Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Fish and Aquaculture –  America’s Heartland: Episode 914

Fish and Aquaculture – America’s Heartland: Episode 914

America’s Heartland is made
possible by… Farm Credit –
Financing agriculture and rural
America since 1916. Farm Credit is
cooperatively owned by America’s
farmers and ranchers. Learn more at CropLife America –
Representing the companies whose modern farming innovations help
America’s farmers provide nutritious food for communities
around the globe.  >>Hi, I’m Sarah Gardner. We take to the water on
America’s Heartland this time for some unique fish
tales and some recipes we bet you’ve never tried
before. Call it a harvest in H2O. Come along as we go lobster
fishing off the coast of Maine for a catch of
crustaceans. But change is challenging
these waters. We’ll take you to Arkansas. You’re hundreds of miles
from the ocean, but fishing and aquaculture
are playing a larger and larger role in the lives of
American farmers. Sharon Vaknin is in the
kitchen to give you some interesting ideas on fish
for your family dinners. And we’ll head for
Chesapeake Bay to see how oystermen there are helping
to clean up polluted waters. It’s all coming up on
America’s Heartland.   ♪You can see it in the eyes
Of every woman and man♪ ♪In America’s Heartland
living close to the land♪ ♪There’s a love for the country
And a pride in the brand♪ ♪In America’s Heartland♪ ♪Living close
Close to the land♪ ♪♪>>Some people might be
surprised that aquaculture plays a role in America’s
agricultural life. But if you think about it,
harvesting a catch in fresh or salt water has many
similarities to bringing in a crop deep in America’s
Heartland. Aquaculture contributes
to our seafood supply, supports commercial fisheries, and sometimes helps protect
at risk species. And many American farmers
supplement their income with aquaculture on their land. We’ll have more on that
later. But let’s start in a classic
waterside location. John Lobertini takes us lobster
fishing off the coast of Maine, a location looking at change on
the horizon. ♪♪>>Sunrise is a symbol of new
beginnings but the start of this late summer day demands
the continuity of a regimen that’s been the reality in these
maine waters for generations. As the sun comes up the
lobster fishermen of Swan’s Island head out
to sea. Jason Joyce knows these waters
well and realizes the work he does each day is part of the
past… and the future.>>I’m hanging on to this and
taking care of it for the next generation. My father took care of it
for me, his father care of it for
him, making sure you conserve so
you have a fishery that spans, in my case,
8-generations.>>In maine, lobsters are
caught in traps or “pots” baited with fish to
attract the crustaceans. Fishermen often work
hundreds of pots a day. Lobster fishing though isn’t as physically demanding as it
used to be. Traps are now pulled from the
water by machine, instead of by hand. But what you haul up doesn’t
always mean money in your pocket In Maine, size matters. This gauge determines
whether you can keep a lobster or you have
to throw it back. The head must measure at least
3-and-a-quarter inches but it can be no longer than
5-inches. And there are also rules for
breeding females.>>This is a female.
