The Story of American Fisheries Flies Off the Plate


Lisa Elbert
Barton Seaver and Tory McPhail on the Main Stage at ICC 2015
Barton Seaver and Tory McPhail on the Main Stage at ICC 2015

“Ninety-one percent of the seafood we get in the United States is imported. The question is why?” asked Barton Seaver, who presented with Commander's Palace Chef Tory McPhail on 2015 ICC Main Stage. “You've got to sell the story. ” he said. “We're serving up our own heritage.”

Seaver spoke on the importance of supporting American fishing communities and challenged chefs to buy more domestic seafood. Here's why: 

  • American fisheries are the most regulated in the world, with the highest standards of saftey and sustainabilty. 
  • "It's more dangerous to not eat seafood than it is to eat it.  Think about it. Maybe the least sustainable fish in your market is the most sustainable protein the market has to offer.”
  • “Sustainability is the meaningful pursuit of business. For every dollar on the boat, it's three for the community."
  • Americans are only eating 14.2 pounds of seafood per capita, compared to 172 pounds chicken, lamb, pork, and beef. 
  • Right now, 60 percent of the seafood caught in American fisheries is exported. 
  • And then there are three Ss of public health, according to Seaver: Don't Smoke. Wear your Seatbelt. Eat more Seafood.
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