On his dock along the banks of Bayou Yscloskey, Darren Stander makes the pelicans dance.
More than a dozen of the birds have landed or hopped onto the dock, where Stander takes in crabs and oysters from the fishermen who work the bayou and Lake Borgne at its mouth. The pelicans rock back and forth, beaks rising and falling, as he waves a bait fish over their heads.
At least he's got some company. There's not much else going on at his dock these days. There used to be two or three people working with him; now he's alone. The catch that's coming in is light, particularly for crabs.
"Guys running five or six hundred traps are coming in with two to three boxes, if that," said Stander, 26.
Shellfish, displayed on ice in wire baskets, are the main attraction at Seattle’s Walrus & Carpenter, where the shucking of Pacific oysters is itself a work of art.
Such dedication to the finest local ingredients unites the best seafood restaurants across the globe, where what’s fresh is what’s for dinner. From spaghetti with sea urchin on the Amalfi Coast to crabmeat roasted over a fire in a coconut husk on the Thai island of Koh Samui, we hauled in a mouthwatering variety of fish as part of Travel + Leisure’s 100 Places to Eat Like a Local.
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Out of the 1,215 samples tested by ocean conservation group Oceana, 401 were determined to be mislabeled.
Amid the seafood sleuthing, Wayne Samiere says consumer knowledge is power. Samiere is the founder and CEO of Honolulu Fish Company and a trained marine biologist; he has also worked for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
"Information about various types of seafood is not as familiar to consumers as the basic facts about beef, chicken and pork," Samiere said. "Reputable seafood vendors make an effort to educate their customers about products they are selling. However, there are vendors who want to label their seafood products with a name that consumers know and find appealing."
With a few easy tricks, Samiere says you can feel empowered to avoid the old “bait and switch” problem next time you visit your local seafood counter or restaurant.
Five Ways to Knowledgeably Buy Seafood: Wayne Samiere
Bad news for food-obssessed travelers to Japan.
Unagi - the sweet broiled eel dish that's one of Japan's best eats - may soon be going the way of shark's fins and fish balls: it gets overfished (check), it gets put on an endangered list (check) and it gets banned from restaurants (maybe).
The Japanese Ministry of the Environment officially added Japanese eel to its Red List of endangered fish on Friday, reported Yomiuri Shimbun.
Read the full story - Japanese eel becomes latest 'endangered food' - on CNN Travel.
An old wooden carving known as "the Sacred Cod" hangs in the Massachusetts State House.
That figurine has stared down at lawmakers for more than two centuries as a reminder of how important cod fishing has been to New England, where generations have made a living by casting their nets out at sea.
"It's the only job I've ever had," said Al Cattone, a Gloucester fisherman, who - like his father and grandfather before him - spent more than 30 years braving the Atlantic's rough waters and cold winds in search of fish.
"It's not so much a job as it is an identity."
At Eatocracy, we eat like it's our job - because it is. There's no crystal ball for food editors to peer into or a Ouija board that contacts Escoffier from beyond the grave for culinary guidance. Instead, we rely on the tastemakers – the chefs, the farmers, the artisans – and our own eyes, ears and mouths to keep us informed of the latest movements in the food world. This series, Next Course, looks into what’s coming up in the food world.
"Pssst! Hey buddy, you looking for any of that there...fish goo? I know a guy."
An unusual product, popping up in hushed conversation among chefs and their fishmongers, may soon be swimming to a restaurant near you. It's fish marrow. Yes - bone marrow from fish.
Once the domain of dogs' dinners and the working class’s cucina povera, in recent years, bone marrow oozed into chef territory. Platters of sawed-open bones with rich marrow soon popped up on high-end menus across the country. Anthony Bourdain coined it "butter from god," and it gained a devout following accordingly.
Hunting and fishing are on the rise for the first time in decades.
While hunting has always been a way for self-sufficient people to feed their families in a poor economy, another theory for its current popularity is that it can also be an affordable "staycation" for people trying to spend less on their vacations.
Steven Rinella, host of "Meat Eater" on the Sportsman Channel and the author of a just released hunting tome of the same name, says there's more to it. As an increasing number of Americans become interested in where their food comes from and want to play a part in making it, Rinella says that many are newly compelled to try killing their own meat.
Join Errol Barnett in the small seaside town of Luderitz, where oyster fishermen have adapted and grown an industry.
See more Inside Africa
Previously - Keeping an oyster shortage at bay
Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Virginia Willis, a graduate of L'Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne, is the author of "Bon Appétit, Y’all" and "Basic to Brilliant, Y'all."
I opened up a veritable bucket of bait, not a mere can of worms, back in January with my blog post titled "Wicked Tuna: A Deal with the Devil."
"Wicked Tuna" is a reality series that premiered April 1 on the National Geographic Channel. It follows the lives of bluefin tuna fishermen in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and is produced by the same folks that produce the hit TV shows "Dirty Jobs" and "Swamp Loggers."
By many accounts, including the National Geographic website, bluefin tuna are overfished. This is where I find a huge disconnect with the National Geographic channel hosting a show about Atlantic bluefin tuna fishing.