San Diego Fish Tales: Stories and Recipes from the Local Sustainable Seafood Community
San Diego, California has a rich fishing history, but the once booming seafood industry is declining. Although much smaller now than at its peak, the commercial fishing industry is productive, accessible, and an asset to the community and local economy. Commercial fishermen, chefs, and others are involved in efforts to raise awareness about local seafood. Locally caught seafood accounts for only a small fraction of the seafood consumed in San Diego. San Diegans consume millions of pounds of seafood each year but about 90% is imported foreign seafood. Large amounts of US seafood, including catches from San Diego, are exported to foreign markets. Consumers have the power to shift the seafood marketplace when they buy local, sustainable seafood, which supports the environment, the economy, and the well-being of the community. There is a lack of San Diego-specific resources to bridge the gap between responsible seafood producers and seafood consumers. This capstone project is part of a larger endeavor to produce and publish an ocean-to-table book that highlights six sustainable seafood products caught by San Diego commercial fishermen. The seafood products include California spiny lobster, opah, rockfish, sablefish, spot prawn, and red urchin. Creative writing, storytelling, scientific facts, and recipes introduce the reader to the sustainably caught seafood products and the local seafood community, including commercial fishermen, fishmongers, seafood purveyors, and chefs. The aim is to increase consumer knowledge, appreciation, and consumption of locally caught, sustainable seafood.