Sustainable Maine

While Maine has long been revered for its juicy lobster, local fishermen and chefs are vying for a new set of seafood to bask in the culinary spotlight. Over the past year, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute has been working closely with some of the region’s top fishermen and chefs to identify fish and shellfish species that thrive in the Atlantic waters but have been underutilized in northeastern US cuisine. By creating demand for these sustainable species, like northern shrimp, Atlantic mackerel, whiting, Atlantic pollock and red fish, fishermen hope to preserve the seafood that has historically been overfished, such as flounder, cod and halibut. Chefs from coastal Maine’s finest restaurants are now showing the world just how tasty these sustainable species can be. For example, Chef Mitchell Kaldrovich from Sea Glass restaurant at Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth pan-sears whiting, which is less flaky than cod so it develops a nicer crust when seared. Now hunters are getting in on the sustainable movement. Maine Fish and Wildlife recently held a meeting with Registered Maine Guides to look at alternative species found in the Maine interior that might attract hunters.