Why eat sustainably caught local fish?
Pioneer Seafoods fishes from one of the few remaining trawlers in California. This is important because most fish that customers get in stores or restaurants is caught overseas and much of that is delivered frozen. It is very difficult to find locally caught, sustainably harvested Rockfish, Sole or Sable fish.
One only has to try fresh caught fish one time to see the incredible difference in taste when you are eating the fish within a few days of the time it was caught. Once it’s older than about three days then the flavor of the fish diminishes and the quality just is not as good. That’s why you might have an incredible fish dinner at a good restaurant, but when you cook store-bought fish at home, it just isn’t the same.
The other thing most people don’t know is that a lot of the imported Seafood is treated with preservatives. In addition, only about 1% of imported Seafood is ever inspected, and typically it is only a visual inspection and to see if it smells bad. Only a small fraction of that 1% is ever taken to a lab for actual testing for safety.
When you support local fisherman, then you know you are getting fresh fish caught in local waters brought to the dock and onto your table within a couple days of the time it was caught. This is why there just is no comparison in flavor or quality versus imported Seafood.
What does “sustainably caught” mean?
At Pioneer Seafoods, fishing is in our blood. For 3 generations the Pennissi family has been fishing and developing their own gear. Now with the 3rd generation, Pioneer has become the premier innovators in the development of sustainable trawling gear.
Guiseppe Pennisi has developed what is called “light touch” trawling gear.
The typical nets used by trawlers include heavy chains and weights that literally scrape across the bottom of the ocean and collect all of the fish, including some which are not the targeted species. This so-called bycatch has traditionally been shoveled over the side of the boat.
With our new innovative light touch gear, the contact with the bottom of the ocean is reduced by at least 95%. The Nets are also specially designed to allow the juvenile fish to easily escape. In addition we use video cameras attached to the gear underwater to allow us to see the actual progress of the catch and ensure that everything is working properly. You can see the juvenile fish escaping the net in the videos on our YouTube channel. (embed video here).
The result is that we no longer catch anything other than the species that we are going after. As you can see explained on the page about all of the regulations and expenses that we have to go through in order to be allowed to fish, we have to have a monitor on our boat to observe
everything that we do. Even though we have this paid third-party monitor on the boat the government would not believe our reports that we had reduced the bycatch to zero.
They then required us to have an entire crew of observers come on some fishing trips with us until they finally did believe that we really have cut our bycatch down to literally nothing. This means that we have the cleanest and best harvest of fresh fish that you can get.
If you are in a local restaurant and want Rockfish, Sole or Sablefish, look for the restaurants that offer our fresh locally caught fish and taste the difference! You can see a list of some of the local restaurants in San Francisco and elsewhere that offer our sustainably caught fish Elsewhere on this site.