That’s got a notch in it. So we’re gonna let her go back
and find her a new husband.>>Once secured, the catch must
be safely transferred to market.>>I’m banding the lobsters. Trying to keep them so they
don’t injure each other, um…
in storage. It’s a live product that we’re
sending that’s perishable and we want to make sure that they’re
in as good shape as they can be.>>Environmental regulations
and a myriad of laws at the state and federal level have
impacted the industry here. Special rope and connectors
for buoys and traps help protect whales in
these waters- just one of the changes today’s
fishermen now face. And those realities have
prompted a move to diversify. The University of Maine
Lobster Institute sees an opportunity to offer
consumers more than just lobster tails- using parts
that are usually thrown away. A lobster dog biscuit
has been an early hit, but the shell may hold the
most promise:>>We add shell material to, uh,
to food products, in- in a very finely ground,
um… like a flour. There are some animal studies
that indicate that chitin, which is part of the
shell does have the potential to lower your
cholesterol.>>Professor bayer also points to
early studies on antiseptic effects from the
shells and possible benefits in treating
osteoporosis. And there’s more. Hauling in the traps sometimes
provides an additional catch: green crabs known for decimating
clam populations. Graduate student Joe Galetti
thinks this invasive aquatic species might hold potential
as another food source.>>I think we’ve found a way to
mechanically process these crabs and get some good
nutrition and good mince meat from these crabs. Where as before they weren’t
being used as a culinary delight. [Bells toll]>>All of these efforts may
hold promise for this tight-knit island
community. [Indistinct chatter] A community that pulls
together. When 57 year old Spencer
Joyce suffered a stroke, islanders kept his business
going.>>So we all look out for each
other. If someone is in trouble if
there boat is having some trouble or something like
that… you’ll team up and help them
go through their traps. So it’s a good sense of
community that you don’t see in obviously a lot of places
in the world.>>Swan’s island is one of the
most picturesque places in America. A place where the ocean’s
bounty gives hope to those who work these waters.>>There isn’t any other fishery
that I can think of that can sustain
8 generations and still have someone make a
living at it. Maine product is a good
product. It’s a conservation minded
sustainable fishery that a lot of other fisheries
around the world strive to be. ♪♪>>Lobsters have been around
for a long, long time. In fact, the snappy
crustaceans have changed very little in the past
hundred million years. In the water, lobsters can
be blue, light yellow, green-brown, grey, orange or
calico. Some even have spots. However, they all turn red
when they’re cooked.>>There are many aspects to
aquaculture in the U.S. Certainly fishing is both a commercial and recreational
activity. That’s important to seaside,
lakeside, and recreational river
communities. I mentioned earlier that
aquaculture also plays a role in improving the profit
margins for American farmers whose land may be deep in
the heartland. Let’s take you to Arkansas
where research is underway to improve a particular kind
of wet water crop. ♪♪ It may not be a location
that you associate with a harvest that comes from the
water. There are no boats heading
for the ocean. In fact… you’re not likely
to see boats or giant fishnets at all. The Aquaculture Fisheries
Center at the University of Arkansas
is focused, instead, on helping fish farmers raise
better fish at a cost effective price.>>Aquaculture is a major
industry in this state. Arkansas, first of all, is
the birth place of warm-water aquaculture in
the United States. The very first goldfish
farms and minnow farms and catfish farms were here in
this state. Today, the total farm gate value
is about 167 million dollars.>>Thanks to a growing consumer
demand for farm raised fish, aquaculture has taken off in
many parts of the heartland. Factor in feed production,
processing and equipment and the total economic impact
for Arkansas’s Delta region is more than one and a
quarter billion dollars.>>These eggs are moving right
along.>>These small catfish eggs
will be moved to a fish hatchery building for
a few weeks, and then returned to the ponds until they reach
fingerling size. Then they’ll be dispersed
for various studies.>>We have a project that’s
looking at additives to the feed that would then add to
the fish flesh. Most of the experiments are
management based experiments so that we can look at what
a farmer needs to change on his operation to better his
bottom line.>>A very different research
project involves the alligator gar. It’s not being raised for
eating, but for pest control.>>Missouri, for example, has got
a problem with exotic fish and rough fish. And they’re interested in
controlling them with a native top predator. And these guys, which get to
be about 7 to 8-feet long, are a native top carnivore
in the system.>>Researchers also want to
improve levels of healthy Omega Three Fatty acids in
