From sea to supermarket: Track that snapper you're having for supper
With reports that nearly half of all fish sold in Texas is mislabeled, how do you know what you are really getting?
That's what I was thinking when I recently looked at what appeared to be a beautiful red snapper at my local H-E-B. Then I noticed a tag attached that read, "Gulf Wild: Caught in the USA Gulf of Mexico."
Once at home, I went online to www.myGulfWild.com, input the number on the tag and found out the snapper in question was caught by a fishing vessel in the Gulf of Mexico headed by Captain Kenny Guindon out of Galveston.
He is a 2nd generation fisherman and has been associated with commercial fishing since 1983 as a commercial fisherman, commercial fishing vessel captain, and manager of Katie’s Seafood Market in Galveston. He has been the captain of a commercial longline and bandit fishing vessel in the Gulf of Mexico for the past 6 years."
Guindon and his crew of four fisherman spent between four and seven days fishing up to 90 miles out in the Gulf on their vessel, the Falcon. They usually catch around 8,000 pounds of fish on such a trip, but his top catch was 13,600 pounds of fresh fish caught in 3.5 days, according to the Gulf Wild site.
The tagging system was developed by a fishermen's trade group to respond to concerns about mislabeling and to promote conservation (fisherman participate in a catch-share program that is a management approach to incentivize the responsible harvesting of fish). The Gulf Wild program includes Gulf red snapper and Gulf red grouper, with plans to add more than a dozen species of Gulf grouper and tilefish.
Maybe it was my imagination, but the snapper sure tasted fresher than usual.