To paraphrase an old expression: when life serves up invasive species, serve invasive species for dinner. That’s easier said than done with some species. Lionfish, for example, don’t school and can only be caught one at a time via spear-fishing. Blue Catfish, on the other hand er, fin roam high in the water column and can be caught quite easily with nets. A bonus is they don’t have the aforementioned “muddy” taste after cooking, and their firm white flesh flakes appealingly whether its baked, pan-fried or stir-fried.
Be More Shelve Fish
By all indications, the seafood-lovin’ public seems to be slowly succumbing to the Blue Catfish’s siren song. Statistics show that 400,000 pounds of Blue Catfish were harvested from the Chesapeake Bay region in 2014 but that number ballooned to roughly 5 million pounds just three years later. Kudos to both the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the non-profit Wide Net Project for netting (pun intended) a Green rating of sustainability from the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch in 2015. Bolstered with that seal of approval, Blue Catfish fillets began appearing in the frozen food section at retail markets including Whole Foods and Mom’s Organic Grocers.
Catfish On A Hot Tin Frying Pan
All this is just a drop in the bucket, mind you: estimates of the total number of Blue Catfish infesting the waters of Chesapeake Bay and its many tidally-linked rivers range up to 100 million or more! That said, humanity has shown, time after time, how brutally efficient our species is at decimating fisheries… so help us Cod. Helping to decimate invasive Blue Catfish by converting them into delicious, healthy seafood is an ideal way of harnessing humanity’s appetite for consumption. (images via Virginia Sea Grant, LearnToCatchCatfish.com, and Ryon Edwards)
Think Chesapeake Bay’s too polluted to swim in? Check out The World’s Loneliest Abandoned Swimming Pool!