catfish by including things like flaxseed in their
diets.>>One of the problems, right
now, with that product though, is that when you- when you add
flaxseed oil, it does make the fish taste
oilier. The catfish product that
people like is a very mild tasting fish, and they
really don’t want it to taste oily as a salmon or as a
mackerel or something like that.>>The center also offers
regional fish inspections at its four labs across the
state. Farmers bring in fish which
are then examined by experts. The farmers leave with
advice on changes to improve their product and
yield.>>There’s a constant networking
going on between fish farmers. And sometimes, they hear
things, and say “I’ve heard that this is
fantastic and is it really and would you set up
an experiment that will approve or disprove this
idea that’s going around.”>>The facility you have here
is unique not only in this country but in the world.>>Yes, it certainly is. There are very few places
that have made the investment in these kinds of facilities here
to do this kind of research.>>Mmhmm, and why is it so
important to fish farmers throughout the United States?>>They have to have proof before they invest money on
their farms. So, we have to run the
trials here. Laboratory studies and model
are fine, but they only go so far.>>Researchers also carry out
extensive investigations on catfish production far
afield from the campus.>>The fish raised overseas
are raised under very, very different conditions. Quite frankly, they’re not
held to the same standards as in the United States.>>Those issues of quality are
critical as U.S. fish farmers compete for consumer dollars on
a global scale meeting the demands of
price, but also taste.>>So that what comes out on
your dinner table is even better than- than what you might
find on the river or in a lake. ♪♪ Some varieties of fish are
excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon
in particular. But nutritionists point out that
Omega-3 can also be found in foods other
than those with fins. They site tofu, flax, nuts,
canola, and soybean oils as good
sources. ♪♪>>There’s something fishy
going on at your supermarket. Whether it is fresh, frozen
or canned folks are buying more and more
seafood these days, looking for source of low-fat
protein. But knowing what type of
seafood to buy and even how to cook it can be a
challenge. ♪♪ Seafood generally falls into
a couple of categories. It’s either caught in the
wild, like a river or the ocean, or it’s farm-raised. Americans eat about 11 pounds of
seafood a year, per person. And just under half of the
seafood purchased is frozen. 34 percent is fresh and 23
percent canned. And did you know that 86
percent of the seafood we eat is
imported? But many scientists are
concerned about overfishing around the world impacting
our ocean-life. With concerns about
environmental impact and food safety on the rise you’ll
find many stores offering labels on their fresh fish to help
guide your buying decisions. So what’s the number one
seafood in the US? Shrimp! Americans eat just over four
pounds of it a year. Second place goes to canned
tuna. And a relative newcomer is
now in the top ten types of fish eaten – a fish called
Pangasius! It’s a type of catfish
native to Asia. ♪♪>>Do you include fish in your
diet each week? We know that eating fish
brings with it certain nutritional advantages. But, let’s be honest, some
people don’t like the taste or just don’t know how to
prepare fish in a manner that makes it attractive and
delicious. Well, our Sharon Vaknin is
in the kitchen with some recipes that just
might change your mind about fish for your family. ♪♪>>Trout is one of the most
delicious and healthier fish at the
market. You can roast, grill or even
fry them in no time and because they’re so inexpensive you can
easily use it to feed a crowd. Today I’m making two trout
dishes with the fresh and smoked
variety. I’m making a smoked trout
guacamole and roasted trout with an herby buttery
filling. When you’re shopping for
trout at the market there are a few things you
definitely want to look out for. First, ask your fishmonger
if you can smell the trout. It’s kind of funny but really
important that you do this. So go ahead and smell it and
it should smell slightly like a river or even like a
light scent of cucumber. It should never smell fishy. That’s when you know it’s
been sitting in the case for way too
long. The second thing you want to
look out for is the skin. The scales should look shiny,
they should never look dull. And the last thing to look
out for are the eyes. If you’re buying whole trout
these eyes shouldn’t be cloudy, they should look pretty clear. If all those things look
good you have fresh trout ready for
cooking. Trout is actually part of
the salmon family so you’ll notice it a lot of the
similar flavors but it’s much more delicate. It’s nutty it has a mildly
sweet flavor so it doesn’t need a lot of dressing up. The filling that we’re making
today is an herby “garlicky” filling that really accents the
trout’s natural flavor. So once our garlic is
minced, we’ll put it in our mortar
and pestle. I also have some red pepper
flakes in there and now let’s mince our shallots. Now when you’re serving
