Fishing Methods: Dredging and Diver Caught
Living in the Midwest, I never thought twice about how seafood made it onto my plate. Working at i love blue sea has taught me that fishing methods are a key factor in judging the quality and integrity of sustainable seafood.
Fishermen use different types of fishing methods depending on what they are catching, how much they need to obtain, and how much time they have to fulfill an order. It is important to understand what method is used because each has a certain effect on the environment.
This method is mainly used to collect shellfish on the bottom of the seafloor. A large, metal rake is dragged across the seabed where it collects everything in its way. In order to reel in the catch, a large claw-like contraption is used to close in the shellfish and lift them onto the boat. This action can dig into the seabed and destroy habitat for bottom dwellers. Dredging also results in high amounts of bycatch, meaning that along with the desired catch, other creatures are also caught; but these creatures are considered useless and are disposed of rather than sold. Fishermen opt for the dredging method because it is very effective; it allows them to catch a lot of product in a short amount of time. Since sustainability is so important to us, we opt for diver caught products rather than shellfish and sea urchins that have been dredged.
Video Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
This process is mainly used for collecting shellfish such as scallops and clams. Divers hand-pick each creature which allows for more control over what is collected and has minimal harmful effects on the environment. The drawback of this method is how dependent divers are on good weather and current condition; with strong currents divers cannot go out and fulfill orders. Most of our shellfish come from farms around the country, ensuring that they have been sustainably collected. Our sea urchins are hand-picked by divers in the Santa Barbara area.