sustainable Seafood Program Manager. "Consumers can have significant influence on the sustainability of their local seafood industry, and we hope they continue to ask for these species long after the promotions have ended."
For more information and a list of participating restaurants, please visit www.gmri.org/outoftheblue.
About the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI)
GMRI is a neutral, nonprofit organization that catalyzes solutions to the complex challenges of ocean stewardship and economic growth in the Gulf of Maine bioregion. Based in Portland, Maine, GMRI utilizes a dynamic fusion of science, education, and community to effect change from multiple directions while remaining committed to its core principles of objectivity and collaboration. For more information, visit www.gmri.org.