trout to a crowd of people you want to estimate about one six
to eight inch trout per person. It’s more than enough. Now for the parsley we want
a good handful. A little lemon, some capers
for a salty “vinegary” flavor. And the last thing we’re putting
in here is anchovy paste. We’re putting in just enough
to bring out the flavor of the trout without
overpowering it. So a couple of teaspoons is
just right. Now we just need to season
it. And the last thing? Butter. A this fish keeps pretty
moist as it bakes, but butter never hurt
anybody. We’ll reserve a little bit
for the top before they go in. I already have four six inch
trout on a baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil. So all I’ll do is open these
up and you can see they have a beautiful pink flesh. So we’ll just flip them open
and spoon in a little bit of the
mixture in each. With all of these flavors you
don’t need a lot of the filling. Now when you’re roasting the
trout don’t remove the head and the
tail. They’ll keep everything
really succulent. Before these guys go in the
oven we’ll put a little bit of butter on top of each. When they bake at a high
temperature, which is what we’re doing,
they’ll cook really fast. And then the skin will be
nice and crispy. And here we go into the oven at 450 degrees for about
ten minutes. While our trout roasts, let’s
make our smoked trout guacamole. So for our guacamole base
we’ll use red onion, garlic, salt, pepper, some of the
basics. And then we’ll throw in a
few ingredients that play really well with that smoked
trout. Trout is so good for you. Because of its high amounts
of Omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s also one of the
healthiest fish out there. Because it’s low in dioxins which is an environmental
contaminant. So now it’s time to take
care of our avocados. When you’re shopping for
ripe avocados for making guacamole,
look out for two things. First give it a nice squeeze, it
should be a little soft. And then push the belly
button in with your finger and if it sinks, it should
be good to go. I’ve got five large Haas
avocados. When you’re shopping around
for smoked trout, you’ll notice it’s a lot
cheaper than smoked salmon. That’s because in general, trout
is a lot cheaper to produce. And the reason is that most
of the trout you purchase as the market is
farmed. It’s not caught from the
wild. In a controlled environment, you can really regulate the
trout’s diet. That’s important for this
fish because its flavor really reflects
its diet. Let’s add some lime. We’ll also add some fresh
minced garlic. Salt, pepper. Let’s have at it. The reason I don’t use a
food processor is I don’t want “mooshy” guacamole. I want a few chunks in
there. Our guacamole base is ready and
now we can add in some of the bolder flavorings. So we’ll add in some roasted
chiles. These are fire roasted
chiles. And we’ll add in our red
onion. And finally, the star of
this dish, our smoked trout. And it will still have the
skin attached. You’ll can easily peel it
away. Just flake it into the
guacamole by hand. And you can keep pretty big
flakes in there because as you mix it, it will break up
a little bit. There’s one thing I want to
add. Fresh cilantro. That adds bright flavor,
bright color and because of that lime, you don’t have to
worry about this guacamole getting all brown before you
serve it. If you were intimidated by
cooking fish before, now you know just how easy
it is to do. We’ve made a roasted trout
with an herby butter filling and you can see the skin has
crisped up nicely and I’ve served it with a side of
potato salad. And, of course, our smoked
trout guacamole. Two delicious dishes filled
with Omega 3 fatty acids and… they won’t break the
bank. ♪♪>>Let’s head for the waters of
Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay for a different focus on
fishing. Aquaculture can play a major
role in supporting economic activity in a waterside
community. But aquaculture can also
play a role when it comes to improving the very water in
which the fish make their homes. Chesapeake Bay is home to
some 350 varieties of fish and improving the water
quality there is getting some help from an unusual
source. ♪♪>>Oh, I love it. I couldn’t see myself in an
office.>>Kevin McClarren is a relative
newcomer to Chesapeake Bay. He moved here in 1999. But this former
Massachusetts resident says he’s fallen in love with
this huge, historic estuary… and the famous oysters grown
and harvested here.>>We’re about a hundred miles
from the ocean here. We’re in a brackish
environment where, from a biological
standpoint, that’s where oysters want to
live. You get this broth of
minerals and flavors that produce an oyster with I
think an exceptional flavor.>>Welcome to the farm…
An oyster farm. Here, where the freshwater
Choptank River flows into the salty bay… is where you’ll find Choptank
Oyster Company. Kevin and his partners
hand-raise close to two million oysters each year.>>I always say we’re a little
bit more like ranching than we are like
farming. We’re not really growing
these oysters; we’re just kind of taking care of them till
they’re ready for market.>>That care begins here at the
hatchery… where the oysters grow from
microscopic larvae into these tiny creatures called
“spat.”>>They’re probably a thousand
in this handful.>>That’s right what looks like a
handful of wet sand is actually thousands of oysters attached to
bits of broken shell. After about three weeks,
they’re transferred onto these boxes made from window
screens. They’ll grow to about the
size of a quarter… and then be moved to these
floats right on the bay… as many as ten-thousand
in each one.>>We grow them for half a
summer then we pull them out, we split them, tumble
them, then put them back into bags
at a lower level. And that process continues
over two years until they’re large enough to
harvest.>>The harvested oysters crop
are then taken to a facility close by where
they’re washed and packed into boxes
destined for stores and restaurants all over
Maryland.>>Let’s go home, Kevin.>>Let’s go home, Travis.>>Some customers like Travis
Todd can’t wait for delivery… they take them
right off the dock. Travis is the third
generation of the Todd family at the Ocean Odyssey
restaurant.>>What I really, really like
about it is the fact that this is our local and native
oyster, yet it’s being grown, it’s being grown rather than
harvested in the wild. What we have is rendered
bacon and keep the fat. You’re going to add to that
fat, you’re gonna add onion and
garlic.>>Today, Travis is making
Oysters “Bubbafeller” a variation on the famous
Oysters Rockefeller. Cracked pepper, lemon
juice, heavy cream, arugula and parmesan cheese.>>As soon as you bread these
things, you want to get them in the
fryer.>>For something different, how
about a po-boy. Shucked, and breaded, and fried-
made from oysters less than an hour from the
water.>>Ocean Odyssey is one of the
local restaurants we have and he uses our oysters in
everything. Because he sees the quality in
it, and for him it’s worth it.>>Chesapeake Bay is one of the
world’s largest estuaries. It’s two hundred miles long and as much as thirty
miles wide. Fed by a hundred fifty
rivers and streams. That mix of fresh and salt
water proved perfect for oysters and
oystermen… who’ve been reaping Chesapeake’s
waterborne bounty for centuries. But in the last fifty years,
population growth brought water pollution and
disease. Today, the wild oyster
population is less than one-percent of what it was
in the late 1800’s. Twenty years ago, some six
thousand oystermen worked these waters. Today there are fewer than
five hundred.>>Oysters are considered a
keystone species, which means it really is the linchpin for
the health of the bay.>>Kevin says oysters are more
than just a product, they’re an essential part of a
healthy ecosystem.>>The guys that do this testing
will tell you that an adult oyster will filter 50 gallons of
water a day out of the bay. Filtering it, taking the
algae out.>>Thanks to efforts by dozens
of environmental groups, scientists, and government
agencies, Chesapeake Bay is slowly
getting cleaner.>>If we can get the oysters back
to historic levels you would see the green color drop out of this
water in no time at all. Every oyster that’s coming
off my farm is one more wild oyster that’s left in place. It may take a long time, but
it may work.>>The fact that we can grow
great products like this, make them marketable,
sell them and improve the water systems as we
go along, um… that to me us just a
win for everybody. ♪♪>>And that’s going to do it
for this edition of America’s Heartland. We’re always pleased you can
travel the country with us as we find fascinating
people and interesting places.>>We’ve shared some great
stories and great recipes with you on the show this
time. If you missed something or
want to check out videos from any of our America’s
Heartland programs, just log on to our website
at And look for us, too, on some of your favorite social
media websites. We’ll see you next time on
America’s Heartland.   You can purchase a DVD or
Blu Ray copy of this program. Here’s the cost:   To order, just visit us
online or call:   ♪You can see it in the eyes
of every woman and man♪ ♪In America’s Heartland
living close to the land♪ ♪There’s a love for the country
And a pride in the brand♪ ♪In America’s Heartland♪ ♪Living close
Close to the land♪ ♪♪ America’s Heartland is made
possible by… Farm Credit –
Financing agriculture and rural
America since 1916. Farm Credit is
cooperatively owned by America’s
farmers and ranchers. Learn more at CropLife America –
Representing the companies whose modern farming innovations help
America’s farmers provide nutritious food for communities
around the globe.   ♪♪  

14 comments on “Fish and Aquaculture – America’s Heartland: Episode 914

  1. Aquaculture sounds like such a good idea… but these fish are not raised as part of a sound, healthy, functioning eco-system.  Farmed fish are often (usually) fed unnatural diets high in GMO grains. Farmed fish tend to concentrate certain toxins (including chemical pollutants and mercury).  Farming fish can be done sustainably, so hopefully more of this will be done in the future.

  2. the simplest fish is so easy to cook and tastes delish. Take out a pan and heat it until it flakes and salt to taste. Yum.

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